Surgeons

Surgeons are those physicians who treat medical conditions like diseases, injuries or deformities using surgical methods. Surgeries are complicated procedures where the body tissues are physically amended and can be invasive, minimally-invasive, or non-invasive. Performing surgery requires a high degree of precision and skill and thus surgeons need to be very alert and responsive while treating patients. Being a professional surgeon is both mentally and physically taxing. They are required to stand for hours while performing surgery while maintaining their mental alertness. They also have to work long and irregular hours. The level of stress and pressure is high as in many cases the life of the patient depends on the surgeon. However at the same time, the satisfaction of saving lives can be immense. Since the human body is complex, many surgeons specialize in performing surgery on a particular area of the body. Cardiac surgeons specialize in performing heart operations while neurosurgeons treat the brain and the nervous system. Surgeons may also specialize upon the category of patients they treat. Pediatric surgeons work with children while gynecologic surgeons operate exclusively on women. Surgeons closely collaborate with other healthcare specialists and anesthesiologists before, during and after surgery. Read on to know about the famous surgeons from all over the world who have saved many precious lives with their dedication and hard work.

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This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Ben Carson

Ben Carson
8
Famous As: U.S. Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (2017 – 2021)
Birthdate: September 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.

Neurosurgeon Ben Carson is credited with many pioneering neurosurgical procedures. He became a Library of Congress “Living Legend” and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He later contested in the 2016 presidential primaries, has authored numerous books, was a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and earned 60 honorary doctorates.

 2 Paul Nassif

Paul Nassif
4
Famous As: Plastic surgeon
Birthdate: June 6, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

American plastic surgeon and television personality Paul Sabin Nassif is best known for specialising in rhinoplasty and for co-hosting the plastic surgery-themed American reality television series Botched and its spin-off series Botched by Nature with another plastic surgeon Terry Dubrow. Nassif owns the skincare line Nassif MD Dermaceuticals and is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

 3 Sanjay Gupta

Sanjay Gupta
8
Famous As: Won multiple Emmy Awards for appearing on the program Sanjay Gupta, M.D.
Birthdate: October 23, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Novi, Michigan, United States

Born to Indian-origin parents in the U.S., Sanjay Gupta is an acclaimed neurosurgeon and medical writer. He has also had a successful stint as a medical reporter for CNN, covering medical issues at wars and disasters. He has played himself in the movie Contagion and is a skilled accordion player.

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 4 Galen

Galen
4
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: 0130 AD
Birthplace: Pergamon, Turkey
Died: 0200 AD

Galen was a Greek physician, philosopher, and surgeon in the Roman Empire. Regarded as one of the most proficient medical researchers in ancient history, Galen influenced the growth of several scientific disciplines, such as neurology, pharmacology, pathology, physiology, and anatomy. Thanks to the translation of his works into Arabic, Galen's approach to medicine remains influential in the Islamic world.

 5 John Snow

John Snow
4
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 15, 1813
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: York, United Kingdom
Died: June 16, 1858

Best known as the father of modern epidemiology, British doctor John Snow revolutionized medical science with his study of London’s Broad Street cholera outbreak of 1854. His research contributed to the development of London’s sewage and water systems and led to the reduction in cholera cases.

 6 Michelle Bachelet

Michelle Bachelet
6
Famous As: 32nd and 34th President of Chile
Birthdate: September 29, 1951
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Santiago, Chile
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 7 Christiaan Barnard

Christiaan Barnard
4
Famous As: Cardiac Surgeon
Birthdate: November 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beaufort West, South Africa
Died: September 2, 2001
Born to a preacher father of modest means, Christiaan Barnard completed his medical school on scholarships. In December 1967, he revolutionized medical science by performing the first human heart transplant by transplanting 25-year-old accident victim Denise Darvall’s heart into 53-year-old chronic heart patient grocer Louis Washkansky.
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 8 Robert Liston

Robert Liston
4
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: October 28, 1794
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ecclesmachan, West Lothian, Scotland
Died: December 7, 1847

Scottish surgeon Robert Liston worked in an era when anesthesia wasn’t invented. He could complete amputations within minutes, thus saving the lives of many when the speed of the surgery made the difference between life and death. Later, he became the first European surgeon to operate under anesthesia.

