WILLEM JOHAN KOLFF, 97
Pioneer in kidney dialysis, artificial organs
Dr. Willem Johan Kolff, a pioneer in the fields of kidney dialysis and artificial organs, died Wednesday at a Philadelphia care center.
Dr. Kolff was part of a team of surgeons who made worldwide headlines in 1982 by implanting an artificial heart into Seattle dentist Barney Clark at University Hospital. Dr. Clark lived for four months, then died with the heart still functioning.
In 2002, Dr. Kolff received the Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, one of the highest honors in American medicine, for his work on kidney dialysis.
The nominating committee noted that his developments "changed kidney failure from a fatal to a treatable disease, prolonging the useful lives of millions of patients."