University of Louisville School of Medicine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Established 1837
Type Public
Endowment 480.9 million
Dean Toni Ganzel, MD, MBA, FACS
Students 630
Location Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Campus Urban
Colors Red, White and Black          ;    
University of louisville school of medicine black.gif

The University of Louisville School of Medicine at the University of Louisville is a medical school located in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. Opened as the Louisville Medical Institute in 1837, it is one of the oldest medical schools in North America.[1]

University of Louisville researchers participated in the development of the first ever cancer vaccine in 2006, the first implantation of the first fully self-contained artificial heart,[2] the first successful hand transplant in the world, the first five hand transplants in the United States and nine hand transplants in eight recipients as of 2008,[3] first discovery of embryonic-like stem cells in adult human bone marrow, and the first proof that adult nasal stem cells can grow to become other types of cells.[4] In 2013, U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Louisville School of Medicine #76 in research in its annual list of Best Medical Schools in the United States.,[5] Kosair Children's Hospital ranked among the top 50 children's hospitals in the country and nationally ranked in six categories: No. 21 in cancer care, 24 in orthopaedics, 24 in pulmonology, 29 in neurology and neurosurgery, 31 in urology, 40 in cardiology and heart surgery, and 51 in nephrology.[6]

The school offers several dual degree programs including MD/MS, MD/MA, MD/MBA, MD/MPH, and MD/PhD degrees. For the 2013 entering class, 159 students enrolled in the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program.

In May 2013, Dr. Toni M. Ganzel was selected as the next dean of the School of Medicine.[7] The school is undergoing extensive renovation to its undergraduate medical school facilities.


Louisville Medical Institute[edit]

By the early 1830s, Louisville had become a center for inland transportation into the United States. Seeking to develop cultural institutions, citizens (notably town trustee and future United States Secretary of the Treasury James Guthrie) called for a medical school to be founded in Louisville. The city government appropriated funds for a new medical school at Eighth and Chestnut Streets. Much of the Louisville Medical Institute's early faculty came from Transylvania Medical Institute in Lexington, Kentucky. Theodore Stout Bell, a prominent physician at Transylvania Medical Institute, helped initiate this faculty transfer by suggesting that Louisville would have better clinical cadavers for medical study than Lexington.[8] Classes at the Louisville Medical Institute began in temporary quarters in fall 1837, eventually moving to a building designed by Kentucky architect Gideon Shryock eight months later. Clinical teaching took part in the wards of Louisville City Hospital (now University Hospital). By the early 1840s, University of Louisville School of Medicine had become a distinguished center for medical education, attracting students from a wide variety of locations in the southern and western United States.[9][10]

University of Louisville Health Sciences Campus

University of Louisville Medical Department[edit]

In 1846, by ruling of the Kentucky Legislature, the Louisville Medical Institute became the Medical Department of the newly founded University of Louisville. Many notably physicians and researchers became affiliated with the medical department, including Daniel Drake, Charles Wilkins Short, J. Lawrence Smith, Benjamin Silliman, and David Wendell Yandell.[11]

Health Sciences Center[edit]

The 1960s saw a period of major growth in the University of Louisville Medical Department. University officials began construction of a Health Sciences Center, where health-related study and research would take place and the School of Medicine would be located. The Health Sciences Center included a 120,000-square-foot Medical-Dental Research Building (opened in 1963), new buildings to house the medical and dental schools, a library, and laboratory buildings. Vice President for health affairs Harold Boyer oversaw state appropriation of funds for the construction of a new teaching hospital and ambulatory care center.[12][13]

In 1997, the Kentucky General Assembly approved House Bill 1, also known as the Higher Education Reform Act. It included the mandate that the University of Louisville become a premier metropolitan research university by 2020.[14] Today, the Health Sciences Center features over 200,000 square feet of state-of-the-art research facilities, a standardized patient clinic and one of the largest academic medical simulation centers in the United States.

There are five hospitals within walking distance on the Health Sciences Center campus, with the VA Hospital 5 minutes away, where students perform their clinical rotations. The Louisville Medical Center serves more than 500,000 patients each year:


Throughout its history, the University of Louisville School of Medicine has been a pioneer in terms of modern medical practice and surgical procedure. Notably, the University of Louisville housed the world’s first emergency room, opened in 1911 and developed by surgeon Arnold Griswold in the 1930s. Griswold also developed autotransfusion, the process by which a person receives their own blood for a transfusion rather than banked donor blood.

