Johns Hopkins’ Firsts

What's the discovery of adrenaline, the "Young Punch," an artificial kidney and the first tissue culture all have in common? They are part of Johns Hopkins' history. Read little-known facts  about Hopkins' physicians and faculty whose research and medical care made a difference.

1897 – John Jacob Abel, the nation’s first full-time pharmacology professor, discovers what he calls “epinephrine,” also now known as adrenalin, a natural substance produced by the adrenal glands. It becomes a crucial, first-line treatment for heart attacks and severe allergic reactions, among other conditions.

1909 – Urologic surgeon Hugh Young invents the “Young Punch” for treating enlarged prostates without resorting to invasive surgery. In 1915, Johns Hopkins’ James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute, the first of its kind associated with a university and teaching hospital, was opened under Young’s leadership, thanks to the philanthropy of James “Diamond Jim” Brady, a multimillionaire railroad equipment magnet on whom Young had used his “Young Punch” to successfully treat for an enlarged prostate in 1912.

1906 – Anatomist Ross Granville Harrison takes spinal cord cells from a frog embryo and a drop of lymph sac fluid to create the first tissue culture. Harrison’s method forms the basis of modern tissue culture technique, a cornerstone of today’s medical research, enabling scientists to study isolated living cells in a controlled environment. It remains the most efficient technique for studying living cells and tissue. Harrison’s student, John Enders, later used Harrison’s method to grow polio virus cultures, leading to the development of the Salk polio vaccine.

1913 – Pharmacologist John Jacob Abel invests the first “artificial kidney” dialysis device. From 1924 to 1927 ,  Abel became the first to purify and crystallize insulin, a key to developing a safe treatment for diabetes.



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Sheryl G December 17, 2013 at 10:07 am

Cool info!


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