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Helen B. Taussig was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received her A.B. in 1921 from the University of California and her M.D. in 1927 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She served as an Archibald Fellow in Medicine at Johns Hopkins and worked at the heart station from 1927 until 1928. From 1928 until 1930, she interned in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. In 1930, Edwards Park appointed Taussig physician-in-charge of the Harriet Lane Cardiac Clinic, a position she held until 1963. She also served on the faculty of the school of medicine from 1930 until 1963, when she became professor emeritus of pediatrics. Taussig was a pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease. She helped to develop the surgical procedure commonly known as the “blue baby” operation and discovered the teratological effects of the drug thalidomide when administered to pregnant women.

Scope and Content

The Helen B. Taussig Collection spans her entire career at Johns Hopkins and documents her varied professional and personal activities. Professional materials include correspondence, grant records, manuscripts, notes, patient records, and research materials relating to tetralogy of Fallot patients and their long-term follow-up. Personal materials include awards, biographical material, correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and scrapbooks. The collection documents Taussig’s activities as a national leader in promoting health care issues and her support of a wide range of social causes, including her successful campaign in the early 1960’s to ban the use of thalidomide by pregnant women.

Catalog Record

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Web exhibit on the “blue baby” operation

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