Clinical and Research Breakthroughs

The UH Department of Medicine has a rich history of clinical innovation and scientific breakthroughs. Over the years, a number of our faculty members have made significant discoveries that have shaped the practice of medicine today, including:

  • 1902 - John James Macleod, MD, conducts research leading to the discovery of insulin.
  • 1906 - Harry Sloan, MD, performs world's first successful blood transfusion.
  • 1915 - H.J. Gerstenberger, MD, and C. Wycoff, MD, develop simulated milk formula (Similac) for infants.
  • 1917 - David Marine, MD, Lakeside pathologist, launches a study that determines goiter can be prevented and cured by iodine supplementation, leading to the availability of iodized salt around the world.
  • 1947 - Claude Beck, MD, performs first successful human heart defibrillation.
  • 1952 - Claude Beck, MD, develops cardiopulmonary resuscitation method (CPR).
  • 1953 - Oscar Ratnoff, MD, discovers Hageman blood factor, a blood component essential for clotting. This work leads to the discovery of the Fitzgerald Factor (Factor XI) in 1975.
  • 1960 - Austin Weisberger, MD, performs first gene modification in a test tube.
  • 1973 - George Bernier, MD, and Richard Graham, MD, discover how to distinguish between malignant cells that lead to a blood disorder called multiple myeloma from their normal counterparts.
  • 1976 - Arnold Powell, MD, PhD, John Makley, MD, and Charles Hubay, MD, develop a new test for detecting the presence of cancer using only a small sample of blood.
  • 1977 - Kenneth Warren, MD, and Adel Mahmoud, MD, establish the first geographic medicine program in the United States for the prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.
  • 1978 - Ohio's first bone marrow bank was established by Roger Herzig, MD.
  • 1980 - Saul Genuth, MD, leads the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) and its follow-up study on the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC), setting the standards for managing patients with diabetes.
  • 1983 - Roger Herzig, MD, and Hillard Lazarus, MD, develop new regimens for the treatment of acute leukemia (high dose ara-C and high dose malphalam with autologous hematopoietic cell) that remain a mainstay of leukemia treatment worldwide.
  • 1985 - Oscar Ratnoff, MD, and Michael Lederman, MD, describe HIV infection in patients with hemophilia later determined to come from HIV-contaminated blood products.
  • 1987 - Ireland Cancer Center, led by Nathan Berger, MD, in collaboration with Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, MetroHealth Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, becomes the only NCI-designated Comprehensive Clinical Cancer Center in the area.
  • 1980 - Albert Waldo, MD, discovers entrainment, a fundamental technique to identify and treat heart arrhythmias.
  • 1989 - Olaf Pearson, MD, and Charles Hubay, MD, pioneered the use of tamoxifen for breast cancer, still widely used today.
  • 1991 - Stanton Gerson, MD, publishes the first description of a DNA repair gene - MGMT - that can prevent leukemia after carcinogen exposure. This serves as the basis for the treatment of glioma and the stem cell gene therapy program developed in 2009.
  • 1994 - Robert Palmer, MD, Seth Landefeld, MD, and Jerry Kowal, MD, launched the country's first Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) inpatient unit.
  • 2005 - Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, discovers a new stool DNA test that becomes the first commercial stool DNA test for detecting colon cancer, approved by the American Cancer Society and FDA as an alternative to colonoscopy.
  • 2008 - Mukesh Jain, MD, identifies Kruppel-like factors, a family of genetic factors regulating critical aspects of cardiovascular biology, innate immunity and metabolism.
  • 2010 - Marco Costa, MD, performs first clinical optical coherence tomography (OCT) coronary artery imaging procedure in the United States.
  • 2011 - Daniel Simon, MD, Alan Markowitz, MD, and Marco Costa, MD, successfully perform the world's first transaortic valve implantation (TAVI).
  • 2014 - Kingman Strohl, MD, develops the first in Ohio and among the first in the nation, minimally invasive mask-free treatment for sleep apnea.
  • 2014 - Daniel Simon, MD, and Hiram Bezerra, MD, perform the first HeartFlow Fraction Flow Reserve-CT angiography non-invasive imaging procedure for the diagnosis of heart disease in the United States.
  • 2014 - Jackson Wright, MD, PhD, authors new results from Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) showing that maintaining a new, lower target for systolic blood pressure results in lower heart attack, stroke and death rates.
  • 2015 - Jonathan Stamler, MD, discovers that hemoglobin carries a third gas - nitric oxide - which regulates oxygen delivery and blood flow to tissues.
Back to Top