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 9 Charles R. Drew

Charles R. Drew
4
Famous As: Physician & Surgeon
Birthdate: June 3, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: April 1, 1950

Born into a middle-class African-American family, Charles R. Drew initially excelled in football and track and field, and ended up earning athletic scholarships to fund his studies. He grew up to be a renowned surgeon and revolutionized the storage of blood plasma in blood banks.

 10 J. Marion Sims

J. Marion Sims
4
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: January 25, 1813
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lancaster County, South Carolina, United States
Died: November 13, 1883

Known as The Father of Modern Gynaecology, J. Marion Sims is remembered for developing a surgical method to deal with vesicovaginal fistula, a childbirth-related complication. However, since his experiments were conducted on Black slave-women, without anesthesia, they were later deemed unethical. He had also headed the American Gynecological Society.

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 11 Joseph Lister

Joseph Lister
4
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: April 5, 1827
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Upton House, West Ham, England
Died: February 10, 1912

British surgeon Joseph Lister was a pioneer of antiseptic medicine usage and made a huge contribution to the development of preventive medicine for bacterial infection. His achievements have been honored by many, such as the makers of Listerine antiseptic and mouthwash, who named their product after him.

 12 René Gerónimo Favaloro

René Gerónimo Favaloro
4
Famous As: Cardiovascular Surgeon
Birthdate: July 12, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: La Plata, Argentina
Died: July 29, 2000

René Gerónimo Favaloro was an Argentine educator and cardiac surgeon. He is best remembered for his work on coronary artery bypass surgery. Favaloro is credited with establishing the Favaloro Foundation in an attempt to emulate Cleveland Clinic. He is also credited with founding the Basic Investigation Laboratory, which was financed with his own money.

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 13 James Barry

James Barry
4
Famous As: military physician, Surgeon
Birthdate: November 9, 1795
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belfast
Died: July 25, 1865

Military surgeon James Miranda Steuart Barry is most noted for making medical reforms and performing one of the first known successful Caesarean sections in Africa. Although during adulthood Barry lived as a man, at birth Barry was named Margaret Ann Bulkley and was known as a girl-child. Barry's birth sex became public after a post-mortem examination.     

 14 Vivien Thomas

Vivien Thomas
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Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: August 29, 1910
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Iberia, Louisiana, United States
Died: November 26, 1985

Vivien Theodore Thomas was laboratory supervisor who never went to college; yet he rose above poverty and racism to develop a procedure for treating cyanotic heart disease. Initially billed as janitor, he began his career as assistant to surgeon Alfred Blalock first at Nashville University and later at Johns Hopkins, and in time discovered the life-saving technique, eventually becoming a teacher of operative techniques.

 15 Mary Edwards Walker

Mary Edwards Walker
4
Famous As: Surgeon, Feminist, Activist
Birthdate: November 26, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oswego
Died: February 21, 1919

Mary Edwards Walker, or Dr. Mary Walker, was the only female surgeon who served injured soldiers during the American Civil War. A dress reform supporter, she believed women should value comfort more than tradition when it came to clothes. She was also the first and only Medal of Honor winner.

 16 William Stewart Halsted

William Stewart Halsted
4
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: September 23, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City
Died: September 7, 1922

William Stewart Halsted was the man behind the first American surgical school at the Johns Hopkins University. The master surgeon made a number of contributions to medical science, including the introduction of mastectomy and aseptic surgical procedures. He often injected cocaine into his body to develop anesthesia.

 17 Mehmet Oz

Mehmet Oz
4
Famous As: Television personality
Birthdate: June 11, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Born to Turkish immigrants in the U.S., Mehmet Oz, better known as Dr. Oz, is a renowned cardiothoracic surgeon and professor. He is known for his multiple appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and for his YOU series of self-help books. He has also hosted The Dr. Oz Show.

