Medical researcher Leon O. Jacobson, MD’39, performs the first bone marrow transplant. He discovered he could save a mouse whose bone marrow and spleen had been destroyed by transplanting donated spleen tissue into the mouse. The procedure now helps thousands of patients with cancer and other diseases each year.
Cancer researcher Charles B. Huggins treats patients suffering from advanced prostate cancer by removing the hormone the cancers needed to grow. Hormonal treatment has since become a mainstay of care for several types of cancer, including breast and gynecological cancers.
Research at the University of Chicago leads to fluoridation of water nationwide.
Building on the work of cancer researcher Charles B. Huggins, Elwood Jensen and fellow medical researcher Eugene Desombre identify the precise mechanism through which hormones drive cancer—by binding to a receptor protein in cells. The finding opens a new therapeutic front in breast cancer, leading to targeted treatments credited with saving many lives each year.
Alan Rechtschaffen, PhD, and Gerry Vogel, PhD, publish a paper on narcolepsy, the first true sleep disorder to be clinically defined.
Biochemist Donald F. Steiner, SM’56, MD’56, discovers proinsulin, the first “pro-hormone” and precursor to insulin. The finding leads to the synthetic production of human insulin, markedly improving therapy for diabetes sufferers, and lays the groundwork for improved understanding of how other proteins in the body are made.
Janet Rowley, MD, finds that a particular type of leukemia results when two chromosomes abnormally exchange genetic material. Her findings help establish the genetic causes of cancer.
Biochemist Eugene Goldwasser isolates erythropoietin (EPO), the hormone behind red blood cell formation. The discovery allows then start-up Amgen to identify and clone the gene behind EPO and then employ “recombinant” engineering to develop the first blockbuster drug of the biotech age, which has since treated millions with anemia.