University of Michigan
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December 13, 2018

Medical Miracles

August 14, 2017

Medical Miracles

Old school: U-M in History

Topic: History

A scene inside the University of Michigan Physiology Department laboratory from 1893. U-M and its graduates have been a driving force behind important medical discoveries and innovations. (Photo courtesy of Bentley Historical Library)

Michigan’s contributions to medicine and public health have saved lives and enriched communities. Alumna Alice Hamilton, the first woman appointed to the faculty of Harvard University, pioneered the study of occupational health and is credited with improving workplace safety. Aldred Warthin was one of the first medical scientists to make a persuasive case that cancer was heritable in humans. James Neel unlocked the genetic cause of sickle-cell anemia, and geneticist Francis Collins discovered the genes for cystic fibrosis and neurofibromatosis (“Elephant Man’s disease”). Surgeon William Bartlett developed the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation technology known as ECMO that continues to save thousands of lives.

— Photo and text are presented at the U-M Bicentennial website