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Adrian Kantrowitz (1918-2008) is best known for performing the first human heart transplant in the United States, three days after South Africa's Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first such operation in December 1967. For most of his career however, Kantrowitz was one of America's most prolific surgeon-inventors, whose innovations included cardiac pacemakers, mechanical left heart devices, and the intraaortic balloon pump, which is still used in thousands of cardiac patients each year. His pioneering research consistently explored and elucidated the potentials as well as the limitations of bioelectronic technology. The National Library of Medicine is the repository for the Adrian Kantrowitz Papers, which range from 1944 to 2004. The collection contains photographs, slides, grant material, correspondence, publications, conference material, publicity clippings, and audio-visual media.
As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine is digitizing and making available over the World Wide Web a selection of the Adrian Kantrowitz Papers, for use by educators and researchers. This Web site provides access to the portions of the Adrian Kantrowitz Papers that are now publicly available. Individuals interested in conducting research in the Adrian Kantrowitz Papers are invited to contact the National Library of Medicine.
This online Exhibit is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Kantrowitz's scientific career and professional life. It is divided into sections that focus on Kantrowitz's life and major scientific contributions. We suggest that new visitors begin with this exhibit, which includes a small selection of documents and visuals, organized within these sections. Each section begins with a "Background Narrative," which leads to "Documents" and "Visuals."
Visitors may access additional materials through Search on the navigation bar. They may also view the materials alphabetically or chronologically by choosing Browse on the navigation bar. Documents and visuals in these lists are arranged by format and then either alphabetically by title or chronologically.