Department's Clinical and Research Breakthroughs

The 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 shaped the practice of medicine today:

  • 1902 - Jaohn 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 infant simulated milk formula (similac).
  • 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 essentional for clotting. This work leads to the discovery of the Fitzgerald Factor (Factor XI) in 1975.
  • 1960 - Austin Weisberger, MD, performs first modification of gene 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, 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 follo-up study on the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions adn Complications (EDIC), setting the standards of 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 mainstray of leukemia treatment world-wide.
  • 1985 - Oscar Ratnoff, MD, and Michael Lederman, MD, describe HIV infection in patients with hemophilia later to be 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 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 inpatient unit.
  • 2005 - Sanford Markowitz, MD, PhD, discovers a new stool DNA test that becomes the first commercial stool DNA 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 U.S.
  • 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 U.S.
  • 2014 - Jackson Wright, MD, PhD, authors new results from Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) showing that maintaining a new, lower targer 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 flows to tissues.