- W.J. KOLFF (1911-2009) -

Willem Johan ‘Pim' Kolff M.D. PhD. (1911-2009) was the pioneer in the field of artificial organs and biomedical engineering. His famous inventions, the artificial kidney (1942) and the artificial heart (1956) and all his other groundbreaking contributions, taught the world that human organs could be supported or replaced by machines. This was a new way of thinking on which the medical community could build. Millions of lives were saved by artificial organs and other innovations based on Kolff's first groundbreaking results. Researchers following Dr. Kolff's lead took us from biomedical engineering to regenerative medicine today.

The vision of Dr. Kolff changed the very perspective of human-kind. His unique ideas and finding new ways to let engineering contribute to medicine in order to save lives, still inspires and teaches young researchers all over the world to look further and to think out of the box, not to be restrained by failure, and not to prejudice on any new or excentric idea. Every new idea is a good one, until proven otherwise. Or in the words of Dr. Kolff: ‘What you come up with, might save lives someday.' Dr. Kolff typically found answers in places where nobody had dared to go before and encouraged others to do the same. In the medical world of the 21st century we need inspiring pioneers like that.

The Willem Kolff Foundation, founded in 2003, carries the name Kolff for a reason. It holds a scientific ambition and a mandatory task to keep the flame of inspirational invention burning.