1932 Dr. Roy McCullagh posited the existence of inhibins (important proteins related to sex hormones and reproductive health), pioneering the early ideas that led to their isolation decades later.
Dr. Irvine Page, Cleveland Clinic’s inaugural Director of Research, and collaborators Drs. Arda Green (pictured) and Maurice Rapport isolated the hormone serotonin, a discovery that served as the basis of much modern brain chemistry research and treatment.
1950s Dr. Willem Kolff (at left leaning on the patient's bed) perfected his kidney dialysis machine, the first “artificial kidney” ever to be developed. Utilizing his machine, Cleveland Clinic was the first site in the United States to make kidney dialysis available to patients. Also during Dr. Kolff’s tenure, he helped to develop heart-lung machines to maintain cardiac and respiratory functions during cardiac surgery.
Dr. F. Merlin Bumpus synthesized angiotensin-II, a vasoconstrictor that helps to increase blood pressure. Its naturally occurring form was first isolated in the blood by Dr. Irvine Page 12 years earlier. Both leaders in the field of hypertension research, their discoveries laid the foundation for many anti-hypertensive therapies.
1960 Dr. Irvine Page (pictured left), with the help of Drs. Helen Brown (pictured right) and Jerome Green, served as the national leader of the National Heart-Diet Study (funded by the National Institutes of Health), which ran until 1965 and was the country’s first large study to investigate the connection between lipids (dietary fat) and atherosclerosis. The study, whose diet was designed to reduce dietary cholesterol in an effort to curb heart and vascular disease, was revolutionary in bringing modern ideas on a healthy diet to the American public.
Dr. Harriet Dunstan was among the first to recognize and describe renal arterial hypertension (high blood pressure due to narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the kidneys). Together with Dr. Eugene Poutasse, the two pioneered renal vascular surgery to combat renal hypertension.
Dr. Subha Sen isolated and purified myotrophin, a protein intimately linked with cardiac hypertrophy and which can cause heart failure.
Drs. Charis Eng (pictured) and Rosemary Teresi identified a new class of molecules involved in thyroid cancer, a discovery which laid the groundwork for the development of the first molecular test for thyroid cancer in 2008.
Dr. Vincent Tuohy published results of a successful preventive breast cancer vaccine in mice. He is still working today to advance this vaccine for use in patients.
Dr. Edward Plow discovers that foam cells—a hallmark of atherosclerosis—are regulated by the blood protein plasminogen.
Dr. Nima Sharifi discovered a gene variant that renders androgen-deprivation therapy (or medical castration) ineffective for men with prostate cancer and leads to the development of more aggressive, treatment-resistant cancer.
Dr. Stanley Hazen (pictured middle) found in a landmark study that TMAO—a dietary-linked, gut microbe-produced metabolite—alters platelet function and increases risk for heart attack and stroke. In a subsequent study published in 2018, Dr. Hazen designed a potential new class of drugs that may reduce cardiovascular disease risk by blocking this microbial pathway in the gut, the most potent therapy to date that works by “drugging” the microbiome.
Research engineer Karl West (pictured right) developed imaging software using Microsoft HoloLens technology that was used in the world’s first total face transplant, enabling surgeons to visualize in 3-D how to overlay the donor and recipient’s facial anatomy.
Dr. Paul Marasco engineered a new method that utilizes strategic muscle vibration to restore natural movement sensation in patients with prosthetic arms, also providing improved spatial awareness and fine motor control without requiring patients to visually monitor the prosthesis.
Dr. Bruce Trapp (pictured right) discovered a novel subtype of multiple sclerosis, one that uniquely features neuronal loss but no white matter demyelination, which is a hallmark feature of the more traditional form of the disease.