Monday, October 06, 2003

The winners of the 2003 Nobel prize in medicine were announced today. They are Paul C. Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, "for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging". MRI is becoming an indispensible tool in modern diagnosis, like CT scanning (which also netted a Nobel for its developers). Over the years nine surgeons (4 general or vascular surgeons, 2 ophthalmologists, 1 each of urology, orthopedics ,and ENT) have won the Nobel prize.
The winners are....
Theodor Kocher "for his work on the physiology, pathology and surgery of the thyroid gland"
Allvar Gullstrand "for his work on the dioptrics of the eye"
Alexis Carrel "in recognition of his work on vascular suture and the transplantation of blood vessels and organs" The father of vascular and transplant surgery.
Robert Barany "for his work on the physiology and pathology of the vestibular apparatus"
Frederick Grant Banting "for the discovery of insulin" The orthopedist of the group.
Walter Rudolf Hess "for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs"
Werner Forssmann "for ... discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system" . This is what he did:
...he was the first to develop a technique for the catheterization of the heart. This he did by inserting a cannula into his own antecubital vein, through which he passed a catheter for 65 cm and then walked to the X-ray department, where a photograph was taken of the catheter lying in his right auricle....
Pretty impressive.
Charles Brenton Huggins "for his discoveries concerning hormonal treatment of prostatic cancer"
Joseph E. Murray "for..... discoveries concerning organ and cell transplantation in the treatment of human disease" . The only living surgeon laureate.
Interesting that an imaging technique wins the medicine award, since the person who started it all Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen won the prize in physics.
The Nobel website is here.
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