The American Heart Association and the National Geographic Society have honored artificial organs pioneer Willem J. Kolff for his contributions to the war on cardiovascular and renal disease.
Kolff, a professor of medicine and surgery at the University of Utah, has been elected to "On the Shoulders of Giants," a new gallery of fame sponsored by the Northeast Ohio Affiliate of the AHA.At induction ceremonies Monday in Cleveland, Kolff will be recognized for significant contributions to the field of cardiovascular disease treatment.
A 1950 immigrant to America from the Netherlands, Kolff worked with Dr. Satoru Nakamoto at the Cleveland Clinic, where the two made artificial kidneys and started home dialysis and kidney transplants. Later in the 1950s, Kolff and Dr. Yuki Nose collaborated in laying the groundwork for future artificial heart programs.
A new book, "Inventors and Discoverers: Changing Our World," published in 1988 by the National Geographic Society, profiles Kolff and his pioneering work in the field of artificial organs, particularly the development of the artificial kidney.