In 1998, Dr. Roberto Bolli led a U of L team that identified an intracellular molecule that could protect the heart from ischemic myocardial damage. This group presented its findings to 40,000 cardiologists at the 1998 American Heart Association (AHA) conference. Dr. Bolli also headed a U of L team that was awarded an $11.7 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute – part of the National Institutes of Health – to continue to build on this research in 2005, marking the largest nationally-competitive NIH grant awarded to the University. NIH reviewers rated the proposed research program as exceedingly innovative and potentially high-impact, noting that it addresses an extremely important clinical problem in a way that will move treatments from the laboratory to the patient as quickly as possible. Using highly unusual language, the reviewers called the proposal “a paradigm of what a program project grant should be.”[15] Dr. Bolli is or has been on the editorial board of all major cardiovascular journals and is the Editor in Chief of Circulation Research. He has been a member of numerous NIH study sections and committees and is a member of the NHLBI Advisory Council. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association.

Surgeons from the University of Louisville in cooperation with the Kleinert and Kutz Hand Care Center and Jewish Hospital performed the first five hand transplants in the United States. The Hand Center performed one of the world's first cross-hand replantations, first reported repair of the digital artery, first bilateral upper arm replantation, first bilateral forearm replantation, first reported successful technique for primary flexor tendon repair, and first vascularized epiphyseal transfer. This center has pioneered work in primary reconstruction using free tissue transfer. The Christine M. Kleinert Institute hand surgery fellowship program is one of top fellowships in the world for hand and microsurgery.[16]

In 2001, University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital physicians and researchers, Drs. Laman A. Gray, Jr. and Robert D. Dowling, performed the world's first implantation of the AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart on July 2, in a seven-hour procedure at Jewish Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. University of Louisville Cardiothoracic surgeons have performed many other novel procedures, including Kentucky's first heart transplant, the world's first heart transplant following the use of a Thoratec left ventricular assist device, the world's first endoscopic saphenous vein harvest and the first ventricular remodeling in the region.[17]

The James Graham Brown Cancer Center' an affiliate of Kentucky One Health and University of Louisville School of Medicine, have made a remarkable number of important discoveries which has launched the center into the international stage. These discoveries include:

  • First description of Very Small Embryonic-like Stem Cells
    • These "embryonic-like" stem cells, which are isolated from bone marrow, will revolutionize clinical applications of stem cells and further the understanding of cancer metastasis
  • First development of a tobacco-based cancer vaccine'
    • Drs. A. Bennett Jenson and Shin-je Ghim, innovators of the world's first 100% effective cancer vaccine have begun work to develop a less expensive vaccine with an increased spectrum of activity. This vaccine will be produced in tobacco plants, one of Kentucky's abundant crops.
  • First clinical use of G-rich oligonucleotide adptamer therapy for cancer
    • Drs. Trent and Bates discovered a new growth inhibitor activity of G-rich oligonucleotides which have proved effective in early phase clinical trials with no toxicity noted in humans. The drug, AS1411, is now in Phase II clinical trials.
  • First atomic-level study of lung cancer metabolism in human patients
    • Scientists in the Structural Biology Program have used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to follow glucose metabolized by patients with lung cancer to demonstrate differences between normal and malignant lung tissue
  • First use of digoxin to enhance the effects of chemotherapy in lung cancer
    • James Graham Brown Cancer researchers used laboratory findings to design a clinical trial in which the cardiac drug, digoxin, is used as a supplement of chemotherapy treatment. Early results from the trial suggested the treatment will result in the highest response rate for melanoma ever reported.
  • First use of beta-glucan as an immunostimulant for human cancer therapy
    • Brown Cancer researchers, led by Dr. Gordon Ross, discovered that beta-glucan can markedly enhance the immune response of mice to injected tumors. This treatment is now being tested for the first time in humans at the University of Louisville and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
  • First use of colored berries to prevent cancer in high risk individuals
    • Dr. Ramesh Gupta is the first to show that colored berries can prevent the development of cancer in animals and is preparing the first human clinical trial using this approach.

