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Alexis Carrel

Alexis CarrelAKA Alexis Marie Joseph Auguste Carrel-Billiard

Born: 28-Jun-1873
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-les-Lyon, France
Died: 5-Nov-1944
Location of death: Paris, France
Cause of death: Heart Failure
Remains: Buried, Chapel of St. Yves, Saint Gildas, Cotes-du-Nord, France

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Doctor

Nationality: France
Executive summary: Sutured blood vessels

Military service: French Army Medical Corps (1914-19, Maj.)

Using a small needle and very fine silk thread, Alexis Carrel developed the first successful technique for suturing blood vessels together. He then devised methods to prevent infection during surgery. For this work he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1912.

Though Carrel was a deft surgeon, he was denied tenure at the University of Lyon, where his colleagues thought he was peculiar after he wrote an account of a miracle he said he had witnessed at Lourdes. He performed some of the earliest blood transfusions between humans, and transplanted kidneys and legs between dogs. In his most famous experiment, he removed a small amount of tissue from an embryonic chicken's heart, immersed it in nutrients, and was able to keep this tissue alive in his lab. Decades later, after Carrel's own death in 1944, the chicken tissue was intentionally allowed to die.

In his book Man, the Unknown, he endorsed eugenics and advocated destroying humanity's "inferior stock" in gas chambers. For the German edition of the book he wrote a special introduction praising the Nazis.

Father: Alexis Carrel-Billiard (silk merchant, d. 1878)
Mother: Anne Ricard Carrel
Wife: Anne-Marie-Laure Gourlez de La Motte (lab assistant, m. 26-Dec-1913, no children)

    High School: St. Joseph School, Lyon, France
    University: BA, University of Lyon (1889)
    University: BS, University of Lyon (1890)
    Medical School: MD, University of Lyon (1900)
    Teacher: Anatomy and Operative Surgery, University of Lyon (1900-04)
    Teacher: Physiology, University of Chicago (1904-06)
    Scholar: Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research (1906-14)
    Administrator: Carrel Foundation for the Study of Human Problems

    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1912
    French Legion of Honor
    Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Appears on the cover of:
Time, 13-Jun-1938, DETAILS: (pictured with Charles Lindbergh)

Author of books:
The treatment of Infected Wounds (1918, research)
Man, the Unknown (1935, autobiography)
The Culture of Organs (1938, research)
Prayer (1944, nonfiction)
Reflections On Life (1953, non-fiction, published posthumously)


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