Published Works

“Love alone radiates brightness. The love of humanity has illuminated noble men and in the intimate life of each of us, does not our greatest happiness lie in our love for someone we cherish? Only love can beautify the existence and clothe it with infinite charm and gentleness, with the joy which is inherent in all labours of the thoughts and all lofty and generous actions.
Love, too, is a force which sustains action and exalts thoughts.
Love and thought are the most wonderful gifts which Nature has accorded to man.”

“I owe a deep debt to animals, who have been my best collaborators. Thanks to animals, I have been able to prove the accuracy of my theories and ideas as to the possibility of counteracting the ravages of old age. “

“To monkeys I am especially indebted, since they have provided me with the wherewithal to enable men and women to realize one of man’s oldest dreams, that of postponing old age as long as possible and of retaining vivacity, lucidity, and physical energy beyond the normal span. “

“I feel I should like to repay my debt by proving that animals are deserving not only of our protection, but that they should be treated as being endowed with intelligence and feelings.”

“It is a great mistake to think that animals only feel physical pain. Many of them have a soul as sensitive as our own, whilst their feelings are sometimes even superior to ours.”

“As with human beings, love with animals comprises a psychic and a physical stage. First the heart, then the senses. The song of the nightingale, the fiddling of the grasshopper, the bagpipes of the tree frog, the cymbals of the partridge, the pure crystal bell-like tones of the toad, and all the music we hear in the fields and woods in springtime are love calls, the means of enticement which the lovesick male uses incessantly until the female, charmed by his melody, repays his attentions by abandoning herself.”

The Sources of Life

The following excerpts come from The Sources of Life, written by Dr. Voronoff, published in 1943 by Bruce Humphreys, Inc. in Boston:

“As the discoverer of the treasure of life which monkeys can place at our disposal, I have considered it my duty to take the initiative by establishing the first monkey farm in Europe in order to set an example.” Chateau Grimaldi Cage

Special thanks to Alberto Cane for his discovery of this photograph from Chateau Grimaldi.

“Monkeys, being precious subjects from which we can borrow fresh supplies of vital energy when it becomes necessary, should also be systematically bred. ”

“It is necessary that monkey breeding farms should be established…It is not enough to protect the existing monkeys. Some means must be found to increase their numbers.”
“Before I attempted to graft a genital gland my observations on thyroid gland grafting had already shown me that a monkey’s gland can perfectly well adapt itself to the human organism.”

“The death struggle of a chimpanzee is one of the most painful of spectacles. Its human attitude, its imploring eyes produce a profound impression and one feels as much anguish as if it were a human being in such pain.”Birth of a Monkey

“On my farm I have monkeys from all countries; they are placed under the best climatic conditions. During the night, in the winter months, the indoor cages are furnished with central heating. Things are arranged so that the monkeys can remain in the open air in outdoor cages if they wish to do so.”

Serge at Chicago Train Station 1920Transplantation of the Thyroid and So-Called Interstitial Glands

a Lecture by Dr. Serge Voronoff

Director of the Experimental Department of Physiology at the University of Paris, France

Presented at the American Hospital in Chicago, Illinois:

August 9th, 1920

A link to the entire article about International Clinics, A Quarterly of Clinical Lectures (originally published in 1921) is here.

“What shall we do to prolong life?”

“I believe the sexual glands intensify the life of the cells of the whole body.”

“In animal experiments I have noticed that upon the removal of either the thyroid or testicular gland, or both, there was a decline in the vital powers.  In other experiments instead of removing these glands, they were implanted in animals from which they had been previously removed or were congenitally absent. The results of these experiments I communicated to the Surgical Congress in Paris in October, 1919.”

“I cannot give you a definite report on the transplantation of the testicles of the chimpanzee upon the human as I have done this only twice on eunuchs, and the cases are still under observation.  I do not know what the ultimate result will be, but the attempt opens up a field of wide possibilities.  I would caution you not to discard a method which is so promising. The work must be put on a sound, scientific basis.  No steps should be taken which will have to be retraced.  We should proceed with this work slowly because the method has great possibilities.”

