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John F. Fulton Papers 1929-1953
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Biography

Biographical Note

John F. Fulton (1899-1960), was an internationally renowned physiologist, specializing with the nervous system, and a medical historian of note. He was born in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received both his bachelor's (1921) and medical (1928) degrees from Harvard. Between 1921 and 1928, as a Rhodes scholar, he received a B.A. (1923) and completed a Ph.D. (1925) at Oxford. He joined the faculty at Yale in 1930 as the Sterling Professor of Physiology, a position he held until 1951. During the 1930s, his laboratory's experiments involving the removal of chimpanzee brain lobes led to the development of human frontal lobotomy operations which were initiated by Egaz Moniz. Fulton was also founder, in 1937, of the Journal of Neurophysiology.

In 1940, Dr. Fulton established the Yale Aeromedical Research Unit, which was devoted to the study of the physiological problems associated with aviation. The unit's research, including the development of a high-altitude flying suit, was invaluable to allied aviators during World War II. He was appointed to membership in the National Research Council's Division of Medical Services in 1942, serving with the Committee on Aviation Medicine and the Sub-Committee on Decompression Sickness.