My life with Dr. Willem Kolff

Artif Organs. 1998 Nov;22(11):969-79. doi: 10.1046/j.1525-1594.1998.06260.x.


Since 1957, I have been well aware of Dr. Kolff's contribution in the field of artificial organs. Therefore, when I came to the United States, the first thing I knew I wanted to do was to meet Dr. Kolff. I finally met him on April 16, 1962 in Cleveland. At that time, I never dreamed that one day I would be working for him even though I had already been involved in the field of artificial organs. During the 3 years that I worked for Dr. Kolff, between April 1, 1964 and March 31, 1967, I obtained the basic training and foundation for succeeding him in the Department of Artificial Organs, Cleveland Clinic Foundation. During those first 10 years after succeeding Dr. Kolff, I devoted myself to reestablishing the department. He was always supportive of me in establishing my objective. Beginning in 1977, together with Dr. Kolff, I devoted my life to establishing and maintaining the International Society for Artificial Organs (ISAO) as the leading organization in the world for artificial organ technologies. Dr. Kolff was also supportive of this effort. Without his support, I, as well as others in the world who are involved in artificial organ technologies, believe that the ISAO would not be what it is today. We are very grateful to him for his contributions in this field.

Publication types

  • Biography
  • Historical Article

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Heart, Artificial / history*
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Kidneys, Artificial / history*
  • United States

Personal name as subject

  • W J Kolff