“Let us now study the all-important testicular glands. It has been done in two ways: Experimentally on animals and by observations made on eunuchs.  Having been physician to the Khedive of Egypt, I had special opportunities of pursuing my researches and of observing eunuchs in the Khedive’s harem.  They are corpulent, flabby, sluggish and constipated.  Their intestinal functions are sluggish.  All these eunuchs die young in years though apparently old.  So that the absence of the testicles, and in the presence of a healthy condition of all the other organs of the body, the eunuch is an inferior individual and this is because of the absence of testicular secretion.  Many organs are dependent upon the testicular secretion.  The healthy thyroid gland limits the production of connective cells, thereby hindering the enemy of the body.  The testicular glands have another function, namely, that of stimulating and keeing in health the specialized cells.”

“For our experimental work we have used anthropoid apes.  The tailless apes are animals which closely resemble man.  It has been found microscopically that their blood is the same as the blood ofman and can be used for intravenous injections in man. Intravenous injections of the blood of the sheep or dog into the human are to be condemned.  The only species of apes available for this purpose are the chimpanzee, the gorila, and the orang-utang.  Up to the age of two months one cannot tell the difference betwen the human embryo and the embryo of the chimpanzee.”

“We have had two successful implantations of the chimpanzee thyroid gland upon cretins or myxoedematous patients.  One of them was upon a a young man who previous to the transplantation of the gland was an idiot.  It was not the transplantation of a human thyroid but the transplantation of a thyriod gland taken from the chimpanzee. The experiment on this individual was performed six years ago. To our great surprise, the individual became normal intellectually.  He served the war.  I have done this successfully twice.”

LIFE: A Study of the Means of Restoring Vital Energy and Prolonging Life

(click on highlighted title to see online book in full)

“Why not try to create a race of Supermen, endowed with physical and intellectual attributes very superior to ours?  This conception may appear revolutionary at the time but there is no reason why such an attempt should not be made.  Then we shall see only Heroes born; and the least of our children will have the strength of Zoroaster, Apolonius, or Malchezedick.  And most of them will be accomplished as the children Adam would have had with Eve if he had not sinned with her.”

~~S.Voronoff, The Conquest of Life



translated by G. Gibier Rambaud, M.D.

1928 Brentano’s Ltd. London

Translator’s Introduction

All those who know Dr. Serge Voronoff cannot have failed, when they first met him , to be struck by his storngly marked personality in contrast with the great simplicity of the man, his quiet, unassuming manner, his kindness which, at once, attract ones’s sympathy. And yet, there is hardly anyone today, who has not had occasion to hear or to mention his name, for, wihtin the last six or seven years, few men have been talked about as much as he. And this, notwithstanding the fact that he has always tried to avoid publicity.

But the nature of the savant’s discovery was such that it could not be kept within the confines of the scientific world: the light could not long remain under a bushel!

The first announcement of that discovery was made by its author on October 18th, 1919 in the great amphitheater of the Paris Medical Faculty, before the 28th French Surgical Congress. It could be resumed in a few words: I have found a remedy for old age. I have already rejuvenated a number of animals.

Then, three years later, before a large audience gathered at the Laboratory of Experimental Physiology of the College de France, during the session of the 31st Surgical Congress, he presented one of his first rejuvenated human patients, Sir Arthur Liardet. Of course the press of the whole world published echoes of that communication and a flood of comments was let loose. Indeed, had it not been man’s dream, throughout the ages, to extend the limits of old age and delay the advent of death?

At the present moment, the patients, in ninety-eight percent of the cases, do not want the fact that they have been grafted to become known. That is because of the special and wrong interpretation that has so often been given to the chief purpose of the operation. I, for one, when necessity will make itself felt,-will not try to hide the fact that “I have practiced what I preached;” for I will certainly desire to maintain my modest intellectual faculties as long as I possibly can: a most legitimate and least shameful desire, it seems to me.

~~George Gibier Rambaud, M.D.

Former Director of the

New York Pasteur Institute


“There is a decided dicrepancy between our intense desire to live and the afflictions of old age and brevity of life. We have the natural impulse for living; but we instinctively desire to ward off death.”

“Every human being dreads the advent of death and suffers at the very idea of the physical and moral deterioration that comes with old age.”

