Nature honors Yale’s Sestan for reviving pigs’ brain function after death

Nenad Sestan
Nenad Sestan

Yale’s Nenad Sestan M.D., Ph.D., the Harvey and Kate Cushing Professor of Neuroscience, has been named as one of Nature’s 10 scientists who made a difference in 2019, the journal announced Dec. 17.

The journal recognized the work of Sestan and his team for “challenging thinking of the border between life and death by reviving the brains of pigs which had died hours earlier.”

Sestan and Zvonimir Vrselja (left) and Stefano Daniele (right), the two co-first authors of the paper highlighted by Nature
Sestan and Zvonimir Vrselja (left) and Stefano Daniele (right), the two co-first authors of the paper highlighted by Nature

The researchers reported  April 17 in the journal Nature that they had restored circulation and cellular function in severed heads of pigs obtained from a local meatpacking plant. However, they also stressed that the brains lacked any recognizable global electrical signals associated with normal brain function.

Sestan, who earned a Ph.D. in 1999 from Yale School of Medicine, is also professor of comparative medicine, of genetics and of psychiatry.

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Bess Connolly: elizabeth.connolly@yale.edu, 203-432-1324