#WomenInSTEMWednesday: Helen Taussig


Courtesy: The Jackson Laboratory


This week’s #WomeninSTEM transformed what was once considered a “dead-end specialty” – pediatric cardiology.

Helen Taussig is considered the founder of pediatric cardiology. At the time of her entering the field, physicians were able to diagnose heart defects but weren’t able to really treat them, especially in children. Taussig wanted that changed.

She spent more than a decade gathering data from her patients, developing the most comprehensive catalog of congenital heart defects and their indicators at the time. Taussig also used a surgery meant to close a hole in the heart to open one to help out her patients.

With 20 years of research under her belt, she wrote the textbook on congenital heart defects! She also had 40 papers published and served as the American Heart Association‘s first female president.

Here is the kicker to all of this: she was unable to hear the heart beating like everyone else, instead, she understood the rhythm as if it was Morse code!#WomenInSTEMWednesday

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