“Religion itself brings us only trifling consolation. It can only exhort us to fortitude before the inevitable, and, in order to attenuate the horror of dath and to satisfy our innate craving to live, to live for ever, it promises us that we shall be reborn in another world to life eternal. In its infinite commiseration for poor humanity which nothing is able to console for the loss of life on earth, religion has even deemed it necessary to assert that “the life beyond the veil” will be infinitely better. This, however, satisfies nobody. Believers and unbelievers alike call on God or on Science to prolong their existence on earth, and spare them the pitiful infirmities of old age.”

“Unfortunately, until recent years, Science was important to furnish any remedy for old age and postpone the fateful end. We knew the indirect causes of senility, the effects of certain diseases, but we were absolutely ignorant of the inmost reason for the deterioration of our organs which inevitably occurs at almost an exactly fixed period. Beyond the known commonplace causes of death lay a vast unknown. Could we reach it and penetrate the mystery of our organism, and get to know the primordial cause of old age and death? The solution alone of this problem, by unveiling Nature’s secret, might guide us towards the possible remedy against the senile condition of which our body so often presents the lamentable spectacle of old age.”

“Difficult as it is, this problem must not be regarded as above and beyond the limits of possible scientific research. The impossibility of knowing the origin of life and the appearance of the first living being should not exclude the possibility of discovering the cause of death.”

“As a matter of fact, the origin of life dates back some millions of years, and it is at present impossible to reconstitute the atmospheric conditions -heat, moisture, compostion of the air, radiations,-as well as the very special state in which matter was at that period and which rendered the birth of life possible.”

“Death, on the other hand, is a phenomenon which happens before our eyes, and we have only too many opportunities for observing it. Our studies of it may extend from the simple beings to the most complex organisms. We can even verify by experiment hypotheses suggested to us by observation, for if it is impossible for us to create life artificially, we are able to realize artificially the conditions that bring us near to death or remove its danger, and non-success of previous investigations should not discourage any new effort that may tend towards solving the gravest and most poignant problem facing mankind.”

“The question arises at the outset: Is death inevitable, and must it be accepted as general law from which no living being can escape?”

“I am speaking, of course, of natural physiological death, and not of death arising from accident, malady or aggression by the stronger, all causes which are frequently observable in nature. I do not know whether this natural, physiological death has evfer been observed in connection with mankind; for, post-mortem examination of even those who die in extreme old age, from no apparent malady, reveals leasions that have until then escaped observation, thus proving emphatically that death has resulted from more or less serious affection of certain of the organs.”

“If then, natural death exists- and it is impossible not to admit that it does- it must be extremely rare at the age at which it habitually occurs.”

“In order to study this phenomenon and secure some clue to Nature’s original intentions, the most logical method obviously is to bast our investigations on teh simplest category of beings, the ones nearest in character to those who first appeared on this earth. Only in this way shall we be able to glean some idea whether death was brought into existence at the origin of life itself, and whether it constitutes the unavoidable law of Nature.”

“Now, the most elementary kind of living matter takes the form of cells composed solely of protoplasm, a soft tiny mass, enveloping a nucleus. Such cells constitute the infusoria, the amoebae and other protozoa. While observing them we see each cell soon divide into two parts, each forming a living cell, without the least particle of the matter composing the original cell being lost. Each of these two cells divides again into two, and at the end of a very short space of time we see them reproducing themselves by division and increasing in an extraordinary fashion. Generations succeed each other with great rapidity, without a single case of death occurring. One seeks in vain among the innumerable swarm of infusoria for a dead organism (Metchnikoff and Metalnikoff). They would be capable of invading the entire world if, being deprived of defence, they were not devoured by a multitude of enemies.”

“The protozoan knows nothing of old age, and it never dies. It may be destroyed by adversaries or as a result of inanition, through lack of food, but it does not know physiological death.”

“It created the first living beings, which, by gradual evolution through millions of ages formed themselves into the animal chain, Nature willed that they should be immortal.”

“The breath of life which, for the first time, animated matter contained nothing but life. Nature, at that period, was ignorant of death. What circumstances then, brought about the fatal change in the original plan?”

“In order to comprehend this, we must follow the evolution which occurred in the consitution of living beings.”

