Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov

Vladimir Petrovich Demikhov was a Soviet scientist and organ transplant pioneer, who did several transplantations in the 1930s and 1950s, such as the transplantation of a heart into an animal and a lung-heart replacement in an animal. He is also well-known for his transplantation of the heads of dogs. He conducted his dog head transplants during the 1950s, resulting in two-headed dogs.

The first head transplant was actually done by Professor A. G. Konevskiy of the Operative Surgery and Topographical Anatomy Department of Volgograd State Medical University. The head transplant wasn't planned. Konevskiy had planned an experimental heart transplant but the puppy was involved in an automobile accident. Not wanting to "waste the sterilized operating table", the surgeon proceeded with the head transplant.

Demikhov died in obscurity in 1998, but was awarded the Order "For Services Rendered to the Country", Third Class, shortly before his death.