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Alexis Carrel (1873-1944) was a noted French surgeon who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for inventing a method to suture blood vessels.
Born in 1873 in Lyon, France, Carrel earned an M.D. from the University of Lyon in 1900. In 1904, he moved to the United States where he worked first at the University of Chicago and then at the Rockefeller Intitute for Medical Research in New York City. Carrel conducted experiments to keep organs alive outside the body.
During World War I, Carrel served as a Major in the French Army Medical Corps. At this time, he also helped to develop the Carrel-Dakin method of using antiseptic solutions to prevent infection during suregries. After World War I, Carrel returned to the Rockefeller Institute. During his second stint there, he researched for that institution from 1919 to 1939. He continued his experiments on surgery and the transplantation of organs and tissues. Carrel also worked with famous American airman Charles Lindbergh to develop a machine to support organs removed from the body.
Carrel returned to France during World War II. He generated controversy when he remained in Paris during the Nazi occupation and received Vichy support for his French Foundation for the Study of Human Problems. Carrel died before World War II ended.
Carrel wrote several books including "Man, the Unknown" (1935) and "Voyage to Lourdes" (1950).
Carrel received the last rites from the Roman Catholic Church. He died in 1944 in Paris.
[Sources: Encyclopedia Britannica Online; encyclopedia.com Online; and nobelprize.org Online].
Originally donated by wife of Alexis Carrel to the Society of Jesus, which then transferred the materials to the Georgetown University School of Medicine. From there, the collection transferred to the Georgetown University Library, circa 1953 and 1990s.
For collection description, please request access to typed finding aid.
Alexis Carrel papers, GTM530913, Georgetown University Library Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Washington, D.C. https://findingaids.library.georgetown.edu/repositories/15/resources/10631 Accessed October 19, 2021.