- Jan A. Witkowski
Carrel, Alexis (28 June 1873–05 November 1944), scientist, was born Marie Joseph Auguste Carrel in Sainte-foy-Lès Lyon, France, the son of Alexis Carrel-Billiard, a manufacturer of textiles, and Anne-Marie Ricard. In 1890 Carrel entered the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lyon, completing his training in 1900. While still a medical student, he began research on the problems of joining severed blood vessels. His interest in this area was supposedly aroused because surgeons had failed to save the life of Marie-François-Sadi Carnot, the French president who was fatally wounded by an assassin while visiting Lyon in 1894. Carrel’s triangulation method (1902) required inserting single threads at three points on the circumference of each vessel, pulling gently on each thread so that the circular vessels became triangular, and finally sewing the straight edges together....