Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.
Born: 28 June 1873, Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, France
Died: 5 November 1944, Paris, France
Affiliation at the time of the award: Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, New York, NY, USA
Prize motivation: "in recognition of his work on vascular suture and the transplantation of blood vessels and organs."
Prize share: 1/1
The circulatory system, which plays a key role in transporting substances throughout the body, consists of the heart and blood vessels. During the first decade of the 20th century, Alexis Carrell developed methods for sewing blood vessels together. These were very significant for surgery and allowed new ways of studying health problems. It also laid the groundwork for transplant surgery. For a long time, transplants were impossible because the immune system would reject transplanted organs, but medications later made them possible.