Medical research

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Medical research is any scientific research conducted with the goal of improving the science of healthcare, knowledge of the human body, or knowledge of diseases.


While a basic knowledge of useful herbs and folk remedies has existed for thousands of years, medicine seldom went beyond that until the time of Hippocrates, and later, Galen, who first asked questions of why folk remedies worked. These men, and men like them, conducted autopsies and formed theories (often wrong) on the way the human body worked.

The first great breakthrough in medical knowledge in modern times came from the research of Edward Jenner, the inventor of the vaccine. By injecting people with small amounts of boiled cowpox disease, he discovered they became immune to smallpox. As a result of his work, one of the most virulent and deadly diseases to scourge mankind now exists only in two small vials in biology research labs.

louis pasteur

edward koch

alex flemming / penicillin



"Government-funded basic research in medical science deserves some credit for breakthroughs, but it’s worth remembering that lots of countries invest in basic research. America, with its markets, stands alone as the leading, arguably sole, source of medical innovation. Breakthrough drugs are as American as apple pie." [1]