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A History of Firsts

Yale has a history of contributions to the field of medicine that have had a major impact on the health of people around the world. Some of these are:

1896 Arthur Wright produces first X-ray
1942 Introduction of life-saving penicillin to the United States
1942 First use of chemotherapy as a cancer treatment in the U.S.
1946 First U.S. hospital to allow healthy newborns to say in rooms with mother.
1947 Yale-New Haven Hospital opens the first rheumatic fever-cardiac clinic, one of the nation's first regional heart centers
1949 Developed first artificial heart pump in the U.S.
1949 First U.S. hospital to introduce natural childbirth as a general service
1957 First hospital to use fetal heart monitoring
1958 Discovery of melatonin
1959 First antiviral drug developed
1960 World's first intensive care unit for newborns
1966 Phrenic nerve pacemaker allows quadriplegics to breathe without a respirator
1966 "Morning-After" birth control pill developed
1972 First hospital-based newborn screening program for sickle cell anemia in the U.S.
1975 Lyme disease identified and named
1978 FDA approved timolol to treat glaucoma, the first effective therapy for the disease since the early 1900s
1979 First insulin pump for diabetes
1980 The first genetically modified mouse (these are now used in the early stages of research to develop treatment for diseases
1985 First fetal cardiovascular center in the U.S.
1994 FDA approved Zerit, a drug to treat HIV and part of the three-drug “cocktail” that extended the lives of many tens of thousands of people with HIV/AIDS worldwide
1997 The discovery of a mechanism of protein folding, a step toward understanding neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease
1997 First documented heart transplants of adult identical twins, one in 1992, second in 1997
2010 First to use high-throughput DNA sequencing to diagnose a disease
2014 Genomic analysis leads to the discovery, diagnosis, and treatment of a rare disease