Brown Cancer Center scientists have developed three novel cancer treatments that are in early phase trials. Additionally, at least twenty-seven new drugs or targets which are in various stages of preclinical testing have also been developed. These treatments mark one of the most robust pipelines of any cancer center in the world. Accordingly, a biotech company partially owned by the University of Louisville/Brown Cancer Center, Advanced Cancer Therapeutics, has been initiated to ensure drugs are developed locally and quickly. The goal of the cancer center is to achieve National Cancer Institute designation, a goal they are on track to receive in the near future.


The general applicant pool has become increasingly more competitive. Kentucky residents are selected for 120 of the approximately 155 seats in the School of Medicine program each year. Out of state seats are awarded to those with superior academic achievement, MCAT scores, research, community service and/or ties to Kentucky.

The entering Class of 2013 consisted of:

  • An overall GPA of 3.64; with BCPM (science) GPA average of 3.56
  • An average MCAT score of 10 in each test area; O in Writing Sample (30/O)
  • 63 Colleges and Universities represented
  • 32 of the matriculates were University of Louisville graduates
  • 60% male, 40% female
  • African Americans make up 7% of the class[18]

The School of Medicine offers several joint degree programs including MD/MA through the Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Bioethics and Medical Humanities, MD/MS through the School of Public Health & Information Sciences, MD/MBA through the UofL College of Business, and MD/PhD through any of the basic research departments in the School of Medicine: Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Pharmacology & Toxicology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, Microbiology & Immunology and Physiology & Biophysics. Arrangements can be made in special cases to design a program based in one of the degree-granting programs located at UofL's Belknap Campus.

Upon matriculation, each incoming student is assigned to one of six Advisory Colleges.

  • Moore College
  • Bodine College
  • Fitzbutler College
  • Gross College
  • Yandell College
  • Pickett College

Notable alumni[edit]

The School of Medicine has numerous notable alumni, including 14 past presidents of the American Medical Association.

Samuel E. Adunyah, M.D. – Professor and Chair of the Department of Cancer Biology at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee. His research serves as a model to study molecular signal transduction mechanism which has the potential to aid in the clinical management of sickle cell diseases, thalassemia, prostate cancer, and myeloid dyplastic syndrome.

William Akers, M.D. – Developed the SPF sun protection rating system. He was head of dermatology research for Syntex Pharmaceutical Corporation in Palo Alto. He also enjoyed a 25 year career in the Army and served as chief of dermatology research at the Letterman Army Institute of Research.

Anthony Atala, M.D, – is the W.H. Boyce Professor and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and chair of the department of urology at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina. Dr. Atala led the team that developed the first lab-grown organ, a bladder, to be implanted into a human.

William H. McBeath, M.D., MPH, - was the executive director of the American Public Health Association for twenty years, earning the organization's prestigious Sedgwick Memorial Medal in recognition of his contributions upon his retirement.[19]

AMA Presidents

Irvin Abell, M.D. – A surgeon from Louisville, Dr. Abell taught on the faculties of the Louisville Medical College and University of Louisville. Dr. Abell was the first Grand Presiding Senior (president) of Phi Chi Medical Fraternity in 1897. He also served as president of the American College of Surgeons and Southeastern Surgical Association. During World War II, Dr. Abell headed the national committee that consulted with the Department of Defense on matters of public health.

Hoyt Gardner, M.D. – Dr. Gardner served as president of the AMA during a period of contentious debate about increased government involvement in the regulation of healthcare delivery. He served as a delegate to the World Health Organization Conference where his strategies helped to develop the groundwork for modern healthcare quality concepts. He also served as past national president of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. Under his leadership, the fraternity began addressing the mounting concerns surrounding alcohol problems with a pilot program in a way that respected an individual’s right to choose.

Donald Baxter, M.D. – Dr. Baxter discovered the pyrogen-free solutions and equipment of IV used in hospitals today.

William M. Christopherson, M.D. – Dr. Christopherson is a pioneer in the areas uterine cervical cancer and has served as president of the American Association for Cancer Education, the American Society of Cytology, the Arthur Purdy Stout Society of Surgical Pathologist and the International Academy of Pathology. In 1986, Humana, Inc. established a chair in pathology in his honor.

James W. Fisher, M.D. – Dr. Fisher is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology at Tulane University. Dr. Fisher is known throughout the world for his research on erythroprotein (Epo). Epo is approved for use as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of anemia in kidney dialysis and AIDS patients.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. – Dr. Kahn is the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the chief academic officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center. He previously served as their president and research director. He is an outstanding clinical investigator whose research interests are in insulin receptors and insulin action, insulin-like growth factors, diabetes mellitus, hypoglycemia and immunity, autoimmunity and viruses in endocrine disorders.

