Chapter 6: Milestones

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Chapter 6: Milestones

Selected Historical Milestones, Deans of the School of Medicine

Historical Milestones of the School of Medicine

  • 1826 - Anatomical Hall designed and built by Jefferson.
  • 1827 - Faculty expanded to include John Patton Emmett, Ph.D., Jefferson’s professor of natural history, who later became professor of chemistry and materia medica, and Thomas Johnson, M.D., professor of surgery.
  • 1828 - First University degrees awarded to four medical graduates.
  • 1832 - Medical catalogue describing the first admissions requirements to any medical school.
  • 1840 - Policy initiated that a comprehensive examination would be the sole criterion for the M.D. degree.
  • 1846 - Description of inflammation by Augustus L.Warner, M.D., professor of anatomy, physiology, and surgery.
  • 1850 - John Lawrence Smith, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and material medica, invented the inverted microscope.
  • 1859 - Publication of “The Testimony of Modern Science to the Unity of Mankind” by James Lawrence Cabell, M.D., professor of anatomy and surgery. The work advanced the idea of evolution one year before publication of Darwin’s “Origin of Species.” Cabell founded the National Board of Health which in 1880 became the U.S. Public Health Service. Cabell was a full professor at the School of Medicine for 52 years (1842-1889) and was an early pioneer of the sanitary preparation of the surgical patient following Lister’s principles.
  • 1869 - Walter Reed received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Reed determined the transmission of yellow fever by the mosquito.
  • 1888 - Clinical description of epidemic pleurodynia by William Cecil Dabney, M.D., professor of medicine, obstetrics, and medical jurisprudence.
  • 1892 - Medical course lengthened to two years.
  • 1893 - Hugh S. Cumming received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Cumming was surgeon general of the U.S. Public Health Service, 1922-1936, and vice president of the Health Section of the League of Nations. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
  • 1894 - Hugh Hampton Young received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Five years later he was made head of the Department of Urological Surgery at Johns Hopkins. His operation for excision of the prostate stands as one of the milestones of modern surgery and urology.
  • 1895 - Medical course extended to three years.
  • 1896- Paul Barringer, M.D., LL.D., professor of physiology and surgery, was chairman of the faculty of the University of Virginia. Barringer oversaw major revision of the medical curriculum with the addition of the clinical years of education. He also was the main driving force behind the construction and staffing of the first University of Virginia Hospital. He later became president of Virginia Polytechnic and State University in Blacksburg.
  • 1898 - Medical course lengthened to four years.
  • 1901 - Opening of the University of Virginia Hospital (25 beds). Dr. Paul Barringer named superintendent.
  • 1903 - Wade Hampton Frost received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Frost established epidemiology as a science. He introduced the cohort theory of tuberculosis and was the founding dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
  • 1904 - William Gay Christian, M.D., professor of anatomy and surgery, appointed dean of the Department of Medicine.
  • 1905 - Richard Henry Whitehead, M.D., LL.D., dean of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine named first dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine. Whitehead reorganized the hospital to a primarily teaching facility. He emphasized scholarship and basic science well in advance of the Flexner Report.
  • 1916 - Theodore Hough, Ph.D., professor of physiology and biochemistry, named dean. Hough engaged Abraham Flexner, his personal friend, to campaign against removal of the School of Medicine and Hospital to Richmond.
  • 1924 - James Carroll Flippin, M.D., professor of clinical medicine, became dean. Flippin brought all medical departments together in the medical school building, constructed in 1929.
  • 1925 - 1928 - Homer William Smith, M.D., commonly acknowledged as the founder of modern renal physiology, was professor of physiology. Smith developed the concepts of clearance methodology for measurement of renal plasma flow and glomerular filtration rate.
  • 1929 - New medical school building opened (cost $1.4 million).
  • 1928 - 1952 - Sidney William Britton, Ph.D., professor of physiolgy and Herbert Silvette, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, demonstrated that the adrenal cortex contained a hormone, not epinephrine, which influenced carbohydrate storage and metabolism.
  • 1935 - 1967 - Alfred Chanutin, Ph.D., professor and chair of biochemistry, discovered the role of red blood cell 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) in oxygen transfer from hemoglobin. This finding had enormous impact on the preservation of blood for transfusion therapy.
  • 1938 - Harvey F. Jordan, Ph.D., D.Sc., a distinguished histologist and embryologist, became dean. Jordan was the first to suggest that intercalated discs are contraction bands of cardiac muscle and that vascular smooth muscle does not differentiate into striated muscle. Jordan organized the Eighth Evacuation Hospital Unit and appointed Dr. Staige Davis Blackford as director in 1942.
  • 1939 - Dupont Guerry III, M.D. intern, and William Wirt Waddell Jr., a pediatrician, discovered the role of vitamin K in the etiology, treatment, and prevention of hypoprothrombinemia and hemorrhagic disease of the newborn.
  • 1939 - 1943 - Eugene M. Landis, M.D., who performed the first direct measurements of capillary pressure and permeability, was professor and head of the Department of Internal Medicine.
  • 1943 - Leonard Malis received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Malis became professor and chair of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He introduced new instruments and techniques to neurosurgery, was the first to use a microscope in the operating room, and introduced the field of microsurgery. He set world standards for removal of meningiomas and acoustic neuromas.
