Russian specialists are studying the possibility of animal-to-human transplants, organ cloning and the creation of hybrid organs, a leading researcher said Monday.

"We are currently working on the possibility of xenotransplantation - i.e., transplantation of organs from animals to humans. We are also studying the possibility of cloning organs and creating hybrid organs. But until we have some definitive results, we cannot disclose any details," said Valery Shumakov, director of the Russian Scientific Research Institute of Transplantation and Artificial Organs.

Shumakov was speaking at a news conference devoted to the 20th anniversary of the first heart transplant in the country.

He said the main problem with transplantations is chronic under-funding and a shortage of personnel, adding that his institute performs transplant operations free of charge for Russians, but foreigners have to pay for them.