Animals in Johns Hopkins’ History

Here's some trivia about animals that were mentioned as part of Hopkins' history.

  • What does a Triple Crown winner have to do with neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins ? In 1947, Triple Crown champion Assault, winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, funded a neurology fellowship at Hopkins. A close relative of the horse's owner, Robert Kleberg, had been a patient at Hopkins. A grateful Kleberg donated the winnings.
  • Using a pig, Tony Kalloo, Division of Gastroenterology chief, and a team of gastrointestinal surgeons and biomedical engineers performed the first successful experimental endoscopic suturing of the stomach lining.
  • Vivien Thomas, the lab technician and surgical assistant to Alfred Blalock, contributed to the development of procedures used in the blue baby operation to correct heart defects. He refined his intricate procedures by practicing on hundreds of dogs to re-create the blue baby condition in them and  them fix it. These methods were later safely used in humans.
  • On his first day of work, Thomas assisted Blalock with a surgical experiment on a dog
  • Adolf Meyer, director of the Phipps Psychiatric Clinic from 1921 to 1941, enjoyed hosting dinners at his home and practical jokes. At dinners he and his wife hosted at his home for first year students, he ceremoniously lift the lid from a dome-covered silver platter to reveal a flustered, live turkey.
  • The Department of Art as Applied Medicine created a poster that was sent into space with astronaut Rick Linneman, who trained in Hopkins' then-Division of Comparative Medicine. The poster included the monkeys, mice, dogs, amphibians and other animals that traveled in space.

Source: Leading the Way: A History of Johns Hopkins by Neil Grauer

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }


Alison Coker July 8, 2014 at 11:21 am

I agree with JG's remark (above), and given the great possible alternatives, think it's tragic that as fine and highly respected an institution as Johns Hopkins is not instead in a position to crow about obtaining results in a manner that inflicts no harm, pain or death on any animal.


Tracy July 9, 2014 at 8:44 am

I agree with JG & Alison. Johns Hopkins should be talking about all of the new, modern, more realistic ways to do research and training. Testing and "practicing" on animals is outdated and unnecessary. Johns Hopkins is a leader in many ways. They should take the lead in this as well.


CAF July 8, 2014 at 10:01 am

How many people who receive medical treatment reflect back upon the millions of non-human animal lives that went into shaping those treatments? The 'owner' of Assault thought to give back. How many of us have done the same to better any animal's life?


J G July 8, 2014 at 9:45 am

I know it is for good reason.. but for the animal defenders that work at JHH... I think it is in bad taste to remind us that we do animal testing.


CLAUDIA STREET July 8, 2014 at 8:17 am

On August 3,1992 a pig liver was used by Johns Hopkins hospital to save the life of Robin Okon
by filtering her blood, this great procedure was performed by Dr. Andrew Klein


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