NLM Announces 2020 Michael E. DeBakey Fellows in the History of Medicine


December 16, 2019

Following its April 9, 2019, call for applications to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine, the NLM is pleased to announce its 2020 DeBakey Fellows:

Christopher Crenner, MD, PhD
Department of the History and Philosophy of Medicine University of Kansas Medical Center
Research Project – Ulcers: The Rise and Decline of a Surgical Disease

Marcos Cueto, PhD
Casa Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Research Project – Global AIDS and Brazil

Daniel G. Cumming, MA
PhD Candidate in History
New York University
Research Project – Social Determinants of Health in Baltimore

Allison A. Hill-Edgar, MD, MFA
Artist and Independent Scholar
New York Academy of Art, and the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, NY
Research Project – Reframing Anatomical History Through the Female Body

Todd M. Olszewski, PhD
Department of Health Policy and Management
Providence College
Research Project – Mission and Mandate: Biomedical Politics and Science Administration at the National Institutes of Health

Christopher J. Phillips, PhD
Department of History Carnegie Mellon University
Research Project – Number Doctors: Health, Statistics, and the Reformation of Medical Knowledge

Over the course of the next year, these fellows will undertake their research projects onsite in the History of Medicine Division of the Library, not only in the Michael E. DeBakey papers but also in other parts of the NLM historical collections which span ten centuries, encompass variety of digital and physical formats, and originate from nearly every part of the globe.

The NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine is made possible through a gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation.

Michael E. DeBakey (1908-2008) was a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman. During a career spanning 75 years, his work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. He pioneered dozens of operative procedures such as aneurysm repair, coronary bypass, and endarterectomy, which routinely save thousands of lives each year, and performed some of the first heart transplants. His inventions included the roller pump (a key component of heart-lung machines) as well as artificial hearts and ventricular assist pumps. He was a driving force in building Houston’s Baylor University College of Medicine into a premier medical center, where he trained several generations of top surgeons from all over the world. Michael DeBakey was instrumental in bringing the NLM to the NIH campus and served for many years on NLM’s Board of Regents.

In addition to undertaking their research projects, the NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey Fellows will be expected to:

  • consult with NLM staff on existing finding aids and related resources, to improve the Library’s knowledge of the collections, so this knowledge can be better shared;
  • meet the expectations of the NIH public access policy for publicly supported work, and acknowledge the NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine in any resulting publications;
  • be available to the NLM Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL) and History of Medicine Division for interviews;
  • author at least one guest blog post for Circulating Now, based on her/his research, as previous fellows have done and which are available as a collection here.

Selected fellows will be invited to return to the Library to present an annual NLM Michael E. DeBakey Lecture in the History of Medicine, as part of the History of Medicine Division’s annual lecture series.

For further information about the materials available for historical research at the NLM, please visit, or contact the NLM History of Medicine reference desk at NLM Customer Support or by phone at 301-402-8878. Questions about the NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine may be directed to these same points of contact.

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