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History of the Division

History of the Division of Pulmonology and Critical Care Medicine


Founding of the American Thoracic Society

Johns Hopkins Dome - black and white image

In 1904, William Osler and William Welch, together with Edward Livingston Trudeau, founded the forerunner of the American Thoracic Society, the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis.


Osler Becomes First Vice President of the American Thoracic Society

Dr. William Osler

Dr. William Osler served as the first vice president of the American Thoracic Society.

Visit the American Thoracic Society Website

1940s - 1950s

Pulmonary Medicine at Johns Hopkins


Pulmonary Medicine coalesced at Johns Hopkins over 70 years ago, and our division has made seminal contributions to medical science since its inception. Lung mechanics, heart-lung interactions, airflow limitation, asthma, COPD, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary vascular disease, lung cancer, tuberculosis, and gas exchange are just a few of the areas where Johns Hopkins faculty have pioneered.


Dr. Richard Riley's Work Attracts Prominent Physicians to Johns Hopkins

Pulmonary Medicine began to evolve as a specialty in the early 1950’s with the arrival of Richard Riley, MD at Johns Hopkins and the development and application of novel techniques to study ventilation/perfusion relationships including the measurement of arterial blood gases. Because of Dr. Riley’s work in human physiology, many distinguished leaders of pulmonary medicine interested in this emerging field were attracted to Hopkins including Leon Farhi, Mary Ellen Avery, Reuben Cherniack, John Clements, Moran Campbell, Peter Macklem, Jack Howell, John Cotes, and Solbert Permutt.


Dr. Wilmot C. Ball Links Respiratory and Circulatory Physiology to Clinical Medicine

Birds-eye view of Pulmonary Function Laboratories

Wilmot C. Ball, Jr., MD became Director of the Division and the Pulmonary Function Laboratories and initiated an exploration of the conceptual framework that links respiratory and circulatory physiology to clinical medicine.


Division of Pulmonology Clinical Program Enjoys Significant Growth

Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU)

Solbert Permutt, MD assumed the leadership of both the clinical and research programs, and inaugurated a collaborative program integrating the clinical, research, and education activities of the Pulmonory Division with programs in the now Bloomberg School of Public Health. The Division enjoyed extensive growth of the clinical program including a new intensive care unit, and a new bronchoscopy program, as well as expansion of clinical consultative and inpatient services rendered at other hospitals in the Baltimore area.

1988 - 1997

Critical Care Medicine Added to Division of Pulmonology


This trajectory was preserved by Jimmie T. Sylvester, MD who served as director. Critical Care Medicine was added to our name, reflecting the growing importance of this field. Dr. Sylvester steered the Division with initiatives in critical care medicine and specialty outpatient clinics, and expanded the basic research effort.


Pulmonary Research Expands Under Dr. Garcia's Directorship

female scientist in the lab

The directorship was assumed by Joe G. N. Garcia, MD who doubled the number of faculty and grants with considerable diversity (expansion of PhDs, women and under-represented minorities). Significant growth and expansion occurred in lung transplantation, pulmonary hypertension, adult cystic fibrosis, health care outcomes, vascular biology, asthma and COPD research.


Dr. Landon King's Directorship Brings 3 Research Grants from National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Landon King, MD

Landon S. King, MD continues a tradition of excellence and commitment to diversity. Under his leadership, we became the site of three programmatic Specialized Center of Clinical Research grants from the NIH, in acute lung injury, pulmonary hypertension, and chronic obstructive lung disease, as well other programmatic and individual grants. Dr. King was appointed the Executive Vice Dean for Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Dr. Jonathan Orens Appointed Director of the Division

Dr. Jonathan Orens

Jonathan Orens, MD assumes leadership of the division.


Dr. Jonathan Orens Becomes Department of Medicine's Vice Chair of Business Development

Dr. Orens was appointed to the Department of Medicine Vice Chair of Business Development.


Dr. Nadia Hansel Appointed Director of the Division

Nadia Hansel, MD

Nadia Hansel, MD was appointed Director of the division. The Division looks forward to a bright future of contributions to basic, translational, and clinical science.

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