Michael DeBakey

Last updated
Michael DeBakey
Michael DeBakey.jpg
Michael Ellis DeBakey
Born
Michel Dabaghi

(1908-09-07)September 7, 1908
DiedJuly 11, 2008(2008-07-11) (aged 99)
Education Tulane University
Occupation Cardiovascular surgeon
Relatives Lois DeBakey Selma DeBakey
Medical career
ProfessionSurgeon
InstitutionsTulane University
Research
Awards

Michael Ellis DeBakey (7 September 1908 – 11 July 2008) was a Lebanese-American Cardiac surgeon and Vascular surgeon , scientist, and medical educator, who became the chancellor emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, director of The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, and senior attending surgeon of The Methodist Hospital in Houston, with a career spanning 75 years.

Baylor College of Medicine private medical school in Houston, Texas, United States

Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, US, is a health sciences university. It includes a medical school, Baylor College of Medicine; the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; the School of Allied Health Sciences; and the National School of Tropical Medicine. The school, located in the middle of the world's largest medical center, is part owner of Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, part of the CHI St. Luke's Health system, and has hospital affiliations with: Harris Health System, Texas Children's Hospital, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Hermann – The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research, Menninger Clinic, the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center and Children's Hospital of San Antonio.

Houston City in Texas, United States

Houston is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Texas, fourth most populous city in the United States, as well as the sixth most populous in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502. Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populous metropolitan statistical area in the United States and the second most populous in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.

Texas State of the United States of America

Texas is the second largest state in the United States by both area and population. Geographically located in the South Central region of the country, Texas shares borders with the U.S. states of Louisiana to the east, Arkansas to the northeast, Oklahoma to the north, New Mexico to the west, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas to the southwest, and has a coastline with the Gulf of Mexico to the southeast.

Contents

Born to Lebanese Christian immigrants, DeBakey was inspired towards a career in medicine by the physicians he met at his father's drug store and he simultaneously learned sewing skills from his mother. He subsequently attended Tulane University for his premedical course and Tulane University School of Medicine to study medicine, where he developed a version of the roller pump, which he initially used to transfuse blood directly from person to person and which later became a component of the heart–lung machine.

Tulane University United States national historic site

Tulane University is a private research university in New Orleans, Louisiana. It was founded as a public medical college in 1834 and became a comprehensive university in 1847. The institution was made private under the endowments of Paul Tulane and Josephine Louise Newcomb in 1884. Tulane is the 9th oldest private university in the Association of American Universities, which consists of major research universities in the United States and Canada. The Tulane University Law School and Tulane University Medical School are considered the 12th oldest and 15th oldest law and medical schools, respectively, in the United States.

Tulane University School of Medicine

The Tulane University School of Medicine is located in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States and is a part of Tulane University. The school is located in the Medical District of the New Orleans Central Business District.

Peristaltic pump

A peristaltic pump is a type of positive displacement pump used for pumping a variety of fluids, they are also commonly known as roller pumps. The fluid is contained within a flexible tube fitted inside a circular pump casing. A rotor with a number of "rollers", "shoes", "wipers", or "lobes" attached to the external circumference of the rotor compresses the flexible tube. As the rotor turns, the part of the tube under compression is pinched closed thus forcing the fluid to be pumped to move through the tube. Additionally, as the tube opens to its natural state after the passing of the cam fluid flow is induced to the pump. This process is called peristalsis and is used in many biological systems such as the gastrointestinal tract. Typically, there will be two or more rollers, or wipers, occluding the tube, trapping between them a body of fluid. The body of fluid is then transported, at ambient pressure, toward the pump outlet. Peristaltic pumps may run continuously, or they may be indexed through partial revolutions to deliver smaller amounts of fluid.

Following early surgical training at Charity Hospital, he was encouraged to complete his surgical fellowships in Europe, before returning to Tulane University in 1937. During the Second World War, he helped develop the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units and later helped establish the Veteran's Administration Medical Center Research System.

Charity Hospital (New Orleans) Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana

Charity Hospital was one of two teaching hospitals which were part of the Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans (MCLNO), the other being University Hospital. Three weeks after the events of Hurricane Katrina, then Governor Kathleen Blanco said that Charity Hospital would not reopen as a functioning hospital. The Louisiana State University System, which owns the building, stated that it had no plans to reopen the hospital in its original location. It chose to incorporate Charity Hospital into the city's new medical center in the lower Mid-City neighborhood. The new hospital completed in August 2015 was named University Medical Center New Orleans.

DeBakey's surgical innovations included coronary bypass operations, carotid endarterectomy, artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices. He used Dacron grafts to replace or repair blood vessels and pioneered surgical repairs of aortic aneurysms, an operation he had performed on himself at the age of 97.

