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NLM Announces 2018 Michael E. DeBakey Fellows in the History of Medicine

November 28, 2017

Following its June 8, 2017, 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 2018 DeBakey Fellows:

Divyansh Agarwal, MS
MD/PhD Trainee, Perelman School of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Research Project: The DeBakey Method for Today's Aspiring Surgeon-Scientist

Susan Crawford, PhD
Professor and Director Emeritus
Biomedical Communications Center
Washington University School of Medicine
Research Project: Biomedical Communication: The Evolution of a Paradigm

Alyssa F. Gabay
Undergraduate, Senior, Class of 2018
History Honors Program
University of Maryland, College Park
Research Project: Understanding Dr. DeBakey’s Development and Implementation of His Aneurysm Repair Methods and External Ventricular Assist Devices

Sanders Marble, PhD
Senior Historian
U.S. Army Center of History and Heritage
Research Project: Uncovering Michael DeBakey’s War Years

Over the course of the next year, these fellows will undertake their research projects onsite in the History of Medicine Division of the Library, primarily in the Michael E. DeBakey papers 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 papers 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.

The NLM Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine is made possible through a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation. The NLM is authorized to accept donations in support of its mission.

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 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 History of Medicine Division for interviews;
  • author at least one guest blog post for Circulating Now, based on her/his research in the NLM Michael E. DeBakey papers.

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 existing lecture series.

For further information about the materials available for historical research at the NLM, please visit, or contact the NLM’s 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.

Established in 1961 by Michael E. DeBakey, the DeBakey Medical Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting and advancing medical education and evidence-based biomedical research, with the ultimate goal of improving healthcare.


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available at

Last Reviewed: November 28, 2017