kolff: history: persons: willem johan kolff: 1

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Prof.dr. Willem Johan Kolff (1911-2009)

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tak cbb Title of the article: Prof.dr. Willem Johan Kolff, an honoured medic (C.O.N.), invented the articifial kidney, and more instruments
contribution by: Marius Kolff (CBCD XVIIw4)
Prof. dr. Willem Johan (‘Pim’) Kolff is the inventor of the artificial kidney (1943) and the artificial hart (1956) and a pioneer in the field of numerous organ replacement therapies in the period 1943 - 1997. Worldwide he is considered to be the father of the artificial organs and as one of the most important inventors in the medical science. During his carreer he has recieved thirteen honorary doctorateships at universities all over the world and 127 international awards. Up to today his inventions have saved the lives of millions of people. Willem deceased on February 11, 2009, at Newtown Square (near Philadelphia, USA).
1911 - 1940
Willem Johan Kolff, nicknamed Pim, is born in a room in Hotel Rijnland at the Beestenmarkt in Leiden on February 14, 1911. He is the elder of five sons in a doctors family. He grows up in Hummelo (Achterhoek, Netherlands) and in Beekbergen (near Apeldoorn, Netherlands), where his father is the director of a sanatorium for tubercolosis patients. In the thirties Kolff studies at the medical faculty of the University of Leiden. He graduates in 1937. That same year he marries Janke Huidekoper and leaves for Groningen. At the University of Groningen he specializes in internal medicine. Being the youngest assistant in the internal medicine department he is coached by the Jewish professor Leo Polak Daniëls.
Ontmoeting met Dokter Kolff
’Ontmoeting met Dokter Kolff’, 2005, Wouter Berns
(more about this image on page 4 of Willem Kolff)
In 1938 Kolff experiences the death of one of his patients, a 22 years old farmers’ son from Groningen, because of a chronical kidney infection. Kolff starts to search for a treatment because he can not accept that kidney patients die simply because the cleaning funtion of their organs is not working properly.