 18 Magdi Yacoub

Magdi Yacoub
3
Famous As: Heart Surgeon
Birthdate: November 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belbin, Ashraqya, Egypt

Magdi Yacoub is a retired professor who worked at Imperial College London. He is best known for his work in repairing heart valves, a procedure which came to be known as the Ross-Yacoub procedure. In 1983, he performed the United Kingdom's first combined lung and heart transplant. Also a humanitarian, Yacoub co-founded the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation in 2008.

 19 Younan Nowzaradan

Younan Nowzaradan
2
Famous As: Specializes in vascular surgery and bariatric surgery.
Birthdate: October 11, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tehran, Pahlavi Iran Imperial State of Iran

 20 C. Everett Koop

C. Everett Koop
6
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: October 14, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 25, 2013

C. Everett Koop was a pediatric surgeon and public health administrator who served as the 13th Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan. Previously, he had been a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He was well-known for his support of the rights of children with disabilities and his work with AIDS patients. 

 21 Hasnat Khan

Hasnat Khan
4
Famous As: Heart & Lung Surgeon widely known for his Romantic Relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales from 1995 to 1997
Birthdate: April 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan

Better known as former lover of Princess Diana, British-Pakistani cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan was once described by the late princess as “Mr Wonderful.” He had first met Diana at the Royal Brompton Hospital, where the princess had gone to visit a friend. Hasnat is a distant relative of Imran Khan.

 22 Denton Cooley

Denton Cooley
3
Famous As: Heart Surgeon
Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: November 18, 2016

Denton Cooley was a heart and cardiothoracic surgeon. He is best known for performing the first implantation of a total artificial heart. He did his surgical training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and later worked at Baylor College of Medicine. He founded The Texas Heart Institute and was a consultant at Texas Children's Hospital. 

 23 Wilder Penfield

Wilder Penfield
4
Famous As: Surgeon, Neuroscientist, Neurosurgeon, University teacher, Neurologist
Birthdate: January 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Spokane
Died: April 5, 1976

Neuroscientist Wilder Penfield redefined medical science with his innovative way of treating epilepsy patients through surgery. He would note down his patients’ responses when they would be conscious under local anesthesia. He also founded the Montreal Neurological Institute, but was unable to cure his sister’s brain cancer.

 24 Norman Bethune

Norman Bethune
3
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 4, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Gravenhurst, Canada
Died: November 12, 1939

Canadian thoracic surgeon Norman Bethune served as an army physician for the Canadian Army during World War I. He revolutionized medical science by introducing the concept of mobile blood-transfusion. A Communist Party of Canada member, he later served the Chinese army against Japan, becoming a revered name in China.

 25 Vivek Murthy

Vivek Murthy
0
Famous As: 19th and 21st Surgeon General of the United States
Birthdate: July 10, 1977
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Huddersfield, England

 26 Jan Adams

Jan Adams
5
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: April 21, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Middletown

Cosmetic surgeon and TV personality Jan Adams made headlines after he conducted a liposuction, a tummy tuck, and a breast-reduction surgery on rapper Kanye West’s mother and she mysteriously died the following day. He has also penned books and appeared on shows such as Extra and The Other Half.

 27 Daniel Hale Williams

Daniel Hale Williams
3
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: January 18, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 4, 1931

Daniel Hale Williams was a general surgeon known for performing the first documented, successful pericardium surgery in the US in 1893. Born to interracial parents, he faced numerous struggles in his journey to become a physician. He later founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States, Chicago's Provident Hospital. He also founded a nursing school for African Americans. 

 28 Walter Jackson Freeman II

Walter Jackson Freeman II
3
Famous As: American physician
Birthdate: November 14, 1895
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 31, 1972

American neurologist Walter Jackson Freeman II is remembered for co-developing the technique of prefrontal lobotomy as a treatment for mental ailments, along with neurosurgeon James W. Watts. Though many of his patients died due to the treatment, he is still considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery.

 29 Leonid Rogozov

Leonid Rogozov
5
Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 14, 1934
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chita, Russia
Died: September 21, 2000

Leonid Rogozov was a Soviet general practitioner remembered for performing his own appendectomy as he developed appendicitis while stationed at Novolazarevskaya Station; he was part of the sixth Soviet Antarctic Expedition in 1961 when he developed appendicitis. The self-surgery, which was documented by Rogozov’s colleagues, resulted in a change of policy and health checks were made mandatory during such expeditions.