Carotid endarterectomy Medical procedure

Carotid endarterectomy (CEA) is a surgical procedure performed by vascular surgeons used to reduce the risk of stroke by correcting stenosis (narrowing) in the common carotid artery or internal carotid artery. Endarterectomy is the removal of material on the inside of an artery.

Artificial heart Medical device

An artificial heart is a device that replaces the heart. Artificial hearts are typically used to bridge the time to heart transplantation, or to permanently replace the heart in case heart transplantation is impossible. Although other similar inventions preceded it from the late 1940s, the first artificial heart to be successfully implanted in a human was the Jarvik-7 in 1982, designed by a team including Willem Johan Kolff and Robert Jarvik.

DeBakey received a number of awards in his lifetime including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the National Medal of Science and the Congressional Gold Medal. In addition, a number of institutions bear his name.

Presidential Medal of Freedom Joint-highest civilian award of the United States, bestowed by the President

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the president of the United States. The Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal are the highest civilian awards of the United States. The presidential medal seeks to recognize those people who have made "an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors". The award is not limited to U.S. citizens and, while it is a civilian award, it can also be awarded to military personnel and worn on the uniform.

National Medal of Science science award

The National Medal of Science is an honor bestowed by the President of the United States to individuals in science and engineering who have made important contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the fields of behavioral and social sciences, biology, chemistry, engineering, mathematics and physics. The twelve member presidential Committee on the National Medal of Science is responsible for selecting award recipients and is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Congressional Gold Medal award

A Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress. The Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom are the highest civilian awards in the United States. The congressional medal seeks to honor those, individually or as a group, "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field long after the achievement." However, "There are no permanent statutory provisions specifically relating to the creation of Congressional Gold Medals. When a Congressional Gold Medal has been deemed appropriate, Congress has, by legislative action, provided for the creation of a medal on an ad hoc basis." Thus, there are generally fewer gold medals than presidential medals. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement.

Early life and education

Michael DeBakey was born (as Michel Dabaghi) [1] in Lake Charles, Louisiana on 7 September 1908, to Shaker Morris and Raheeja Debaghi. The name was later anglicized to DeBakey. [2] [3] His parents were Lebanese Christian immigrants, spoke French and fled oppression from the Ottomans to settle in Cajun Country where French was spoken. [4]

Lake Charles, Louisiana City in Louisiana, United States

Lake Charles is the fifth-largest incorporated city in the U.S. state of Louisiana, located on Lake Charles, Prien Lake, and the Calcasieu River. Founded in 1861 in Calcasieu Parish, it is a major industrial, cultural, and educational center in the southwest region of the state.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known to its inhabitants and the Eastern world as Rome (Rûm), and historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. Although initially the dynasty was of Turkic origin, it was thoroughly Persianised in terms of language, culture, literature and habits. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Acadiana Region in Louisiana, United States

Acadiana, is the official name given to the French Louisiana region that was historically home to the state's Francophone population, the Acadians and Cajuns. Many are of Acadian descent and are now identified as Cajun. Of the 64 parishes that make up the U.S. state of Louisiana, 22 named parishes and other parishes of similar cultural environment make up this intrastate region.

His father was a businessman involved in establishing rice farms, drug stores and estate agencies and DeBakey helped out with keeping the books. [1] He was inspired to become a doctor after meeting local physicians while he worked at his father's pharmacy. [5] DeBakey attended school at Lake Charles [5] and was the eldest of five children, having three sisters and one brother, [6] Ernest (Ernie), who would later become a thoracic surgeon. His sisters Lois and Selma also pursued careers in science. There was another sister, Selena. [3]

As a child, he learnt to play the saxophone and was taught by his mother, who was a seamstress, on how to sew, crochet, knit [5] and tat. [6] He could sew his own shirt by the age of 10. He also became intrigued with the Encyclopædia Britannica [1] and is said by colleagues to have read it from beginning to end. He learnt French and German and participated in the Boy Scout troop. In addition, he won awards for the vegetables he had grown in his garden. [3]

Medical school

Tulane School of Medicine Tulane School of Medicine.JPG
Tulane School of Medicine

At Tulane University, DeBakey took two years to complete his premedical course, [3] gaining a BSc in 1929. [1] A year earlier, he had already been granted admission to study medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, where he also took up part-time work in surgical research. [3]

During his final year in medical school at Tulane University, [6] at age 23, and prior to established blood banks, DeBakey adapted old pumps and rubber tubing and developed a version of the roller pump. He then used it to transfuse blood directly and continuously from person to person and this later became a component of the heart–lung machine. [5] [7]

