The Biography of the Scientist

1945Born in Alt-Skalden/Posen, former Eastern Germany
1965-68Studied medicine at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, former Eastern Germany

Imprisoned in Gera and Cottbus after a failed attempt to defect;
liberated as a political prisoner by the West German government in August 1970

1970-73Completion of medical studies at the University of Lübeck, Germany
Internship at the Helgoland hospital
Internship and doctorate completed in the anesthesia and emergency unit
of the University of Heidelberg, Germany
Resident at the Anatomical Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Resident at the Pathological Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Anatomist at the Anatomical Institute, University of Heidelberg, Germany
Discovered and developed plastination process
Numerous lectures about plastination in over 25 countries
1982Began the Body Donation Programm for Plastination 
Served as keynote speaker at 8 international plastination conferences
in the US, Germany, Canada, Austria, and Australia
Established the Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, Germany; Scientific Director
Appointed visiting professor at the Dalian Medical University, China
Founded a plastination center at the State Academy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
and at the Dalian Medical University, China; Scientific Director
Named honorary professor at the Kyrgyz State Medical Academy, Kyrgyzstan
Founding of the “Von Hagens Plastination (Dalian) Co. Ltd.” in Dalian, PR China
Named visiting professor at the New York University College of Dentistry, USA
Founding of the Gubener Plastinate GmbH and opening of the PLASTINARIUM in Guben, Germany, a plastination workshop and anatomical exhibition open to the public.


  • German patent 27 10 147 (1978),

  • British patent 1 558 802 (1984),

  • Belgian patent 863.949 (1978),

  • South African patent 78/1330 (1980),

  • Austrian patent 360 272 (1980),

  • USA patents 4,205,059 (1981), 4,244,992 (1981), 4,278,701 (1982), 4,320,157.

Major Scientific Publications:

G. von Hagens: "Verfahren zur verbesserten Ausnutzung von Kunststoffen bei der Konservierung biologischer Präparate" ("Process for Improved Exploitation of Polymers in the Preservation of Biological Tissue")
Specification DE 32 32 756 A1, German Patent Office, Munich (1982).

G. von Hagens: "Heidelberger Plastinationshefter" ("Heidelberg Plastination Folder")
160 pages (1985/86), Anatomical Institute of the University of Heidelberg, INF 307, 69120 Heidelberg.

G. von Hagens, K. Tiedemann, W. Kriz: "The Current Potential of Plastination"
Anatomy and Embryology (1987) 175, p. 411–421.

G. von Hagens: "Impregnation of Soft Biological Specimens with Thermosetting Resins and Elastomers"
Anatomical Record (1979) 194, p. 247–255.

G. von Hagens/A. Whalley/R. Maschke/W. Kriz: "Cross-Sectional Anatomy of the Human Brain. A Photographic Atlas of Plastinated Series of Body Slices"
Darmstadt 1990: Steinkopff Publishers (ISBN 3–7985–0780–5).

G. von Hagens/L. J. Romrell/M. H. Ross/K. Tiedemann: "The Visible Human Body. A Photographic Atlas of Plastinated Slices of the Human Body"
Philadelphia/London 1991: Lea & Febiger publishers (ISBN 0–8121–1269–5). Translated into German, Spanish and Japanese.

Related Literature:

G. von Hagens/A. Whalley: "BODY WORLDS: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies"
Exhibition Catalog. Heidelberg, 8th printing 2006: Art & Sciences Publishers (ISBN 3-937256-04-0)

F. J. Wetz/B. Tag (Ed.): "Schöne Neue Körperwelten – Der Streit um die Ausstellung" ("Brave New Body Worlds: The Controversy surrounding the Exhibition")
Stuttgart 2001: Klett-Cotta publishers (ISBN 3–608–94311–0); in particular, the essay by G. von Hagens entitled: "Grim and Gruesome Corpses, Posed Plastinates and Mandatory Burial", p. 40–84.

F. J. Wetz: "Tote hoch zu Ross. Vom Triumph der Statue zum Verbot des Plastinats" ("Corpses Tall in the Saddle. From the Triumph of Statues to a Ban on a Plastinate")
Heidelberg 2003: Arts & Sciences Publishers (ISBN 3–937256–00–8).

F. J. Wetz: "Die Würde der Menschen ist antastbar: eine Provokation" ("Human rights are not inviolable: a provocation")
Stuttgart 1998: Klett-Cotta Publishers (ISBN 3-608-91908-2).