Detachment, viewed as a virtue among scientists, often feels unnatural to medical practitioners, who see human involvement as central to the healing art. For those who have themselves been afflicted with disease or observed it in a loved one, the experience can become a driving force in their search for a cure. Here are five whose close encounters with illness have produced important contributions to medical science:

PAUL O'BYRNE Fighting asthma by inducing episodes in himself

Paul O'Byrne was a sickly child. He often had trouble breathing and woke frequently at night, coughing and wheezing. No medication or other treatment seemed...

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