  • 1949 - Vernon W. Lippard, M.D., became dean. At that time there were 48 medical faculty. Lippard served for 4 years and became dean at Yale medical school. He pushed for the modernization of the University of Virginia Hospital.
  • 1953 - Thomas H. Hunter, M.D., became dean. Hunter established international outreach programs in medical education. He also demonstrated synergism between penicillin and streptomycin in the treatment of subacute bacterial endocarditis and, together with Joseph Fletcher, developed the discipline of clinical ethics. Hunter received the Thomas Jefferson Award of the University in 1970 and the Abraham Flexner Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges in 1988.
  • 1954 - Gerald D. Aurbach received his M.D. degree from the University of Virginia. Aurbach isolated and purified parathyroid hormone, determined that parathyroid hormone acts through cyclic AMP, and demonstrated that pseudohypoparathyroidism is a disorder of the parathyroid hormone receptor complex. Aurbach was a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • 1960 - New University Hospital (682 beds) completed at a cost of $6.5 million.
  • 1962 - Kenneth R. Crispell, M.D., a noted endocrinologist, named dean. Crispell built the main section of Jordan Hall, the Primary Care Center, and the Health Sciences Library. He recruited 10 clinical and 5 basic science department chairs.
  • 1962 - Henry B. Mulholland, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Medicine and a noted diabetologist, received the Thomas Jefferson Award of the University of Virginia.
  • 1972 - William R. Drucker, M.D., a noted general surgeon, named dean.
  • 1971 - S.Ward Casscells, a medical alumnus, introduced arthroscopy of the knee joint into practice in the United States.
  • 1971 - 1981 - Alfred G. Gilman, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pharmacology discovered G-proteins, cellular mediators of hormone action, for which he received the 1989 Albert Lasker Award and the 1994 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology.
  • 1970 – 1983 - Ferid Murad, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine, discovered that endothelium-derived relaxing factor is nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator by stimulating guanylyl cyclase. Murad received the Albert Lasker Award in 1996 and the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 1998 for this discovery.
  • 1954 - 1976 - William H. Muller Jr., M.D., was professor and chair of the Department of Surgery. He pioneered the surgical treatment of pulmonary hypertension and invented one of the first artificial aortic valves. Muller was president of the American College of Surgeons and received the Thomas Jefferson Award of the University in 1982.
  • 1966 - 1988 - Robert M. Berne, M.D., professor and chair of physiology, pioneered adenosine in cardiovascular function and introduced adenosine as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of supraventricular tachycardia. Berne was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1988.
  • 1969 - 1998 - Edward W. Hook Jr., M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Medicine, received the Thomas Jefferson Award of the University in 1996. Hook performed pioneering research in infectious disease, developed an outstanding Department of Medicine, and initiated the Humanities in Medicine Program. He was president of the American College of Physicians and the American Clinical and Climatological Association.
  • 1977 - 1986 - Norman J. Knorr, M.D., a psychiatrist, served as dean. Knorr initiated shared facilities for medical science and built the first section of the Medical Research Building (MR-4).
  • 1976 - Michael O.Thorner, M.B.B.S., D.Sc., professor of  medicine, discovered a new hypothalamic hormone, growth hormone releasing hormone. Thorner received the 1995 NIH General Clinical Research Centers Award for his work in clinical neuroendocrinology.
  • 1986 - 2002 – Robert M. Carey, M.D. served as dean. An internationally recognized endocrinologist, Carey founded departments of health evaluation sciences, emergency medicine, radiation oncology and physical medicine and rehabilitation. He initiated a clinical trials center, a biomedical ethics center, a humanities in medicine program, a generalist medicine program, a program in international health, a digestive health center of excellence, and a clinical cancer center. He developed new research centers in cell signaling, structural biology, retrovirology, reproduction, immunology and cardiovascular sciences.
  • 1989 - University of Virginia Replacement Hospital (556 beds), planned and developed by William H. Muller Jr., M.D., vice president for health sciences, was dedicated.
  • 1995 - Barry Marshall, M.B.B.S., Associate Professor of Internal Medicine, received the Albert Lasker Award Medicine for his discovery that the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is the cause of peptic ulcer disease and also is associated with gastric carcinoma.
  • 2002 - Arthur Garson, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., appointed dean. Garson, a pediatric cardiologist and former president of the American College of Cardiology, led the first Health System-wide strategic planning effort, and established a Master in Public Health Program, the Academy of Distinguished Educators, the Center on Health Care Disparities, the Patient Education Institute, and the Virginia Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
  • 2002 - Janine Jagger, Ph.D., an epidemiologist and director of the International Health Care Worker Safety Center, was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship for her groundbreaking research on how to protect health care workers from the transmission of blood-borne diseases.
  • 2005 - Barry Marshall, M.B.B.S., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his “discovery of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease.”

Deans of the School of Medicine

  • Steven T. DeKosky, M.D. 2008–Present 
  • Sharon L. Hostler, M.D. (Interim) 2007-2008
  • Arthur Garson, Jr., M.D. 2002-2007
  • Robert Munson Carey, M.D. 1986-2002
  • Norman John Knorr, M.D. 1977-1986
  • William Richard Drucker, M.D. 1972-1977
  • Kenneth Raymond Crispell, M.D. 1964-1971
  • Thomas Harrison Hunter, M.D. 1953-1964
  • Vernon William Lippard, M.D. 1949-1952
  • Harvey Ernest Jordan, Ph.D. 1939-1949
  • James Carroll Flippin, M.D. 1924-1938
  • Theodore Hough, Ph.D. 1916-1924
  • Richard Henry Whitehead, M.D. 1905-1916