 30 Vladimir Demikhov

Vladimir Demikhov
3
Famous As: Organ Transplant Pioneer
Birthdate: July 18, 1916
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: November 22, 1998
While some called him a mad scientist, Vladimir Demikhov is now remembered as a pioneer of organ transplantation. The Soviet scientist coined the term transplantology and shocked the world by creating two-headed dogs, by attaching the head of one dog to the body of another. 

 31 Patrick Soon-Shiong

Patrick Soon-Shiong
0
Famous As: Inventor of Abraxane
Birthdate: July 29, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gqeberha, South Africa

 32 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson
5
Famous As: Mayor of Aldeburgh
Birthdate: June 9, 1836
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Whitechapel
Died: December 17, 1917

The first female doctor and surgeon of Britain, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was initially denied admission to medical schools because of her gender and had thus started studying privately. Soon after joining the Marylebone Dispensary as an attendant, she contributed to the formation of the New Hospital for Women.

 33 William Chester Minor

William Chester Minor
6
Famous As: Former Surgeon known for Contributions to the Oxford English Dictionary
Birthdate: June 22, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sri Lanka
Died: March 26, 1920

William Chester Minor was an army surgeon and lexicographical researcher. He studied at Yale Medical School and earned a medical degree with a specialization in comparative anatomy. He then became an army surgeon. He was later committed to a London psychiatric hospital for many years as he suffered from paranoid delusions. He became a lexicographical researcher while incarcerated.  

 34 John McCrae

John McCrae
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Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: November 30, 1872
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Died: January 28, 1918

Best known for his iconic war poems such as In Flanders Fields, Canadian poet John McCrae was also an army physician. He was the first Canadian to serve as a consulting surgeon for the British Army and had earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Army.

 35 Robert Rey

Robert Rey
5
Famous As: Plastic surgeon
Birthdate: October 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: São Paulo, Brazil

Brazilian American plastic-surgeon and television-presenter Roberto Rey featured on the American reality television series Dr. 90210 that focusses on plastic surgery in the affluent suburb of Beverly Hills, California. He is a member of the American Medical Association and the Los Angeles Medical Association. He unsuccessfully ran for a seat in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies during the 2014 Brazilian general election.

 36 Al-Zahrawi

Al-Zahrawi
5
Famous As: Physician, Surgeon
Birthdate: 0936 AD
Birthplace: Córdoba, Spain
Died: 1013 AD

Al-Zahrawi was an Arab Andalusian chemist, surgeon, and physician. Dubbed the father of modern surgery, Al-Zahrawi is widely regarded as the greatest surgeon of the Middle Ages. Al-Zahrawi was the first surgeon to use catgut for stitches and his pioneering contributions had an enormous effect in the West and East. Some of his discoveries are part of modern medical sciences.

 37 Bassem Youssef

Bassem Youssef
5
Famous As: Comedian
Birthdate: March 22, 1974
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cairo, Egypt

 38 Michael DeBakey

Michael DeBakey
5
Famous As: Cardiac Surgeon
Birthdate: September 7, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Died: July 11, 2008

Cardiac surgeon Michael DeBakey pioneered many treatments of cardiovascular ailments and also invented instruments such as the roller pump, later used for open-heart surgery procedures. He was also instrumental in developing MASH units and was awarded several prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

 39 Victor Chang

Victor Chang
5
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: November 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shanghai
Died: July 4, 1991

Born to Australian-born Chinese parents in Shanghai, cardiac surgeon Victor Chang grew up in Hong Kong, Myanmar, and Sichuan, in the aftermath of the Second Sino-Japanese War. His mother’s death from breast cancer made him study medicine. The pioneer of heart transplantation, Chang was killed in an extortion attempt.