Brian Lukey, Ph.D. – Dr. Lukey is a Colonel in the U.S. Army and an international authority in chemical warfare research, and directs research specializing in sustaining and enhancing the performance and long-term health of soldiers.

Mark Newman, MD – Dr. Newman has been Chair of the Duke University Medical Center Department of Anesthesiology since 2001. He is known for his research to better understand and improve cognitive decline after cardiac surgery.

Maurice Rabb, Jr., M.D. – Dr. Rabb was an African-American ophthalmologist widely known for his pioneering work in cornea and retinal vascular diseases. Dr. Rabb was also recognized for his efforts to expand opportunities for doctors from underrepresented communities through the National Medical Association.

Dorothy ‘Dot’ Richardson, M.D. – Dr. Richardson is best known as leading the 1996 U.S. Olympic softball team to their first-ever gold medal over China during the Atlanta games.

Forest Shely, M.D. – Dr. Shely was a physician in Campbellsville, Kentucky and holds the distinction of serving as a trustee for Campbellsville University for 56 years. This is the longest serving trustee for Campbellsville University. Dr. Shely was the medical director of several area nursing homes and the first administrator of Taylor County Hospital. He served as chairman of both the Taylor County and Lake Cumberland district boards of health. He was a member of the Taylor County Mental Health Board, Taylor County Public Library Board, and the Campbellsville-Taylor County Rescue Advisory Board. He was chairman of the board of Citizens Bank and Trust Company in Campbellsville.

Dixie Snider Jr., M.D., MPH – Dr. Snider is senior advisor at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prior to this he served as assistant Surgeon General (rear admiral) and chief science officer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has a long-standing reputation as an epidemiologist dedicated to the elimination of tuberculosis and other mycrobacterial diseases.

Loman C. Trover, M.D. – Dr. Trover spearheaded the founding of what is now known as Trover Foundation, which includes the Regional Medical Center and services Madisonville and the surrounding rural Kentucky counties.

Raymond L. Woosley, Jr., M.D. – Dr. Woosley has received numerous awards including the Food and Drug Administration Commissioner’s Special Citation for making the public and Congress aware of the dangers of the dietary supplement ephedrine. Woosley’s research on the antihistamine, Seldane, guided the discovery of fatal abnormalities in heart rhythms as a potential side effect. This research led to the discovery of fexofenadine, which is marketed under the name Allegra.[20]


  1. ^ Horne EF (1933). A history of the Louisville Medical Institute and of the establishment of the University of Louisville and its School of Medicine, 1833-1846. OCLC 795623666. 
  2. ^ "Robert L. Tools". Retrieved 2006-06-08. 
  3. ^ "America's First Successful Hand Transplant – One Year Later". 2000-01-31. Archived from the original on 2009-03-31. Retrieved 2009-03-31. 
  4. ^ "University of Louisville Firsts". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  5. ^ "University of Louisville Best Medical Schools". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  6. ^ "Kosair Children’s Hospital’s cancer care program ranked among top in country from U.S. News & World Report’s ‘Best Children’s Hospitals’ list". Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  7. ^ "Dr. Toni Ganzel named dean of UofL School of Medicine". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  8. ^ Papangelis P. "Medical Schools". In Kleber JE. The encyclopedia of Louisville. p. 604. OCLC 247857447. 
  9. ^ Cox D. "Louisville Medical Institute". In Kleber JE. The encyclopedia of Louisville. p. 561. OCLC 247857447. 
  10. ^ Horine, Emmet Field (July 1933). "History of the Louisville Medical Institute". Filson Club Historical Quarterly 7 (3). 
  11. ^ Horine EF. A history of the Louisville Medical Institute and of the establishment of the University of Louisville and its School of Medicine, 1833-1846. 
  12. ^ "University of Louisville College Portrait". Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  13. ^ "University of Louisville | Best Medical School | US News". Retrieved September 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ "HSC Master Plan". Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  15. ^ "Roberto Bolli". Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Christine M Kleinert Institute Fellowship Programs". Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  17. ^ "AbioCor Implantation". Retrieved May 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ "School of Medicine Statistics". Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  19. ^
  20. ^ "University of Louisville Points of Pride". University of Louisville. Retrieved May 22, 2013.