Photos: Notable Hispanics in medicine

Published 1:01 PM ET, Wed October 9, 2013
05 hispanics in medicine05 hispanics in medicine
1 of 12
Argentine-born biochemist Cesar Milstein shared the 1984 Nobel Prize for Medicine with Georges Koehler of Germany and Niels Jerne of Denmark. The scientists developed a way to produce monoclonal antibodies, which are used to treat some forms of cancer and several autoimmune diseases.
Dr. Jacinto Convit, a Venezuelan researcher, is best known for developing the leprosy vaccine. In 1988, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in medicine. He's 100 years old and still working -- now on a vaccine to fight cancer. WILLIAM DUMONT/EL NACIONAL/AP
Pathologist Manuel Patarroyo of Colombia created the first synthetic vaccine for malaria and donated the patent to the World Health Organization. Vaccine SPf66 is now inactive, according to WHO, but Patarroyo continues to work to improve the vaccine's effectiveness. MEREDITH DAVENPORT/AFP/Getty Images
Francisco Varela of Chile was both a biologist and a philosopher. Together with his mentor, Humberto Maturana, Varela co-authored the theory of autopoiesis, which describes the ability of biological cells to be "self-maintaining." Joan Halifax
Dr. Antonia Novello, a Puerto Rican pediatrician who specializes in kidney problems, was the first woman and the first Hispanic to be U.S. surgeon general. She served under President George H. W. Bush from 1990 to 1993 before leaving to work for UNICEF. Taro Yamasaki//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Immunologist Dr. Baruj Benacerraf of Venezuela is credited with discovering the immune response genes that determine if a transplant organ will be rejected or accepted by the recipient's body. He won the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1980 for this discovery. His later studies on the immune system explored why some people are more at risk for developing diseases such as multiple sclerosis. AP Photo
Luis Federico Leloir, a biochemist from Argentina, won the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1970 for his investigations into the way carbohydrates are converted into energy in the body. Britannica
Argentine Dr. Rene Favaloro became the first surgeon to perform a coronary bypass surgery on a patient suffering from coronary artery disease. "Dr. Favaloro revolutionized the natural history and quality-of-life of patients with ischemic heart disease," an obituary published in the journal Circulation said. "It is not surprising that Dr. Mason Sones once said that 20th century cardiology can be divided into the pre-Favaloro and the post-Favaloro eras." Aldo Sessa/LatinContent/Getty Images
Dr. Humberto Fernandez Moran was a biophysical researcher. He founded the Venezuelan Institute for Neurological and Brain Studies, but is perhaps best known in the medical field for inventing the diamond scalpel, which is used to cut very thin samples of biological tissues. Joseph Scherschel//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Mexican chemist Luis E. Miramontes synthesized norethisterone in 1951 at the age of 26. This chemical compound was then used to create the first contraceptive pill. Profvisit
Dr. Bernardo Alberto Houssay of Argentina shared the 1947 Nobel Prize in medicine for his research on the role of pituitary hormones in the regulation of blood sugar, which helped doctors better understand diabetes. AP Photo
Dr. Carlos Finlay was one of the first to realize that mosquitoes were transmitting yellow fever, a disease that was hitting his native Cuba hard in the mid- to late 1800s. AP Photo