Joseph Erlanger (1874-1965) was recruited to
the School of Medicine in 1910 by Robert S. Brookings, as part
of Brookings' charge to transform the medical school into an "excellent"
institution. In 1944, Erlanger, emeritus professor of physiology
anf former chairman of the physiology department, and his longtime
collaborator, Herbert Spencer Gasser (former professor of pharmacology),
were co-recipients of the Nobel Prize in medicine. Pioneers of
neurophysiology, they were awarded the prize for their discoveries
relating to the highly differentiated functions of single nerve
fibres. Over the years, 17 Nobel laureates have been associated
with the School of Medicine.