President Johnson takes papers from DeBakey as they stand beside a podium.

Apply Now! A New History Fellowship at NLM

By Jeffrey S. Reznick

Earlier this year, the National Library of Medicine announced its receipt of a generous gift from The DeBakey Medical Foundation to support enhanced access to the Michael E. DeBakey Archives at the NLM, and to establish the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine. The NLM is pleased to partner with the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES), which will be providing administrative support for the fellowship.

Applications are now being accepted for the inaugural Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine. The Fellowship supports individuals in pursuing research primarily in NLM’s Michael E. DeBakey Archives, related collections held by the NLM, and the vast range of subjects which informed, or were informed by, Michael E. DeBakey’s professional career—from surgery to health care policy, medical libraries and expanding access to medical information, medical technology to medical ethics, military medicine to veteran health, humanitarianism to international diplomacy in the medical arena.

Fellowships of up to $10,000 will be awarded to individual applicants, not to institutions, to help offset the costs associated with visiting and using the NLM collections.

All of the application requirements are detailed in the official announcement of the fellowship, and on the NLM website.

To receive consideration all materials must be submitted to FAES through the online application form by 5pm EDT, September 1, 2016. Awards will be announced by the end of 2016.

A full length portrait in scrubs and long white coat.
Michael DeBakey, 1980
Courtesy Aaron Shikler

Michael E. DeBakey (1908–2008) was a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman. During a career spanning 75 years, his work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. He pioneered dozens of operative procedures such as aneurysm repair, coronary bypass, and endarterectomy, which routinely save thousands of lives each year, and performed some of the first heart transplants. His inventions included the roller pump (a key component of heart-lung machines) as well as artificial hearts and ventricular assist pumps. He was a driving force in building Houston’s Baylor University College of Medicine into a premier medical center, where he trained several generations of top surgeons from all over the world.

The NLM’s collection of Michael E. DeBakey Archives dates from the early 1900s to 2009. Containing correspondence, administrative records, diaries, transcripts, publications, speeches, conference and awards material, subject files, photographs, and audiovisual media, the collection reflects the vast expanse of Dr. DeBakey’s life, achievements, and interests as a world-renowned medical statesman, innovator, and champion of humanitarianism and lifelong learning. Materials in the DeBakey Archives also have rich connections to the archives of other individuals and organizations, including NLM’s own archives, and to many published works in the NLM collection.

The NLM has digitized an extensive selection of the Michael E. DeBakey Archives and made these materials available through Profiles in Science for the benefit of researchers, students, and educators. Dublin Core metadata describing the digitized content is also available. Additionally, the NLM has drawn on these archives to produce an associated video profile of Dr. DeBakey.

For further information about the materials available for historical research at the National Library of Medicine, please visit, or contact the NLM’s History of Medicine reference desk by email at NLM Customer Support or by phone 301-402-8878. Questions about the Michael E. DeBakey Fellowship in the History of Medicine may be directed to these same points of contact.

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