1988 Developed the first transgenic mouse, now in use worldwide for cancer research. Experiments with the mouse at Harvard led to a method of preventing a cancer of blood cells common in young children in Africa.
1970s Learned to decode the structure of genes and apply such knowledge to obtain information useful in counseling and medical diagnoses. Walter Gilbert shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this research.
1970s Discovered the genetic system responsible for immunization, allergies, and transplant rejection. Baruj Benacerraf won the 1980 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for this work, which has led to new treatments for cancer and autoimmune diseases.
1971 Discovered the mechanism of blood-vessel growth in tumors. The discovery has applications to numerous medical problems, including cancers, blood-vessel tumors, wound healing, and heart-attack damage.
1960s to Present: Discovered new methods for making drugs and other complex molecules from simple, widely available chemicals. Elias J. Corey received the 1990 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this pioneering work.
1960s to 1970s Explained how electromagnetism and radioactivity are two manifestations of the same force and postulated existence of a charmed quark or new type of subatomic particle. Sheldon L. Glashow and Steven Weinberg shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics for these insights into the nature of matter, which were later confirmed experimentally
1960-61 Invention of the defibrillator and cardioverter, used around the world to control disturbances in heart rhythm.
1960s to Present: Advanced understanding of how the brain processes visual information. David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel shared the 1981 Nobel Prize in Medicine for this research.
1950s to 1970s First synthesized chlorophyll, cortisone, cholesterol, vitamin B-12, and other complex molecules. Robert Burns Woodward won the 1965 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for revealing how to synthesize these natural compounds.
1950s to 1960s Worked out relationships between DNA, genes, and the proteins they produce. James D. Watson shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for co-discovery of the structure of DNA, after which he pursued this work at Harvard.
1950s to 1960s: Demonstrated the potential of insect hormones to control growth and development. A series of basic discoveries by Carroll Williams and others led to more effective types of insecticides.
1954Performed the first human kidney transplant, launching the era of organ transplantation. Joseph E. Murray shared the 1990 Nobel Prize in Medicine for this and subsequent work on preventing transplant rejection.
1952 Developed the heart pacemaker.
1950s – Discovered that vitamin A is essential to vision and plays a major role in color blindness. George Wald received the 1967 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for these findings.
1949 Research on energy levels in atoms led to the invention of extremely accurate atomic clocks and the hydrogen maser. Norman F. Ramsey shared the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physics for this work.
1946 Discovered nuclear magnetic resonance, now used extensively for medical imaging and investigations of molecular structures. Edward M. Purcell shared the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for this accomplishment.