About this Collection

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 has made available online a digitized selection of the Adrian Kantrowitz Papers. This website provides access to the portions of the Adrian Kantrowitz Papers that are now publicly available. Individuals interested in conducting research using the full collection of Adrian Kantrowitz Papers should contact the National Library of Medicine.

This Profile is designed to introduce you to the various phases of Kantrowitz's scientific career and professional life. Narrative sections available from the navigation bar under "The Story" focus on Kantrowitz's life and major scientific contributions.

Researchers can search the digitized items using the Search box or browse all Documents and Visuals in the collection by selecting "Collection Items" from the navigation bar.