Alexis Carrel


Alexis Carrel

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

Alexis Carrel
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1912

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 Carrel 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.

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