PROF. SERGIO CANAVERO, MD

THE PIONEER WHO PLANS THE FIRST HUMAN HEAD TRANSPLANTATION

Prof. Sergio Canavero, MD, is a renowned neurosurgeon from Turin, Italy, who plans the first human head transplantation in the world.

He is the former director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group and developed the GEMINI protocol, the scientific spinal cord fusion protocol for the first human head transplantation. Prior to that, Prof. Canavero worked as a neurosurgeon at the University Hospital Turin, Italy, for 22 years.

Mr. Canavero graduated cum laude from the University of Turin, passed the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination in the Medical Sciences (USMLE) in Philadelphia, PA, USA, was a visiting physician at the Neurosurgical Division of Karolinska Hospital Stockholm, Sweden, and is a professor honoris causa of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China. Mr. Canavero was a member of the American Academy of Neurological and Orthopedic Surgeons (AANOS), a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, an intern at the Neurological and Neurosurgical Hospital Pierre Wertheimer in Lyon, France, and a consultant for the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), USA.

He has written numerous scientific books, including Central Pain Syndrome. Pathophysiology, Diagnosis and Management (Cambridge University Press; Canavero S, Bonicalzi V), Textbook of Therapeutic Cortical Stimulation (New York: Nova Biomedical), Textbook of Cortical Brain Stimulation (DeGruyter Open), and Immortal. Why Consciousness is Not in the Brain (Amazon), among others. Mr. Canavero has published or contributed to more than 140 scientific articles (see list below). He speaks eight languages.

THE HEAD TRANSPLANTATION

HOW WE WILL PERFORM THE SURGERY

BREAKING NEWS

FIRST HUMAN HEAD TRANSPLANTATION: PROFESSOR SERGIO CANAVERO PRESENTS NEW VIRTUAL REALITY SYSTEM AND CUTTING DEVICE AT GLASGOW NEURO CONFERENCE

(2016/11/18, University of Illinois/Inventum Bioengineering/Prof. Canavero) Prof. Sergio Canavero, founder of HEAVEN (Head Anastomosis Venture) and former director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group, who plans to perform the first human head transplantation, has presented the next milestone in the pioneering project at Glasgow Neuro Conference.

The blade for the transplantation.Farid Amirouche, professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory and of Orthopedics Research, has developed a smart surgical cutting device system for the head transplantation. The cutting device can be used in neurosurgery and for delicate surgical procedures in which depth, speed, material and angulation are primary driving parameters and in which cuts need to be performed at the micrometer and nano level.

“The system cutter includes a disposable blade holder assembly with a diamond cutting blade, with the blade holder assembly sliding into and out of a rotating head, and a retractable and adjustable nerve holder with a fitting slot to avoid blade advancement beyond the nerve diameter. A reflecting array of lights is used on the adjustable holder to provide additional light and detection of the nerve surface and its position in relation to the blade,” the multi-award-winning scientist, who is the author of seven books and over 240 technical papers, said about his invention. “The cutting blade is exposed, and its cutting speed are adjusted a priori to allow the surgeon to optimize the cutting procedure in real time. The adjustable head can also come equipped with a temperature-controlled vacuumed chamber for minimizing blood loss and maintaining nerve-structure integrity during surgery,” he added.

“Prof. Amirouche has developed probably the sharpest and most precise blade in the world,” Prof. Canavero stated, “which will allow a clear cut of the spinal cord with a minimal impact on the nerves, a cutting system that is innovative and very inventive. It is another milestone on the journey to make the first human head transplant possible.”

Virtual reality system for patients.At the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Prof. Canavero also presented, for the first time, a virtual reality system developed for the head transplant by Inventum Bioengineering Technologies, Chicago, IL.

“In preparing the patient of HEAVEN to transition into a new body, virtual reality training will be used before the surgical procedure to prevent the occurrence of unexpected psychological reactions,” Inventum’s co-founder and CEO Alexander Pavlovcik explained regarding the new system. “We are combining the latest advancements in virtual reality to develop the world’s first protocol for preparing the patient for bodily freedom after the transplantation procedure,” he added.

Inventum’s co-founder and chief science officer, Kiratipath Iamsakul, said: “The patient will engage in virtual reality experiences that will involve activities requiring the use of bodily movements. These experiences are developed by referring to techniques used in conventional neurorehabilitation for the purpose of providing the most realistic sensations involved in voluntary motor functions. The patient will engage in virtual reality training several months before the commencement of the HEAVEN procedure in order to sufficiently prepare for the normalcy of life in a new body.”

“his virtual reality system prepares the patient in the best possible way for a new world that he will be facing with his new body,” Prof. Canavero said regarding Inventum’s innovation. “A world in which he will be able to walk again,” he added.

“Virtual reality simulations are extremely important as this kind of systems allow to get involved into action and learn fast and efficiently. As a computer scientist I am extremely certain that it is an essential technology for the HEAVEN project,” Valery Spiridonov who will be the first person to have full body transplant said regarding the new technology for HEAVEN patients.