In 1932, he received an M.D. degree from Tulane University School of Medicine. [3]

Postgraduate surgical training

Charity Hospital, New Orleans Charity1.jpg
Charity Hospital, New Orleans
University of Strasbourg Absolute Palais Universitaire 01.JPG
University of Strasbourg

Between 1933 and 1935, DeBakey remained in New Orleans to complete his internship and residency in surgery at Charity Hospital, and in 1935, he received a MS for his research on stomach ulcers. As was the trend for ambitious training surgeons at the time and as his mentors Rudolph Matas and Alton Ochsner had done before him, DeBakey was encouraged to complete his surgical fellowships at the University of Strasbourg, France, under Professor René Leriche, and at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, under Professor Martin Kirschner. [3]

Returning to Tulane Medical School, he served on the surgical faculty from 1937 to 1948. [3]

With his mentor, Alton Ochsner, he postulated in 1939 a strong link between smoking and carcinoma of the lung, a hypothesis which other researchers supported as well. [3]

Second World War

Colonel Michael DeBakey, Medical Corps, US Army, October 1945-February 1946 7410062962 e303caa6fe oMichael DeBakey.jpg
Colonel Michael DeBakey, Medical Corps, US Army, October 1945-February 1946

During the Second World War, DeBakey served in the U.S. Army as Director of the Surgical Consultants’ Division in the Surgeon General's Office. He later held rank of Colonel in the United States Army (Reserve). In 1945, he was awarded the Legion of Merit Award. [8]

DeBakey helped develop the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) units, [5] thereby promoting wartime medicine by supporting the stationing of doctors closer to the front lines, which improved the survival rate of wounded soldiers in the Korean War. [5]

He later helped establish the Veteran's Administration Medical Center Research System. [2] [5] After the war, DeBakey returned to Tulane. [8]

Post war surgical career

Heart Surgeon Michael E. DeBakey Michael E. DeBakey.jpeg
Heart Surgeon Michael E. DeBakey

He joined the faculty of Baylor University College of Medicine (now known as the Baylor College of Medicine) in 1948, serving as Chairman of the Department of Surgery until 1993. DeBakey was president of the college from 1969 to 1979, served as Chancellor from 1979 to January 1996; he was then named Chancellor Emeritus. He was also Olga Keith Wiess and Distinguished Service Professor in the Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Director of the DeBakey Heart Center for research and public education at Baylor College of Medicine and The Methodist Hospital.[ citation needed ]

He was a member of the medical advisory committee of the Hoover Commission and was chairman of the President's Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer and Stroke during the Johnson Administration. He worked in numerous capacities to improve national and international standards of health care. Among his numerous consultative appointments was a three-year membership on the National Advisory Heart and Lung Council of the National Institutes of Health.[ citation needed ]

DeBakey hired surgeon Denton Cooley to Baylor College of Medicine in 1951. They collaborated and frequently worked together until Cooley's resignation from his faculty position at the college in 1969.[ citation needed ]

Vascular surgery

In the 1950s, DeBakey's observations and classification of atherosclerotic blood vessels permitted innovations in the treatments of vascular disease. [8] His pursuit of the ideal material to make grafts led him to the department store that had run out of nylon and he therefore settled with the available Dacron and bought a yard of the material. Using his wife's sewing machine, he produced the first artificial arterial Dacron grafts to replace or repair blood vessels. [2] [5] He subsequently collaborated with a research associate from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science and created a knitting machine for making grafts. [8]

DeBakey performed the first successful carotid endarterectomy in 1953. A year later, he pioneered techniques in grafts for the various parts of the aorta. [8]

DeBakey was among the earlier surgeons to perform coronary artery bypass surgery. A pioneer in the development of an artificial heart, DeBakey was among the first to use an external heart pump successfully in a patient – a left ventricular bypass pump. [3]

In 1958, to counteract narrowing of an artery caused by an endarterectomy, [2] DeBakey performed the first successful patch-graft angioplasty. This procedure involved patching the slit in the artery from an endarterectomy with a Dacron or vein graft. The patch widened the artery so that when it closed, the channel of the artery returned to normal size.[ citation needed ]

Film

In the 1960s, DeBakey and his team of surgeons were among the early instances of surgeries on film. [7]

