Drs. Adrian and Jean Kantrowitz

Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz performed the first human heart transplant in the United States in 1967 and pioneered the development of mechanical devices to prolong the life of patients with heart failure. Over six decades of surgical practice, he designed and used more than 20 medical devices that aided circulation and other vital functions. In 1971, Adrian successfully implanted a ventricular assist device in a man suffering from chronic heart failure who returned home as the world’s first recipient of a left ventricular assist device intended to remain permanently in the body.

Dr. Jean Kantrowitz was instrumental in focusing petitions for federal coverage of cardiac transplantation at Stanford, and supported Adrian in his vision through the lab to his translational work with the IABP. She prepared grants and budgets and managed business aspects of research through skills in office management. In 1975, she planned and organized a successful child and adolescent psychiatry program at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.



Adrian and Jean Kantrowitz received the ISHLT Lifetime Achievement Award at the ISHLT 36th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC, USA.