“During the progressive course of the centuries, the modifications that occurred in conditions of existence, and the changes in surroundings and habitat, certain primitive cells, associated themselves together, for the purpose of forming beings endowed with more perfect organs, better adapted to the new vital needs. These groupings, however, did not modify the essential quality of the primitive cell. The cell of no matter what part of the body was able to reproduce the entire body.”

“As a matter of fact, many of the lower animals have retained the faculty of rejuvenating themselves, of entire rebirth from any part whatever of the body: such is the coral, which multiplies indefinitely and often forms reefs several hundred miles long. The fresh-water hydra (water-snake) possesses the same aptitude for regeneration; if it is cut into the smallest morsels, each tiny portion will reproduce an entire normal hydra.”

“Some animals which, on account of their organic structure, may be regarded as superior, such as the planaria, the fresh-water worms, are able to reconstitue a complete individual from every part of their body. A similar phenomenon is to be observed in regard to the sea-worms called nemertina. Even the common earth-worm, which is endowed with a relatively high organization, has preserved the faculty: each fragment of its body can regenerate the complete worm.”

“As we rise in the animal scale, however, and follow the evolution of human beings toward more an more perfected forms, we shall see that the cells of the body definitely lost this power to regenerate the whole organism. This loss of creative power does not occur suddenly. It is at first limited to the power to reproduce only the single organ of which the animal has been deprived. Insects possess the same aptitude for reconstituting their limbs, but this regeneration does not extend to the rest of the body. The lower kinds of vertebrates still enjoy this astonishing faculty, although to a lesser degree. The lizard, for instance, can restore a lost tail. The higher vertebrates, however, birds, mammals, and man, are totally lacking in the power to re-create a part of their body.”

“What is the reason for this? Why do the lower types of being possess the faculty of rebirth, of being able to regenerate themselves entirely by means of any one of their cells, while the higher animals, which have acquired perfected organs, are lacking in the same gift, to the greatest prejudice of the individual (although not of the species, although not of the species, the continuity of which remains always assured by specialized cells)?”

“We find the explanation of this phenomenon in the fact itself that these higher organisms have undergone improvement. To individuals of a primitive order, formed of a single cell adn endowed with a complete life, with aptitude for growth and indefinite multiplication, have succeeded beings constituted by a grouping of several cells, equally sufficiently simple to retain the same powers. These have been followed by other beings, all the more differentiated, endowed with organs designed to accomplish one special function, and who are consequently comprised of cells very far removed from the primitive type, of which each has had to acquire special qualifications to enable it usefully to play its part in the whole.”

“Thus the aspect of the various cells which enter into the constitution of our body is so different from that of the typical cell can barely be recongized. The study of the latter, however, as we rise in the scale of beings, shows us all the stages at once how the muscular fibers, the nerve cells, and so one, have been formed.”

“Nevertheless, however complicated, however perfected a being, such as man, may be, it comes from a single cell – the ovum, or the egg. The transformation occurs proportionally as the initial cell breaks up and divides itself more and more, for the purpose of forming, little by little, the various cells which will enter into the composition of our tissues and organs. Modified to an extreme, incapable thenceforward of leading an independent existence and of proving self-sufficient, the life of these cells is ensured only by the mutual help of all teh others in the organism. They form a society, a state, in which each one fills a special role destined to ensure the life of the whole of them.”

“The higher and the more delicate the function of each organ, the more perfected are the cells of which it is composed, the further they diverge from the primitive type and the more they depend on the work of the less delicate cells of other organs. Thus, as in human society, there is established in the human organism a selection, a hierarchy between the various elements which constitute it, from the humble intestinal cell which, so to speak, prepares our daily bread, up to the delicate and highly perfected cells of the cerebral substance which co-ordinate the labor of all the artisans of our organism, stimulating some, checking others and forming a kind of Roman senate, which governs our cellular republic.”

“By the side, however, of all these more or less perfected and specialized cells, by the side of these industrious citizens, each following a special craft, are beings that are incapable of accomplishing any function requiring a professional education. These cells, which are little differentiated, are the connective tissue cells. They creep in everywhere, and are found in more or less greater numbers between the elements of all the organs, without exception. These conjunctive cells form the plebians, a hardy and vigorous race which reproduce themselves with great facility. Sturdier than any of the other cells, they continually encroach upon the places occupied by the noble cells, which, sooner or later, wear themselves out, victims to the sacrifice of their independence which they gave up to the community by undertaking a limited role, a special function which contributes to the prosperity of the whole society but only to the detriment of their own mens of resistance. The study of old age teaches us, in fact, that these conjunctive cells invade the tissues of our organs more and more. Autopsies of the bodies of old people invariably reveal the disappearance, the atrophy, of the differentiated and specialized cells, which are replaced by conjunctive cells- sclerosis (the hardening of the tissues) is thus brought about.”