Views on animal research

DeBakey founded and chaired the Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR), whose goal is to promote public understanding and support for animal research. DeBakey made wide use of animals in his research. [9] He antagonized animal rights and animal welfare advocates who oppose the use of animals in the development of medical treatment for humans when he claimed that the "future of biomedical research; and ultimately human health" would be compromised if shelters stopped turning over surplus animals for medical research. [10] Responding to the need for animal research, DeBakey stated that "These scientists, veterinarians, physicians, surgeons and others who do research in animal labs are as much concerned about the care of the animals as anyone can be. Their respect for the dignity of life and compassion for the sick and disabled, in fact, is what motivated them to search for ways of relieving the pain and suffering caused by diseases." [11]

Later surgical career

DeBakey continued to practice medicine until his death in 2008 at the age of 99. His contributions to the field of medicine spanned the better part of 75 years. DeBakey operated on more than 60,000 patients, including several heads of state. [12] DeBakey and a team of American cardiothoracic surgeons, including George Noon, supervised quintuple bypass surgery performed by Russian surgeons on Russian President Boris Yeltsin in 1996. [13]

Health issues

On December 31, 2005, at age 97, DeBakey suffered an aortic dissection. Years prior, DeBakey had pioneered the surgical treatment of this condition, creating what is now known as the DeBakey Procedure. [6] He was hospitalized at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas.[ citation needed ]

DeBakey initially resisted the surgical option, but as his health deteriorated and DeBakey became unresponsive, the surgical team opted to proceed with surgical intervention. In a controversial decision, Houston Methodist Hospital Ethics Committee approved the operation; on February 9–10, he became the oldest patient ever to undergo the surgery for which he was responsible. The operation lasted seven hours. After a complicated post-operative course that required eight months in the hospital at a cost of over one million dollars, DeBakey was released in September 2006 and returned to good health. [13]

Selected honours and awards

The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to DeBakey 2007 Michael DeBakey Congressional Gold Medal front.jpg
The Congressional Gold Medal awarded to DeBakey

DeBakey became a member of numerous learned societies, gained 36 honorary degrees and was the recipient of hundreds of awards. [8]

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1969. In 1987, President Ronald Reagan awarded him the National Medal of Science. [14] He was a Health Care Hall of Famer, a Lasker Luminary, and a recipient of The United Nations Lifetime Achievement Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Foundation for Biomedical Research and in 2000 was cited as a "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress. On April 23, 2008, he received the Congressional Gold Medal from President George W. Bush, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. [15] [16] [17]

DeBakey's major awards include; [3] [8] [18]

Others awards include;

Personal and family

DeBakey married Diana Cooper after returning from Europe in 1937 and they had four sons; Michael and Dennis, Ernest and Barry. [3] However, Diana died in 1972 and he later married German actress Katrin Fehlhaber, with whom he had a daughter Olga-Katarina. [5]

DeBakey has been described as a "tough taskmaster" by colleagues and trainees. [25] Jeremy R. Morton, a former trainee of DeBakey described how “he could be sweet as dripping honey when it came to patients and medical students, but could be brutal with surgical residents." [5]

Death and legacy

On July 11, 2008, DeBakey died at The Methodist Hospital in Houston, two months before his 100th birthday; the cause of death remained unspecified. [6] [26] After lying in repose in Houston's City Hall, being the first ever to do so, [27] DeBakey received a memorial service at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on July 16, 2008 [28] Dr. DeBakey was granted ground burial in Arlington National Cemetery by the Secretary of the Army. [29] On January 21, 2009, DeBakey became the first posthumous recipient of The Denton A. Cooley Leadership Award. [30]

Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society

In 1976, DeBakey's trainees students founded the Michael E. DeBakey International Cardiovascular Surgical Society, which later changed its name to the Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society. Every two years, the Michael E. DeBakey Award is given. [8] [31]

Michael E. DeBakey Library and Museum

In early 2008, Dr. DeBakey attended the groundbreaking for the new Michael E. DeBakey Library and Museum at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, [32] honoring his life, work, and dedication to care and teaching. The museum officially opened on Friday, May 14, 2010. [33]

DeBakey Medical Foundation

In honor of DeBakey, the DeBakey Medical Foundation, in conjunction with Baylor College of Medicine, annually selects recipients of the Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., Excellence in Research Awards. [34] The awards recognize faculty who have published outstanding scientific research contributions to clinical or basic biomedical research. The awards are funded by the DeBakey Medical Foundation and have funded researchers from the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy at Texas Children's Cancer Center. [35]

The Foundation helped to establish the Michael E. DeBakey, Selma DeBakey and Lois DeBakey Endowed Scholarship Fund in Medical Humanities at Baylor University. The scholarship designates award recipients as "DeBakey Scholars" in recognition of the legacy of the DeBakey family. [36]

Other DeBakey institutes

DeBakey High School for Health Professions DeBakeyHighSchoolHouston.JPG
DeBakey High School for Health Professions

