"We must educate people to develop a taste for ideas."
André Frédéric Cournand (1895–1988)
Along with Dickinson Woodruff Richards and Werner O.T. Forssmann, André F. Cournand revolutionized cardiology and pulmonology with his groundbreaking research into cardiac catheterization. In 1929, Forssmann tested the first prototype for cardiac catheterization by threading a catheter through a vein in his own arm to reach his own heart. After World War II, Richards and Cournand demonstrated the importance of catheterization to the diagnosis of heart and lung diseases. The three were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1956 for their tool that penetrates the heart to record blood pressure and other conditions essential to the treatment of cardiovascular and pulmonary disease. They were cited for their work using a thin tube to explore the interior of the functioning human heart—the precursor to today's interventional cardiology practices. The Nobel recognized "their discoveries concerning heart catheterization and pathological changes in the circulatory system. These investigations have meant that diagnosis can now be made earlier and with greater certainty than before."