Valery I. Shumakov (1931–2008) – surgeon, Doctor of Medicine, professor of surgery and director of the Research Institute of Transplantology and Artificial Organs, Hero of Socialist Labour, Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, the founding father of Soviet clinical transplantation.


In our University. Graduated in 1956. Worked as an assistant research fellow in B. V. Petrovsky group at the Сhair of Hospital Surgery.


Training abroad. In 1961–1962 took an advanced training in cardio surgery in the USA.


Brief biography. Valery Shumakov was born in Moscow. The dream of becoming a doctor appeared when he was still in school. The young man entered the best medical educational institution in the country, and determined his calling – to be a cardio surgeon. Especially since this direction in surgery was developing in the whole world.

The first successful experience of the young doctor was the creation of a new method of palliative care in a failed mitral valve case. It was when Shumakov’s historic meeting with the renowned surgeon, academician Boris V. Petrovsky happened.


The work started under the leadership of academician B. V. Petrovsky. These were the 15 years of fruitful cooperation of a Teacher with a capital “T” and not less talented student.


The primary focus of Shumakov’s work was on development of “heart-lung” machines. After the training in the USA he started performing independent open-heart surgeries. The more experience he got, the broader he saw problems of cardio surgery. Those days a task was set before the surgeons – to find an optimal construction for heart valve prostheses.


The creative partnership of V. I. Shumakov and the head of a large plant, an engineer B. P. Zverev resulted in creation and mass production of high quality heart valve prostheses.


His ball prosthesis of the mitral valve was in high demand during almost 20 years, so good was the design. 200 certificates of authorship – that many inventions he has made during his lifetime. The mitral valve prosthesis is the first in the list.

In the early 1970-es the Professor headed the U.S.–Russian joint group working on creation of artificial heart. He was working side-by-side with the famous cardio surgeon Michael DeBakey.


After in 1987 the USSR Ministry of Health adopted the document according to which it became possible to pronounce death on the grounds of “brain death” diagnosis V. I. Shumakov began performing heart-transplant surgeries. The doctor reached a great success – the first heart-transplant patient has lived for more than eight years after the operation.

V. I. Shumakov kept performing 4–5 surgeries a week until the end of his lifetime. He personally transplanted around 100 hearts, more than 1000 kidneys, did hundreds of other complex surgeries, bringing people back to normal lives. The surgeon said:


“I am an optimist, as my job doesn’t allow pessimistic attitude”.


At the same time V. I. Shumakov was a head and a member of public organizations, scientific organizations the more remarkable is such working efficiency. Among many others he was a member of International Federation for Artificial Organs, International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.

He died in 2008 and was buried at the Novodevichy cemetery.


Scientific achievements. In 1965 he defended his doctoral thesis “Heart valve prostheses”.

In 1987 he did the first in the country successful transplantation of a donor heart, employing his own technique (Shumakov technique).

In 1990 did the first in the country successful transplantation of a liver.

He created and theoretically grounded the method of perfusion-free cold solution conservation of isolated organs.

He laid the foundation of cell trasplantology, worked out and applied the method of treating diabetic nephropathy with the simultaneous kidney transplant and beta-cells of pancreas.

At the Museum of Medical History. In 2005 V. I. Shumakov personally presented the Museum with his scientific publications, patents and certificates of authorship, discovery diplomas, personal photographs. Among the photographs – President V. V. Putin rewarding Shumakov with the Order of St. Andrew, January 22, 2002. Also a photograph of V. I. Shumakov with his patient (1980-es).

The Museum also preserves artificial ventricle samples, his surgical gown and a cap.


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