John Harley Warner, Ph.D., chair of the Section of the History of Medicine at the School of Medicine, was named Avalon Professor of the History of Medicine by the Yale Corporation in December.

Warner is an expert on the cultural and social history of medicine in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. In his current research, he is analyzing the narrative accounts found in historical patient records to illuminate the evolution of modern medical practice.

After receiving his doctorate in the history of science from Harvard University in 1984, Warner was a postdoctoral fellow at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine in London. He joined the medical school faculty as assistant professor of the history of medicine in 1986 and became chair of the section in 2002.

Under Warner’s leadership as founding chair in 2002 of the newly constituted Program in the History of Science and Medicine, Yale College’s undergraduate major in the History of Science/History of Medicine, one of Yale’s 10 largest majors, attracts about 40 new students per year.

Warner is the author of numerous scholarly articles and two books, Against the Spirit of System: The French Impulse in Nineteenth-Century American Medicine and The Therapeutic Perspective: Medical Practice, Knowledge, and Identity in America, 1820–1885, which was awarded the William H. Welch Medal from the American Association for the History of Medicine in 1991.

Warner is the third Yale faculty member to be named to the Avalon Professorship, which was established with a grant from the Avalon Foundation, now part of the Mellon Foundation, in the early 1960s.