The DeBakey High School for Health Professions, the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston at the Texas Medical Center in Houston are named after him. He had a role in establishing the Michael E. DeBakey Heart Institute at the Hays Medical Center in Kansas. Several atraumatic vascular surgical clamps and forceps that he introduced also bear his name. [37] DeBakey founded the Michael E. DeBakey Institute at Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences as a collaboration between Texas A&M, the Baylor College of Medicine and the UT Health Science Center at Houston to further cardiovascular research.[ citation needed ]

Selected publications

DeBakey's writings are reflected in his authorship or co-authorship in more than 1,300 published medical articles, chapters and books on various aspects of surgery, medicine, health, medical research and medical education, as well as ethical, socio-economic and philosophic discussion in these fields. In addition to his scholarly writings, he co-authored popular works including The Living Heart, The Living Heart Shopper's Guide and The Living Heart Guide to Eating Out. Some of the references:

DeBakey worked on his first book with Gilbert Wheeler Beebe after the Second World War:

Related Research Articles

Denton Cooley American heart surgeon

Denton Arthur Cooley was an American heart and cardiothoracic surgeon famous for performing the first implantation of a total artificial heart. Cooley was also founder and surgeon in-chief of The Texas Heart Institute, chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at clinical partner Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, consultant in Cardiovascular Surgery at Texas Children's Hospital and a clinical professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

DeBakey High School for Health Professions

Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions (DHSHP) is a medical secondary school located in the Medical Center area of Houston, Texas, United States. It is a part of the Houston Independent School District (HISD).

Houston Methodist Hospital Hospital in Texas, United States

Houston Methodist Hospital is the flagship hospital of Houston Methodist. Located in the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas, Houston Methodist Hospital was established in 1919 during the height of the Spanish influenza epidemic as an outreach ministry of Methodist Episcopal Church. Houston Methodist comprises seven community hospitals, a continuing care hospital as well as several emergency centers and physical therapy clinics throughout greater Houston.

Pierre Rene Grondin, MD was a Canadian cardiac surgeon who was one of the first doctors to perform a successful heart transplant. He was legendary in his surgical abilities and style and brought many innovations to the Montreal Heart Institute after his post-graduate training with pioneers Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley in Houston, Texas. He was one of a select few heart surgeons worldwide who participated in the development of open heart surgery using the heart-lung machine in the early 1960s. He performed the first Canadian heart transplantation at the Montreal Heart Institute in May, 1968 shortly after the first successful heart transplant in the world in December, 1967 in Cape Town, South Africa by Dr. Christiaan Barnard.

Rafael Espada Guatemalan politician

Dr. José Rafael Espada is a former Vice President of Guatemala and a former cardiothoracic surgeon.

Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Houston Hospital in Texas, United States

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Norman Edward Shumway was a pioneer of heart surgery at Stanford University. He was the 67th president of the American Association for Thoracic Surgery and the first to perform an adult human to human heart transplantation in the United States.

Charles D Fraser, Jr. is the medical director and surgeon of the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease at Dell Children's Medical Center. Formerly, Fraser was chief of congenital heart surgery and cardiac surgeon-in-charge at Texas Children's Hospital, the nation's largest pediatric hospital, served as chief of the Congenital Heart Surgery Division at Baylor College of Medicine, and director of the Adult Congenital Heart Surgery Program at the Texas Heart Institute.

Michael J. Reardon is an American cardiac surgeon and medical researcher. He is known for his work in heart autotransplantation for cancerous heart tumor, an operation in which the surgeon removes the patient’s heart, cuts out the malignant tumor, and reimplants the heart back in the patient’s chest. He performed the first successful heart autotransplantation for a cancerous heart tumor in 1998.

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Charles Rob

Charles Granville Rob was a British surgeon who pioneered techniques in the repair of damaged blood vessels, particularly the operation to unblock arteries of the neck, known as carotid endarterectomy and of the aorta when treating aortic aneurysms.

Lois DeBakey was a Lebanese-American professor of scientific communications at Baylor College of Medicine and Tulane University School of Medicine and with her sister Selma, created the first medical school communication courses that were curriculum-approved. DeBakey served on the National Library of Medicine Board of Regents and was the sister of Michael DeBakey, the cardiovascular surgeon and medical educator.

Selma DeBakey was a Lebanese-American professor of scientific communication at Baylor College of Medicine and improved the field of medical writing and editing by designing and teaching courses to help doctors improve their academic writing and provide clear and concise medical information to patients. Selma worked closely with two of her siblings at Baylor College of Medicine, sister Lois DeBakey, a professor of scientific communication, and brother Michael DeBakey, a cardiovascular surgeon.

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