• Period: to

    medicine of modern age

  • Period: to

    medicine of modern age

  • 1901

    Austrian-American Karl Landsteiner describes blood compatibility and rejection (i.e., what happens when a person receives a blood transfusion from another human of either compatible or incompatible blood type), developing the ABO system of blood typing. This system classifies the bloods of human beings into A, B, AB, and O groups. Landsteiner receives the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for this discovery.
  • 1906

    Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins suggests the existence of vitamins and concludes they are essential to health. Receives the 1929 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
  • 1907

    First successful human blood transfusion using Landsteiner's ABO blood typing technique
  • 1913

    Dr. Paul Dudley White becomes one of America's first cardiologists, a doctor specializing in the heart and its functions, and a pioneer in use of the electrocardiograph, exploring its potential as a diagnostic tool.
  • 1921

    Edward Mellanby discovers vitamin D and shows that its absence causes rickets.
  • 1922

    Insulin first used to treat diabetes.
  • 1923

    First vaccine for diphtheria.
  • 1926

    First vaccine for pertussis (whooping cough).
  • 1927

    First vaccine for tetanus.
  • 1928

    Scottish bacteriologist Sir Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin. He shares the 1945 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Ernst Chain and Sir Howard Florey.
  • 1935

    First vaccine for yellow fever.
  • 1935

    Dr. John H. Gibbon, Jr. , successfully uses a heart-lung machine for extracorporeal circulation of a cat (i.e., all the heart and lung functions are handled by the machine while surgery is performed). Dr. Gibbon uses this method successfully on a human in 1953. It is now commonly used in open heart surgery.
  • 1937

    First vaccine for typhus.
  • 1937

    Bernard Fantus starts the first blood bank at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, using a 2% solution of sodium citrate to preserve the blood. Refrigerated blood lasts ten days.
  • 1943

    Microbiologist Selman A. Waksman discovers the antibiotic streptomycin, later used in the treatment of tuberculosis and other diseases.
  • 1945

    First vaccine for influenza.
  • 1952

    Paul Zoll develops the first cardiac pacemaker to control irregular heartbeat.
  • 1953

    James Watson and Francis Crick at Cambridge University describe the structure of the DNA molecule. Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin at King's College in London are also studying DNA. (Wilkins in fact shares Franklin's data with Watson and Crick without her knowledge.) Watson, Crick, and Wilkins share the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1962 (Franklin had died and the Nobel Prize only goes to living recipients).
  • 1954

    Dr. Joseph E. Murray performs the first kidney transplant between identical twins.
  • 1955

    Jonas Salk develops the first polio.
  • 1957

    Dr. Willem Kolff and Dr. Tetsuzo Akutzu implant the first artificial heart in a dog. The animal survives 90 minutes.
  • 1962

    First oral polio vaccine (as an alternative to the injected vaccine).
  • 1964

    Firstvaccine for measles.
  • 1967

    First vaccine for mumps.
  • 1967

    South African heart surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant.
  • 1974

    First vaccine for chicken pox.
  • 1977

    First vaccine for pneumonia.
  • 1978

    First test-tube baby is born in the U.K.
  • 1978

    First vaccine for meningitis.
  • 1980

    W.H.O. (World Health Organization) announces smallpox is eradicated.
  • 1981

    First vaccine for hepatitis B.
  • 1982

    Dr. William DeVries implants the Jarvik-7 artificial heart into patient Barney Clark. Clark lives 112 days.
  • 1983

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is identified.
  • 1992

    First vaccine for hepatitis A.
  • 1996

    Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell (dies in 2003).
  • 1998

    First vaccine for lyme disease.
  • 2007

    Scientists discover how to use human skin cells to create embryonic stem cells.