 40 James Andrews

James Andrews
5
Famous As: surgeon
Birthdate: 1942 AD
Birthplace: Homer

One of the best-known American orthopedic sports surgeons, James Andrews has been associated with multiple sports teams, such as Alabama Crimson Tide and the Tampa Bay Rays. Among his clients are sports stars Michael Jordan and Tom Brady. He has also headed various organizations, such as the American Sports Medicine Institute.

 41 Werner Forssmann

Werner Forssmann
5
Famous As: Military physician, Surgeon, Urologist, Cardiologist
Birthdate: August 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: June 1, 1979

German physician Werner Forssmann is best-known for developing a method that allowed cardiac catheterization. This led him to jointly receive the 1956 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Forssmann started clinical application of cardiac catheterization in 1929, when he inserted a catheter into a vein of his forearm and safely passed it into his heart and took an X-ray picture of it.

 42 Devi Shetty

Devi Shetty
7
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: May 8, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Mangalore

Devi Shetty is an Indian cardiac surgeon and entrepreneur. He is best known as the founder of Narayana Health where he also serves as the chairman. Shetty, who has performed over 16,000 heart operations, was honored with the Padma Bhushan, India's third-highest civilian award in 2012. His life and career inspired an episode of Netflix's series The Surgeon's Cut.

 43 Caldwell Esselstyn

Caldwell Esselstyn
5
Famous As: Nutritionist, Rower
Birthdate: December 12, 1933
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

 44 Garth Fisher

Garth Fisher
5
Famous As: Presenter
Birthdate: September 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mississippi

American plastic surgeon and television presenter Garth Fisher, who specializes in aesthetic/cosmetic plastic surgery of different parts of the body including the face, nose and breast, is best known as the plastic surgeon on ABC aired American reality television series Extreme Makeover. He was knighted Sir Garth Fisher to honour his contributions and feats the field of plastic surgery.

 45 Dr. Miami

Dr. Miami
5
Famous As: Plastic Surgeon
Birthdate: April 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Internationally renowned plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, better known as Dr. Miami, has soared to fame with his Snapchat stories that highlight his surgeries. He has also penned a book and released a single. He is quite a reality star, too, and has also inspired a series featuring himself.

 46 Ernst-Günther Schenck

Ernst-Günther Schenck
5
Famous As: Surgeon, University teacher
Birthdate: October 3, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marburg
Died: December 21, 1998

While serving at the Nazi concentration camps during World War II, doctor Ernst-Günther Schenck created a protein sausage for Nazi troops, which was tested on the camp inmates, leading to many deaths. His experiences were later penned by him in his memoir, which inspired films such as Downfall.

 47 Ambroise Paré

Ambroise Paré
5
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: 1510 AD
Birthplace: Laval, France
Died: December 20, 1590

 48 John Hunter

John Hunter
5
Famous As: military physician, physician, university teacher
Birthdate: February 13, 1728
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lanarkshire
Died: October 16, 1793

John Hunter was a Scottish surgeon remembered for his efforts to study the human anatomy through investigation and experimentation. An early advocate of scientific method in medicine, Hunter was considered one of the most prominent surgeons of his generation. He is also remembered for paying for the body of Charles Byrne and displaying the skeletal remains in his Hunterian Museum.

 49 Alfred Blalock

Alfred Blalock
5
Famous As: Surgeon
Birthdate: April 5, 1899
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Culloden, Georgia, United States
Died: September 15, 1964

Remembered as a medical pioneer and a much-loved mentor, Alfred Blalock is especially noted for his work on traumatic and hemorrhagic shock, which saved thousands of lives during WWII. Working with Vivien Thomas and Helen Taussig, he also developed the Blalock-Thomas-Taussig shunt. Designed to treat children with Blue Baby Syndrome, it ushered a revolution in the field of cardiac surgery.

 50 Alexis Carrel

Alexis Carrel
5
Famous As: Surgeon, Biologist
Birthdate: June 28, 1873
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-lès-Lyon, Rhône, France
Died: November 5, 1944
Nobel Prize-winning French biologist and surgeon Alexis Carrel is remembered for developing a method to suture blood vessels with minimum stitches, to repair them. He also successfully kept tissues alive outside the body for 30 years, in an innovative tissue culture experiment, and worked on organ transplantation.