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Who discovered Heparin?

3 Jul 2017
Heparin
https://vimeo.com/223279428

Who discovered Heparin? Was it Jay McLean, the student? Or was it its teacher, William Howell? What is clear is that, 100 years ago, that scientific discovery Made his mark on the history of medicine forever.

Dr. Bernardo Romero, cardiovascular surgeon Trias i Pujol University Hospital

Heparin is a substance that was discovered by accident like many of the major discoveries in science and medicine. In fact it was a medicine student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore who discovered there was a substance that stopped blood from coagulating.

Dr. Robert Linhardt, biochemist Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

It was a medical student, a young medical student who discovered heparin; Jay McLean working for Professor Howell.

Dr. James Marcum, philosopher and medical historian Baylor University

McLean was given a project by Howell to look for substances that actually promoted or facilitated blood coagulation.

Dr. Robert Linhardt, biochemist Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

And he found this extract that he added to the blood, prevented blood from clotting.

Dr. James Marcum, philosopher and medical historian Baylor University

The scientific community looked to the person who has really the seniority and Howell really did the work.

Dr. Robert Linhardt, biochemist Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The person who made the first observation was certainly Jay McLean.

Dr. James Marcum, philosopher and medical historian Baylor University

Mc Lean was part of that process but really not the focal point for the discovery. And the scientific community sees it.

Dr. Robert Linhardt, biochemist Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

I think anything that has success has many parents and so it became immediately obvious that heparin would be really important.