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School of Medicine History

Saint Louis University School of Medicine is proud to be part of the 450-year tradition of Jesuit education.

The School of Medicine trains physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health services on a local, national and international level. Beyond the important objective of training competent physicians who are scholars of human biology, we strive to graduate physicians who manifest in their personal and professional lives an appreciation for what may be called humanistic medicine.

Key Dates

1836 — SLU establishes the first medical school west of the Mississippi River. The University's first medical school building was located on Washington Avenue at Tenth Street.

1903 — SLU acquires the Marion-Sims-Beaumont College of Medicine, located at Grand Boulevard and Caroline Street.

1932 — A gift from the estate of Firmin Desloge lays the groundwork for the hospital's construction. The University opens the Firmin Desloge Hospital — later named Saint Louis University Hospital.

1943 — Edward Adelbert Doisy, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry, is awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the structure and chemical nature of Vitamin K.

1972 — SLU surgeons conduct the first heart transplant at an academic center in Midwest. Members of the heart transplant team include: Russell Kraeger, M.D.; John Schweiss, M.D.; Vallee Willman, M.D.; George Kaiser, M.D.; Hendrick Barner, M.D.; J. Gerard Mudd, M.D.; Richard Whiting, M.D.; John Codd, M.D.; and Kenneth Nachtnebel, M.D.

1989 — SLU founds the Center for Vaccine Development. The center has been instrumental in developing numerous vaccines that protect public health, including the FluMist nasal spray influenza vaccine, and vaccines against smallpox and other potential biological weapons following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.

1995 — SLUCare Physician Group is formed as the academic medical practice of Saint Louis University. The physician group includes more than 500 health care providers in hospitals and medical offices throughout the St. Louis region.

1998 — SLU sells Saint Louis University Hospital to Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

2002 — The Saint Louis University Cancer Center, a joint initiative between SLUCare and Saint Louis University Hospital, opens.

2007 — Saint Louis University opens the doors to the $82 million Edward A. Doisy Research Center, which is designed to further scientific progress and inspire creativity and collaboration.

2015 — SSM and Saint Louis University acquire Saint Louis University Hospital from Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

2016 — Plans are made for a $550 million SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and ambulatory care center with more than 800,000 square feet of space, 316 private patient rooms, an expanded Level 1 trauma center and emergency department, larger intensive care units and expanded patient parking.