“Now, in the prooportion to the diminution in the number of the cerebral cells, our cerebral faculties progressively diminish, for the simple reason that the connective tissue cells are quite unable to carry out the functions of the cells that have disappeared; the co-ordinating influence of the brain over all the organs weakens, and when the number of cerebral cells becomes insufficient, when our brain contains too great a number of conjunctive cells, incapable of ensuring the functional harmony of all the organs, Death strikes the body which has been deprived of guidance.

But the brain is not the only organ to be affected. I have mentioned it first because it is important and the most perfected portion of our organism. A similar phenomenon is invariably observed in all the other tissues. The atrophy of the functional element and its replacement by connective tissue is to be seen everywhere. Even the bones submit to the common lot; hence the fractures that are so frequent among the elderly. Part of the chalk thus set free passes into the circulation and settles in the walls of the arteries,which have already been impaired by the invasion of the conjunctive cells; this deprives them of their elasticity, hardens them and renders them friable and unsuitable to the nutrition of our organs. These lesions, which are commonly known under the name of arterio-sclerosis, are the most characteristic of old age.

THe muscles, in their turn, suffer the same fate. The muscular fibers thin down; hence the muscular weakness which occurs even well before the decrease of the intellectual activity. After sixty-five, musecular effort becomes painful, atrophy having affected too great a proportion of the muscular system.

In the liver, the cells responsible for the formation of sugar, the supply of bile and the destruction of poisons are replaced by conjunctive cells. The same thing happens in the kidneys, where the conjunctive cells finally obstruct the ducts designed to carry off the waste products of the organism. And the same thing occurs in all other directions.”

“Everywhere, in the tissues and in the organs, it is the conjunctive cell which, occupying at first a modest place, multiplies itself, takes the place of the atrophied noble cells and, incapable itself of fulfilling their functions, brings into an organised society a kind of anarchy which causes its death. The numerous works by Retterer, a convinced evolutionist, demonstrate that the noble cell transforms itself into a conjunctive cell: that it becomes debased, so to speak, in proportion as the conditions of nutrition become defective with age. This, hoever, in no way affects our thesis. The fact remains that, with advancing years, the number of noble cells, specially adapted for a vital function, becomes diminished and that they are replaced by connective tissue cells which are incapable of fulfilling the same function. Thence come the disorganization of the whole of the functions of the body, old age, and death.”

“Here, therefore, is a phenomenon of a general order, which furnishes the key to the mystery and supplies the reason for our old age and our death.”

“The initial cause having thus been elucidated, there are certainly numerous secondary causes which are able to accelerate the senile condition and shorten our existence. Metchnikoff was quite right in drawing attention to the harmful effect of fermentations due to bacilli of the large intestine. The poisons which they elaborate, and which are reabsorbed by the blood naturally affect the most delicate, vital, and sensitive- and the least robust- elements of our bodies. The same observation may be made in regard to alcohol, but with this extension: that the poison, which is the product of the fermentation of yeasts, seems even to super-excite the activity of conjunctive cells, thus bringing about the speedy hardening of the blood vessels and of the organs in general. It is unnecessary to remark that all infectious maladies have a similar effect.”

There is no need to continue further. What we have wished to establish is the fundamental processes of all old age ending in death, namely, the predominance of conjunctive cells replacing highly differentiated cells – a veritable triumph of anarchy, an ephemeral reign of inferior elements – from which results the disorganization of all the functions and the final death of the organism.



Is it possible to find a remedy for old age resulting from the atrophy of the noble cell, that has been replaced by a deficient and indifferently evolved cell? Are we able to at least slow down and delay the debasement of the most precious elements of our organism and thus prolong our youth, shorten the period of old age and postpone the advent of death?

