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Christiaan Neethling Barnard

Barnard, Christiaan Neethling (krĭsˈtēänˌ nāˈħĭng bärˈnərd) [key], 1922–2001, South African surgeon. The son of a Dutch Reformed minister, Barnard studied medicine at the Univ. of Cape Town (M.B. 1946, M.D. 1953), then came to the United States in 1955 to improve his surgical technique under Owen H. Wangensteen at the Univ. of Minnesota. While in Minneapolis, he performed his first heart operation, and he later pursued further heart surgery training at the Univ. of Virginia. Returning to Cape Town, he was appointed director of surgical research at the Groote Schuur Hospital, where he made medical history on Dec. 3, 1967, when he completed the world's first human heart transplant. Barnard also designed artificial heart valves, wrote extensively on the subject of congenital intestinal atresia, and developed surgical procedures relating to organ transplants.

See his book, written with J. Illman, The Body Machine: Your Health in Perspective (1981); biography by L. E. Leopold (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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