Skip Navigation Bar
NLM logo

NLM Announces 2017 Michael E. DeBakey Fellows in the History of Medicine

December 16, 2016

Earlier this year, 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 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.

Following on the first call for applications to the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine, the Library is pleased to announce its 2017 Michael E. DeBakey Fellows:

Justin Barr, MD, PhD
General Surgery Resident, Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina
Research Project: Michael E. DeBakey and his Seminal Role in the Creation, Adoption, and Application of Arterial Repair

Kurt Dasse, PhD
President & CEO, GeNO LLC
Cocoa Beach, Florida
Research Project: Inside the Creative Mind of Dr. Michael E. DeBakey and His Everlasting Impact on Medical Technology

Craig A. Miller, MD
Scholar-in-Residence, Medical Cultural Heritage Center
The Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio
Research Project: A Comprehensive Biography of Michael E. DeBakey

Heidi Morefield, MSc
Doctoral student, Department of the History of Medicine
The Johns Hopkins University
Baltimore, Maryland
Research Project: Making Technology Appropriate: Health, Development, and Modernization in the Global Cold War

Andrew Simpson, PhD
Assistant Professor of History, Department of History
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Research Project: Making the Medical Metropolis: Health Care and the Post-Industrial Transformation of Pittsburgh and Houston

Over the course of the next year, these individuals 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 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 scholarly resulting works;
  • be available to the NLM's Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL) and History of Medicine Division for interviews, including one for Circulating Now, the blog of the NLM's History of Medicine Division;
  • author at least one guest blog post for Circulating Now, the NLM History of Medicine Division's popular blog, based on her/his research in the NLM Michael E. DeBakey archives.

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 National Library of Medicine, please visit, or contact the NLM's History of Medicine reference desk by email at NLM Customer Support or by phone 301-402-8878. Questions about the 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 NLM is authorized to accept donations in support of its mission.


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: May 22, 2017