black and white image of an older man and a younger man looking at medical equipment

Photo: Cleveland Clinic Archives

Widely regarded as the father of artificial organs, Willem Kolff, MD, PhD, established the Department of Artificial Organs at Cleveland Clinic. He also launched a dialysis program, invented a heart-lung machine and developed the first artificial heart successfully implanted in a mammal. As Dr. Kolff (above right) — seen here with colleague Tetsuzo Akutsu, MD — liked to say: "If a man can grow a heart, he can build one."