Leading Discovery: URC Medical Milestones

  • Ferguson, Joseph 1869

    Forging a Path - Joseph Ferguson, M.D.

    Wayne State University | Jospeh Ferguson, M.D. becomes the first African-American graduate of the Detroit Medical College, established in 1868. He is the first African American in Detroit (and most likely in Michigan) to earn a medical degree. He also was instrumental in the Underground Railroad and in the movement to integrate Detroit's Public schools. 
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  • 1869-Hospital-BHL

    The First University-Owned Hospital Opens

    University of Michigan | U-M opens the first university-owned medical facility in the United States. The 20-bed hospital is located in the residence of a former professor. It has no wards or operating rooms. 
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  • Beal corn history 1877

    Pioneering Hybrid Crops

    Michigan State University | MSU Professor William J. Beal performs first documented genetic crosses to produce hybrid corn, dramatically increasing the yield. 
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  • AgBioResearch Centers map

    Extending the Reach of Research and Knowledge

    Michigan State University | The Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station - now MSU AgBioResearch - is created after the passage of the 1887 Hatch Act, which called for a nationwide network of agricultural experiment stations. 
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  • 1898 - Moses Gomberg

    Founding Radical Chemistry

    University of Michigan | U-M professor Moses Gomberg synthesizes the compound tetraphenylmethane, which includes an "organic free radical" - a highly reactive collection of atoms. In doing so, Gomberg becomes the founder of radical chemistry, central to the understanding of everything from polymerization to atmospheric reactions.
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  • 1913 - Aldred-Warthin

    Founding of Cancer Genetics

    University of Michigan | U-M's Dr. Aldred Warthin, a pathologist, becomes one of the first researchers to establish that cancer can be hereditary. 
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  • glass of milk

    Making Pasteurized, Homogenized Milk... Taste Good

    Michigan State University | MSU dairy industry pioneer G. Malcolm Trout links the processes of pasteurization and homogenization, helping to make homogenized milk feasible. Building on the work of two legendary Frenchmen - Louis Pasteur, who discovered in 1864 that heating kills most bacteria in liquids such as wine, beer or milk; and Auguste Gaulin, who patented a 'homogenizing' machine that emulsified milk in 1899 - Trout found that homogenized milk needed to be pasteurized first in order to have an appealing taste. 
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  • 1934 - whooping cough bently historical library

    Protecting Children: The DPT Vaccine

    University of Michigan | U-M Scientists Pearl Kendrick and Grace Eldering began testing a new vaccine for pertussis, or whooping cough. The vaccine worked, all but ending the scourge of whooping cough deaths. They later combined shots of diptheria, whooping cough, and tetanus into the single DPT shot children routinely receive today. 
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  • 1943 - peebles

    Breaking Barriers - Marjorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D.

    Wayne State University | Marjorie Peebles-Meyers, M.D., graduates from Wayne State University College of Medicine, the school's first African-American female graduate. She also became the first African-American female resident and chief resident at Detroit Receiving Hospital.
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  • 1952 - mechanical_heart

    Making Open-Heart Surgery Possible, and Commonplace Today

    Wayne State University | WSU's Dr. Forest Dewey Dodrill is the first to use a mechanical heart to operate on a patient. The historic operation re-routes blood around the heart, allowing the surgeon to repair a damaged valve. The concept and practice are now standard worldwide and used for more than 1 million patients annually. 
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  • 1955-Polio-pioneers

    "Safe, Effective, and Potent" Vaccine for Polio

    University of Michigan | U-M professor Thomas Francis Jr. concludes the two-year national field trials of the Salk polio vaccine, and on April 12, 1955, announces to the world that the vaccine developed by his former student Jonas Salk is "safe, effective, and potent."
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  • 1959 - herd imunity um institute for healthcare policy and innovation

    Testing the Concept of Herd Immunity

    University of Michigan | U-M's School of Public Health launches the Tecumseh (Michigan) Community Health Study, a longitudinal epidemiological study that transforms scientific understanding of chronic disease and tests the concept of herd immunity. 
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  • 1962-Goodman

    Deciphering the Course of Human Evolution

    Wayne State University | WSU School of Medicine researcher Dr. Morris Goodman discovers chimpanzees and gorillas are genetically more closely related to humans than to other apes. His research, based on molecular evidence, has since been generally accepted, including a later discovery from DNA sequences that chimpanzees and humans are more closely related to each other than either is to the gorillas or other apes. 
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  • cow

    Protecting the Public from Threats to Animal Health

    Michigan State University | In response to an unprecedented number of cattle deaths on farms throughout Michigan and to assist the sate in the management of PBBs, MSU establishes the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, or what is known today as the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. 
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  • 1978 - cisplatin

    Cisplatin - The "Penicillin of Cancer Drugs"

    Michigan State University | The Food and Drug Administration approves the use of Cisplatin, an MSU innovation that greatly improves the treatment of testicular and some ovarian and colon cancers. 
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  • 1987 Jerome Horwitz

    Creating Hope - First Generation Treatment of Aids

    Wayne State University | WSU researcher Dr. Jerome Horowitz develops the first FDA-approved drug to treat AIDS patients. The discovery of using AZT to treat AIDS gives hope to millions of patients and their families. AZT is still used today to treat AIDS. 
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  • 1988 - wiser

    Evolution in Action

    Michigan State University | The longest running E. coli experiment creates a window into evolution in action. 
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  • mature women exercising on a beach

    Transforming Focus on Women's Health Research

    University of Michigan | Under the direction of professor MaryFran Sowers, the U-M School of Public Health becomes a site for the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN), a multisite longitudinal epidemiological study designed to examine the health of women during their middle years. Sower's groundbreaking research in this and other studies helps transform women's health into a major discipline. 
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  • 1998 - lab on a chip

    DNA Laboratory of a Chip

    University of Michigan | U-M Professor Mark Burns headed up a multidisciplinary team that creates miniature "laboratory on a chip" kits to analyze DNA samples. 
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  • 2001 - U-M Depression Center

    Mainstreaming Depression in Medical Research

    University of Michigan | U-M establishes the Comprehensive Depression Center, the first of its kind - devoted entirely to bringing depression into the mainstream of medical research, transformational care, education, and public policy. 
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  • Hassan

    Reducing Risk of Preterm Labor and Infant Mortality

    Wayne State University | WSU researcher Dr. Sonia Hassan develops a test identifying mothers at high risk for preterm birth. Treating these high-risk mothers with progesterone cuts the risk of early delivery in half. 
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  • 2011 - timeline_radiopharmacy_medicalcyclotron

    On-Campus Radio-Pharmacy Improves Patient Access

    Michigan State University | MSU opens a radio-pharmacy on campus to streamline access to nuclear imaging agents created at an MSU cyclotron. This change means improved access to patients needing advanced imaging. 
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  • 2014 - Anna Ledgerwood

    National Leader - Anna Ledgerwood, M.D.

    Wayne State University | WSU professor Anna Ledgerwood, M.D. is named the first female president of the American Surgical Association. The ASA is the nation's oldest - and considered by many the most prestigious - surgical organization. 
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  • 2015 - terrie-taylor-and-baby-malaria

    Fighting Childhood Death from Cerebral Malaria

    Michigan State University | MSU's Tropical Medicine team discovers the cause of death to children from cerebral Malaria. 

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  • Marcos Dantus smart lasers

    Today & Future Innovations

    University Research Corridor | Researchers across the URC are conducting research that leads to new discoveries and technological innovations that will continue to positively impact people across Michigan and around the world. 
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