A priori, we might hope to be able to do this, since we are often able to emerge victorious even from sharp conflicts between life and death resulting from infectious diseases. Unfortunately the situation is far from being the same in both cases. When we are dealing with an infectious disease, we have to contend with a foreign enemny inteh form of microbes that have come from outside, and the steps we are able to take may tend to destroy the intruder whose death enables the patient to escape with his life. Such is not the case, however, with two cellular elements which form an integral part of our own organism. The situation is aggravated, too, by the fact that the conjunctive cell becomes harmful only when it replaces the specialized cells of our organs. Originally, it enters into the constitution of our body as a useful element without which we cannot do. It is the connective tissue, in fact, which forms the supporting framework for the other tissues and serves them as an intermediary for the passage of liquid nutriments. The blood vessels, the nerves, the muscular fibers, as well as the cells of all the other organs, are held together by the connective tissue, which forms a kind of solid framework, necessary for the maintenance of the edifice. We must not, therefore, find a means to destroy the conjunctive cells, as we have to do in regard to harmful agents which come from outside.

“But if we have to be very circumspect in our action against the conjunctive cells, it would appear to be logical, on the other hand, to concentrate all our efforts on reniforcing the noble cells, increasing their vitality and their resistance, in order to prevent them from becoming atrophied and from being replaced by the conjunctive cells, the agents of our old age and death. Do we possess the means to do this?”

“From time immemorial methods for rejuvenating aged organisms have been sought for. Quite apart from the alchemists and the various more or less fantastic attempts made during the Middle Ages to discover the elixir of long life, serious thinkers such as Descartes and Bacon devoted themselves passionately to these researches. in our own period the illustrious biologist Metchnikoff, who was also a philosopher, believed that he had found the remedy against old age in the form of specially fermented milk (yogourt) with which to combat the harmful microbes of the large intestine.”

“What, then, would be the really efficacious means to combat the causes of old age? In order to reply to that question we must penetrate the innermost mechanism of our tissues and realize what governs their life and their functions.”

From Cretin to Genius

“The man of genius is a creator.

In every field, Art, Literature, Science, he creates works whose quality and originality surpass the normal powers of intelligence, however great; nor does his own conscious intelligence possess this power.  Genius is an inborn autonomous faculty, independent of general mentality, and manifested by sudden inspiration.”~~Dr. Voronoff: From Cretin to Genius

View the entire book online here.

“Death shocks man with a sense of the cruelest injustice, for he treasures an intimate memory of his immortality.  In the profoundest deeps of his unconscious, man understands life only; since he was created for life and life alone, from his thoughts, which are immortal, from each of those cells which have guarded their recollection of creation’s first intention.

This constant conflict between instinct to live and horror of dying has engendered that profound pessimism which afflicting the greatest thinkers, which mingles wormwood with all our joys.  It is the same instinct which in all ages has instigated passionate quests for the elixir that would allow us to extend the limits of existence to the point where the satiety of long life would finally beckon to sleep and repose.”

~~From Dr. Voronoff’s book, LIFE: A Study of the Means of Restoring Vital Energy and Prolonging Life

Visit the online book here.

Dr. Serge Voronoff, gonad replacer, after a world tour last week returned to his 200 apes at Nice, France, prepared to proceed to his 3,000 sheep in Algeria. Of U. S. businessmen he remarked:

“They die at the age of 50. They do not die in the sense that life is extinct. But they are exhausted, worn out, and as good as dead. Their lives are finished. It is due to the pace, the tempo of life in America, the price the American must pay for being ultra-modern.” From the September 15, 1930 TIME article

“My attention was drawn to the importance of the glands, and particularly those concerned with procreation, while I was surgeon to the Khedive of Egypt.  One of the eunuchs who died at 45 looked like a man of 90. It demonstrated a fact now well known, that the male glands are not occupied entirely with procreation; they have one secretion for that purpose and another which puts force and energy into the muscles and the mind.”
From an interview in TIME, May 12, 1924
“Having been physician to the Khedive of Egypt, I had special opportunities of pursuing my researches and of observing eunuchs in the Khedive’s harem.  They are corpulent, flabby, sluggish and constipated.  Their intestinal functions are sluggish.  All these eunuchs die young in years though apparently old.”
~From Dr. Voronoff’s 1920 Lecture on The Interstitial Glands

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