Medical Breakthroughs

This series of messages features medical innovators who are little known today, but who made important contributions for those with challenging medical conditions.

    • Dr. Dorothy Andersen: Cystic Fibrosis Pioneer

      Dorothy Andersen was born in North Carolina in 1901. When her father died when she was 13, she took over the care of her invalid mother. She went to college while caring for her mother. She graduated from Mount Holyoke with two degrees in Zoology and Chemistry. She...

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    • Sculpting Medicine

      We don’t think about it today, but how did physicians of centuries ago know what was inside a person’s body? There was no technology for taking pictures. They relied upon anatomical drawings and detailed sculptures. Much of those were developed by Anna Manzolini. She...

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    • The Father of Psychiatry

      Philippe Pinel was born in southern France in 1745. As the son and nephew of medical doctors, this was destined to be his calling as well. After obtaining his medical degree, he relocated to Paris. His desire to practice medicine was thwarted by the medical community...

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    • Doing What One Must

      Jesse Bennett was born in 1769 in Pennsylvania. He attended Philadelphia College where he earned his BA, MA, and MD degrees. He began his practice in rural Virginia in a log cabin. When his wife, Elizabeth, was expecting her first child, he engaged another doctor to...

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    • Pointing the Way

      Dorothy Horstmann was born in 1911 in the state of Washington. She received an undergraduate degree at Berkley and her MD at the University of California, San Francisco in 1940. Her area of interest was infectious diseases. When she originally applied for a residency...

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    • DNA Spark

      Rosalind Franklin grew up in a politically active Jewish family in the UK. Her parents helped settle Jewish refugees who escaped the Nazi regime in Germany. She was an outstanding student who excelled in STEM subjects as well as languages and sports. She received a...

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    • The Long Goodbye

      Alois was born in Bavaria in 1864. His parents were educationally focused, so he was able to receive a good education to become a medical doctor. His areas of interest were psychiatry and neuropathology. When he graduated, he began working with the mentally ill. He...

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    • Dip-and-Read Strips

      Helen (Murray) Free was born in Pittsburgh in 1923. When she was six, her mother died from a flu epidemic. She was inspired by her high school English teacher and hoped to become a teacher of English as well. When World War II began, the drafting of men created an...

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    • Band-Aids®

      Earle Dickson was born in 1893. When he married he was working as a cotton buyer for Johnson & Johnson. His wife was somewhat of a klutz and was constantly cutting herself as she worked in the kitchen. The bandages at the time were big and hard to apply. Earle...

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    • The Treatment of Ulcers

      Barry Marshall was born in Australia in 1951. He pursued an education in medicine at the University of Western Australia. When he graduated, he led a fellowship at the Royal Perth Hospital. As a practitioner, he was seeing 1-2 patients each day with bleeding ulcers....

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