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July 6, 1984

Dr Alexis Carrel and Tissue Culture

Author Affiliations

Jerry Lewis Muscle Research Centre Royal Postgraduate Medical School Hammersmith Hospital London

JAMA. 1984;252(1):44. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350010024011

To the Editor.—  The LANDMARK PERSPECTIVES that accompany the LANDMARK ARTICLES column in JAMA are presumably intended to give a historical perspective to the work reported in each LANDMARK ARTICLE. Such articles cannot be expected to be rigorous in their treatment of each topic, but this can be no excuse for the article by H. Najafi1 commenting on the paper by Alexis Carrel. Najafi's article is an uncritical hagiography and perpetuates a view of Carrel's tissue culture studies that is not borne out by a close examination of Carrel's work.

  1. It is clear that while the work of Carrel's laboratory established tissue culture as a research technique of wide applicability, his writings on the difficulties of the method deterred others from following suit. A case can be argued that Carrel had an adverse effect on the development of tissue culture.2-4

  2. I have made a detailed study