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Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 9, pp 1851–1858 | Cite as

The scientific growth of gastroenterology during the 20th century

The 1994 G. Brohee lecture
  • Joseph B. Kirsner
Intestinal Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Immunology, and Microbiology Review Article
  • 38 Downloads

Abstract

Energized by the growth of the basic sciences during the latter half of the 20th century, gastroenterology advanced from a modest clinical activity to an increasingly scientific discipline. The decisive change followed World War II, when the Office of Scientific Research and Development transferred university and industry wartime research contracts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), followed by establishment of the National Science Foundation and the General Medicine Study Section (NIH). Other factors contributing to the progress of gastroenterology included: (1) the increasing body of scientific knowledge: (2) innovative technological advances: (3) philanthropic, pharmaceutical, and governmental (NIH) support of research; (4) emphasis on controlled clinical and laboratory studies; and (5) the enlarging global scientific communication network. Selected highlights on the evolving knowledge of gastrointestinal hormones and the discovery of cholecystography illustrate some of the pathways of gastroenterology's 20th century advance.

Key Words

20th century gastroenterology 

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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph B. Kirsner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of ChicagoChicago

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