Breakthrough with Texas PEG.After the publication of various studies in Surgical Neurology International, this September researchers from Korea and the United States, under Prof. Sergio Canavero’s supervision, showed how a fully transected cervical spinal cord can be mended with the use of special substances called fusogens. Professor C-Yoon Kim at Konkuk University in Seoul, Republic of Korea, will present via live video from Seoul this next milestone at Glasgow Neuro Conference.

In Surgical Neurology International, Prof. C-Yoon Kim has already reported an ultra-fast recovery of impulse conduction across a refused spinal cord, a feat deemed impossible by contemporary medical science, after using a nano-enhanced form of polyethylene glycol (Texas PEG) supplied by the Rice University laboratory of Prof. James Tour, an authority in the field of nanomaterials. A behavioral effect was reported with full motor recovery of a rat in three weeks, which compared to no recovery in five controls.

In the meantime, Prof. C-Yoon Kim has repeated the procedure with Texas PEG on three more rats: all of them fully recovered motor function and were able to move and feed themselves, which compared to no recovery in three controls. Prof. C-Yoon Kim, who is continuing the study on more rats, will publish the scientific results shortly.

“These results prove that a severed spinal cord can be reconstructed,” Prof. Canavero stated, “and that Texas PEG will play a key role in the first human head transplantation. There will be more studies to follow, also on brain-dead organ donors before organ-harvesting, but the current results look very promising that we are on the right path.”

FULLY TRANSECTED CERVICAL SPINAL CORD CAN BE MENDED
FOR THE FIRST TIME BY THE USE OF FUSOGENS

FROM THE HEAVEN/GEMINI INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATIVE GROUP

(2016/09/21, Surgical Neurology International/Rice University/Prof. Canavero) In a string of three papers appearing in Surgical Neurology International, researchers from Korea and the USA, under Prof. Sergio Canavero’s supervision, show how a fully transected cervical spinal cord can be mended by the use of special substances called fusogens.

Their technique relies on a nano-enhanced form of polyethylene glycol (Texas PEG) supplied by the Rice University laboratory of Professor James Tour, an authority in the field of nanomaterials, and manufactured by PhD student William Sikkema.

A group led by Professor C-Yoon Kim at Konkuk University and Professor Bae Hwan Lee, Yonsei University College of Medicine, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, has reported an ultra-fast recovery of impulse conduction across a re-fused spinal cord, a feat deemed impossible by contemporary medical science.

A preliminary behavioral effect was reported, which seems no less astonishing, with full motor recovery of a rat in three weeks versus none in five controls. This result is superior to the simple use of PEG reported in an accompanying paper, in which the animals recovered motor function enough to move and feed themselves but still not in a normal range within four weeks.

Kim’s group also applied PEG to a near-completely severed cervical cord in a dog. Contrary to what is expected from natural history (no recovery), the dog regained near-complete motorfunction in three weeks.

These preliminary, proof-of-principle papers prove that a severed spinal cord can be reconstructed, as required by the Head Anastomosis Venture (HEAVEN)/GEMINI head transplant project, paving the way for the first human head transplant in history.

In November, Prof. Sergio Canavero will present the GEMIN-o-tome, the nanoblade that will be used to sever the cord in the first head transplantation as designed by pluri-awarded Prof. Farid Amirouche, professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering, as well as professor of orthopedics at the University of Illinois, Chicago (USA). At the same time, the Virtual Reality Group from Inventum Bioengineering Technologies, Chicago (USA), will present the VR protocol that will be enacted at the time of the first human head transplant.

Prof. Canavero has been invited by a neurosurgical team at MUMBAI Central Wockhardt Hospital, India, led by Dr. Ajay Bajaj, who offered to host HEAVEN in India.

MY MISSION: WHY I AM DOING IT

THE FIRST HUMAN HEAD TRANSPLANTATION

By Prof. Sergio Canavero, MD

GLOBAL COVERAGE

THOUSANDS OF ARTICLES ON THE MAN WHO COULD CHANGE THE COURSE OF HUMAN HISTORY

Prof. Sergio Canavero and his plan for the first human head transplantation has led to thousands of reports and articles in the print media, online, on television, and on the radio around the globe.

Television networks such as CBS, ABC, CNN, sky, ITV, BBC, RTL, CCTV, and RAI have reported on the first human head transplantation. In addition, publications such as the Washington Post, New York Times, Die Welt, OOOM, Newsweek, Zeit, SPIEGEL, BILD, Daily Mail, Forbes, The Guardian, FAZ, Huffington Post, NZZ, Mirror, Time, Paris Match, La Repubblica, El Mundo, The Independent covered Prof. Canavero’s plan.

Read some of the most interesting stories online.

INTERVIEWS & MEDIA INQUIRIES

THE FIRST HUMAN HEAD TRANSPLANTATION

For interview requests and all media inquiries, please contact:

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Phone +43 1 522 34 23
Fax +43 1 253 67 22–71 71

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

BOOK PROF. CANAVERO FOR YOUR EVENT.

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Fax +43 1 253 67 22–71 71

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