Charles A. Hufnagel
1965 Mendel Medal Recipient



Dr. Charles A. Hufnagel, Professor of Surgery at Georgetown University, is one of America's most gifted surgeons and a pioneer in the surgical treatment of heart and great vessel disorders.

He is a native of Louisville, Ky., where he grew up in an atmosphere of science: his father, Dr. Charles J. Hufnagel, was a physician.

Villanova University's 1965 Mendel Medalist attended the University of Notre Dame, from which he was graduated with the Bachelor of Science degree. In 1941 he received his Medical degree at Harvard.

Dr. Hufnagel began his surgical career in 1942, when he was appointed House Officer in Surgery at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Boston Children's Hospital. He continued his association with Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and Harvard's Medical School until 1950, when he was appointed Professor of Surgical Research and Director of the Experimental Laboratory at Georgetown.

During the past twenty years, Dr. Hufnagel has distinguished himself as a scientist and surgeon. Shortly after World War II he made the first successful graft of a rigid tube, fashioned from lucite, in a blood vessel. In 1952 he performed the first successful insertion of a plastic valve in a human heart. It demonstrated for the first time the possibility of a functionally moving artifical body part. Further experiments have demonstrated a safe method for prolonged cardiac arrest which permits the placing in its normal position of an aortic valve prosthesis.

Dr. Hufnagel, 47, has performed countless operations in which portions of diseased arteries are replaced with plastic substitutes. He and his surgical team have developed a new heart and lung pump for open heart surgery and a heat exchanger by which the blood of the patient can be heated or cooled. Surgical techniques developed by Villanova University's Mendel Medal winner are in use throughout the world and his contributions have greatly influenced the progress of medicine. In addition, his rare skills as a surgeon have given precious added years of life to persons seriously crippled by diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

In 1961 Dr. Hufnagel was named by his medical colleagues as one of ten leaders of American medicine. He was the only surgeon among the group.

Dr. Hufnagel and his wife, the former Katherine Moulton, have two daughters, Katherine Lucina, 20, and Judith Ann, 16. He is a member of more than a dozen medical societies, groups or committees engaged in promoting the forward march of the healing art.

Mendel Medal Presentation Program, May 24, 1965. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania.





Hufnagel, Charles Anthony, surgeon; born Louisville, August 15, 1916; Son of Charles John and Lucina (Kirst) Hufnagel; B.S. University of Notre Dame, 1937; M.D., Harvard University, 1941;l D.Sc. (hon) Georgetown University, 1966, New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry, 1975; children--Katherine Lucina, Judith Ann. Director Lab. Surgical research Georgetown University Medical School, Washington, 1950-1059, professor of surgery chairman of the department Georgetown University Medical Center, 1969-1979, professor of surgery emeritus, 1981-1989; clinical professor of surgery George Washington University School of Medicine, 1983-1989; professor of surgery Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, 1985-1989; consultant in cardiovascular surgery VA Hospital, Washington, Clinical Center NIH, Bethesda, Maryland, Sibley Hospital, Washington, D.C. General Hospital,Doctor's Hospital, Washington; consultant on thoracic surgery Providence Hospital, Washington, Northern Virginia Doctors Hospital, Arlington; consultant in vascular surgery Prince Georges Hospital, Cheverly, Maryland; Consultant in surgery and thoracic surgery Children's Hospital, Washington; consultant in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery Arlington Hospital. Recipient Distinguished Service Award U.S. Jaycees, 1949; named Notre Dame Man of the Year, Boston, 1949, 1953; Distinguished Service award Ind. Jaycees, 1949; Disting. Service medal Washington Cosmopolitan Club, 1954; Modern Medicine award, 1961; T. and S. Cummings Humanitarian award, 1965, 1967, 1971; Mendel medal Villanova University, 1965; Disting. Service Award American Heart Association, 1969; James F. Mitchell International award for heart and vascular research 1970; Clarence J. Sharffrey S.J. medal, 1975; John H. Gibbon medal, 1975; Patrick Healy award Georgetown University Alumni Association, Benefactor's medal Ecuadorian Medical Society; named Humanitarian of the Year, D.C. Dental Society, 1975. Diplomate American Board of Surgery, American Board of Thoracic Surgery, Pan American Medical Association Fellow ACS; honorary fellow Buffalo Surgical Society; member American College of Angiology, American Association of Thoracic Surgery, American Heart Association, Soc. University of Surgeons, American Surgical Association, AAUP, AMA, So. Surgical Association, International Cardiovascular Soiciety, American Society of Nephrology, Society of Thoracic Surgeons, Society of Vascular Surgery, AAAS, American Federation of Clinical Research, American College of Chest Physicians, So. Medical Association, New York Academy of Sciences, Soc. Artificial Internal Organs, Eastern Surgical Association, American College of Cardiology (board of governers), International Soc. Surgery, Allen O. Whipple Surgical Society, American Medical Writers Association, Royal Academy of Medicine (Spain), Southeastern Surgical Association, Society of Cryobiology, Medical Society of D.C., Pan Pacific Surgical Association, Washington Society of MEdicine and Surgery, Washington Academy of Surgery, D.C. Thoracic Soc., Smithsonian Soc. Association, Sociedad Colombiana de Cirujanos, Sociedad Nacional de Cirugia de Cuba, Sociedad Brazilianos, Sociedad Antioquena de Cardiologia, Benemerita Sociedad Medico Quirugica del Guayas, Sociedad Poeruana de Cardiologia, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (president 1976), Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi, Alpha Omega Alpha. Member editorial board Amercian Journal of Surgery, Chest, American College of Chest Physicians; associate editor Angiology. Inventor plastic heart valve; contributor to the development of a modern heart-lung machine. Died May 31, 1989. Home: Washington D.C.

Who Was Who in America. Volume X, 1989-1993. Chicago: Marquis Who's Who, 1993, 171-172.