Medical Achievements

Throughout the history of University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics there have been several medical achievements that stand out among a multitude of others.

Timeline of Achievements

  • 1935 – Lee E. Travis is the first to record human activity with an EEG.
  • 1939 – Elmer L. DeGowin, MD, develops modern-day blood banking which demonstrated that it is safe to refrigerate, ship, and use banked blood.
  • 1944 – William D. “Shorty” Paul, MD, developed buffered aspirin, which later became known as “Bufferin,” and also developed Rolaids.
  • 1950s – Early in the 1950s, Ignacio Ponseti, MD, developed the first non-surgical method to treat clubfoot. The Ponseti Method is still being used worldwide as the best way to treat clubfoot.
  • 1952 – UI establishes the first cryobank for frozen semen.
  • 1953 – The first baby conceived with sperm stored in a cryobank is born at University Hospitals.
  • 1980 – Edward Mason, MD, and his team develop the most common surgical method for severe obesity: Vertical Banded Gastroplasty.
  • 1984 – Roger Gingrich, MD, develops the first bone marrow donor registry.
  • 1987 – A three-year-old-boy, Tim Brandau, receives the first cochlear implant designed for children by Bruce Gantz, MD.
  • 1988 – Monzer Abu-Yousef, MD, is the first in the world to introduce the “Water-Simethicone-Rotation” technique to improve pancreatic visualization by ultrasound.
  • 1992 – First hospital in the United States to have a National Institute of Health funded center for research on anemia in newborn babies.
  • 1992 – Virtual Hospital® is launched. It is one of the first 250 websites on the Internet and a premiere source for health information.
  • 1993 – Joseph Zabner, MD, and Michael Welsh, MD, develop the nation’s first successful, though temporary, gene therapy to correct the defect in cystic fibrosis.
  • 1994 –First baby born in Iowa under 400 grams (13th in the world).
  • 1997 – World’s first bilateral cochlear implant during the same surgical procedure.
  • 1997 – Researchers identify the gene responsible for glaucoma.
  • 2005 – At the time, the smallest patient in the world to undergo robotic surgery (Amber Vairo) happened under the care of John Meehan, MD.
  • 2005 –First hospital in the U.S. with a functioning BabySim® to practice on.