Innovation at UW Health and the UW School of Medicine and Public Health isn’t just starting with the Isthmus Project. Both institutions have a long history of innovation. At the Isthmus Project, we continue making history. Here we reflect on where we’ve been to give us the motivation to advance this tradition.


Fredric Mohs

Fredric Mohs

Mohs surgery, the “gold standard” technique for microscopic skin cancer surgery today, was developed in the 1930s by Dr. Frederic Mohs, a general surgeon at UW.


Karl Link

Development of anticoagulant warfarin and a drug called Coumadin, which is used as a blood thinner to treat heart patients and prevent blood clotting.


Harry Waisman

Harry Waisman

Screening at birth and treatment of Phenylketonuria; saved thousand from developmental disability.


Charles Heidelberger

Synthesized 5-fluorouracil (anti-cancer agent)


Fritz Bach

Test that identified the family member who would be the closest match for a bone marrow recipient making possible the first two successful bone marrow transplants in the world — one of them at UW Hospital.


Judy Faulkner

Created a call schedule for the UW Hospital using a computer.


Chuck Mistretta

Created a digital subtraction angiography for imaging vascular system.


Derek Cripps

UW dermatologist Derek Cripps helped develop the SPF (sun protection factor) scale for rating sunscreen lotions.


Howard Temin

Co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine: discovered reverse transcriptase that explains viral cause of cancer and AIDS.


Folkert Belzer & James Southard

Revolutionized transplant surgery with organ preservation solution.

Early 1990s

Thomas ‘Rock’ Mackie

In the early 1990s, UW professor Thomas “Rock” Mackie and his research group including senior scientist Paul Reckwerdt developed tomotherapy radiation systems to deliver a precisely configured field of radiation to the tumor while sparing surrounding tissue from harm. The system was also the first to integrate CT image guidance into daily radiotherapy practice.


James Thomson

James Thomson and his UW research team became the first in the world to derive a human embryonic stem cell line.