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The Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine

Michael DeBakey standing in blue scrubs and a white lab coat with his hands on his hips.

Michael E. DeBakey, 1980

Reproduced with permission of Aaron Shikler

In February 2016, the National Library of Medicine received a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation to support enhanced access to the Michael E. DeBakey Archives at the NLM and to establish the NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine.

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.

Requirements

NLM and the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) have established a partnership to administer the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine. Anyone over the age of eighteen, of any academic discipline and status is invited to apply during the application period, open each summer. Selected Fellows will be notified and awards will be announced in December of each year. Non-U.S. citizens may apply.

Fellowships of up to $10,000 will be awarded to individual applicants, not to institutions, to help offset the costs associated with visiting and using the NLM collections during the calendar year following the application and selection. Fellowship awards may not be used for institutional costs or overhead (e.g. clerical costs, supplies, or other attendant project expenses).

During the calendar year following their selection, Fellows will undertake their research projects onsite in the History of Medicine Division of the Library, primarily in the Michael E. DeBakey archives which reflect the vast range of subjects from Michael E. DeBakey’s professional career—from surgery to health care policy, medical libraries and expanding access to medical information, medical technology to medical ethics, military medicine to veteran health, humanitarianism to international diplomacy in the medical arena. The Library’s Michael E. DeBakey archives contain correspondence, administrative records, diaries, transcripts, publications, speeches, conference and awards material, subject files, photographs, and audiovisual media, which reflect the vast expanse of Dr. DeBakey’s life, achievements, and interests as a world-renowned medical statesman, innovator, and champion of humanitarianism and life-long learning.

In addition to undertaking research projects, NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellows are required 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’s Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine in any resulting scholarly works;
  • be available to the NLM’s Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL) and the History of Medicine Division for interviews;
  • author at least one guest blog post for Circulating Now based on research in the NLM Michael E. DeBakey archives.

Selected fellows may 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 existing lecture series.

How to Apply

The application period for the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine is open from May to September each year. Specific opening and closing dates are announced on this webpage and through a formal call for applications issued in news releases, social media, and other outlets commonly used by the history of medicine community.

Further information about the materials available for historical research at the National Library of Medicine can be found on this website or by contacting the NLM’s History of Medicine reference desk at NLM Customer Support or by phone 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.

NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellows in the History of Medicine

2018 DeBakey Fellows

Divyansh Agarwal, MS
Research Project: The DeBakey Method for Today's Aspiring Surgeon-Scientist

Susan Crawford, PhD
Research Project: Biomedical Communication: The Evolution of a Paradigm

Alyssa F. Gabay
Research Project: Understanding Dr. DeBakey’s Development and Implementation of His Aneurysm Repair Methods and External Ventricular Assist Devices

Sanders Marble, PhD
Research Project: Uncovering Michael DeBakey’s War Years


2017 DeBakey Fellows

The Library announced its 2017 Michael E. DeBakey Fellows in December 2016.

Justin Barr, MD, PhD
Research Project: Michael E. DeBakey and his Seminal Role in the Creation, Adoption, and Application of Arterial Repair

Kurt Dasse, PhD
Research Project: Inside the Creative Mind of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey and His Everlasting Impact on Medical Technology

Craig A. Miller, MD
Research Project: A Comprehensive Biography of Michael E. DeBakey

Heidi Morefield, MSc
Research Project: Making Technology Appropriate: Health, Development, and Modernization in the Global Cold War

Andrew Simpson, PhD
Research Project: Making the Medical Metropolis: Health Care and the Post-Industrial Transformation of Pittsburgh and Houston