History of the Price Institute

The Price lnstitute was founded in 1957 by both John W. Price Jr., MD and his wife Barbara Thruston Atwood Price. Dr. Price was a surgeon, financier, and visionary. He joined the faculty of the University of Louisville School of Medicine in 1908. His research in vascular surgery culminated in a paper he published in 1915 about arterial anastomosis.

He met with and was inspired by preeminent surgeons of his day, including the renowned Alexis Carrel, MD, a New Orleans vascular surgeon and Nobel Laureate, who pioneered an operative technique which became the early standard for vascular anastomosis known as the "Carrel suture."

Dr. Price was later influenced by his skills in finance. Ready for a new challenge, he ultimately lessened his surgical practice to invest his talents in the financial sector. He and his wife believed in the promise of basic research and used his position as a successful financier in 1957 to establish a generous trust, now held at PNC Bank and distributed to the institute, to attract the best and brightest surgical research fellows to the University of Louisville.

The Price Institute was founded in 1957 as a generous trust by John W. Price, Jr., MD, and his wife, Barbara Thruston Atwood Price, to honor the memory of:

  • Mrs. Price's paternal great, great grandfather, Coleman Rogers, MD, one of the founders of the University of Louisville Medical School
  • Mrs. Price's paternal grandfather, Lewis Rogers, MD
  • Mrs. Price's maternal great grandfather, Charles Wilkins Short, MD, Dean of the Medical School and Professor from 1827 1848
  • Mrs. Price's father, Lewis Rogers Atwood 
  • Dr. Price's father, John Williamson Price

Since its inception, 30 surgery residents or surgeons have been Price Fellows, the first being J. Alex Haller, MO, Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Surgery, Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, in 1958. Dr. Haller's project was in cardiovascular research. William H. Marshall, MD, who conducted cancer research during his fellowship from 1962 to 1964, succeeded him.

The Price Institute also hosts Ferguson Fellows, visiting professors and Fulbright Scholars who come to brainstorm with colleagues, while learning the latest operative techniques and medical treatments for diseases affecting the surgical patient. Investing in the future of young surgeons and the patients whom they serve is Dr. Price's enduring legacy.

In addition to Dr. and Mrs. Price, the Price Institute has benefited greatly from the continued support from their daughter Mrs. Catherine Price Bass and her entire family.  For their ongoing interest and willingness to support the Price Institute, thank you is not enough!