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Generous $2.5 Million Gift from Mr. Hansjörg Wyss Creates Distinguished Professorship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at University of Maryland School of Medicine

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dr. Rodriguez
 Eduardo D. Rodriguez, M.D., D.D.S.
 

    Mr. Hansjörg Wyss, a Swiss bioengineer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, has made a generous, $2.5 million gift to the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Program in Trauma, creating the Paul N. Manson, M.D., Distinguished Professorship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The professorship, which will support the continued advancement of research and application in reconstructive plastic surgery, is named in honor of renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon Paul N. Manson, M.D. The inaugural Manson Distinguished Professor will be Eduardo D. Rodriguez, M.D., D.D.S., who will be formally invested at a ceremony later this year.

    The new distinguished professorship is made possible through the extreme generosity of Mr. Wyss, the founder and former Chairman and CEO of the worldwide Synthes Company, and Co-Founder of the AO Foundation. Synthes is a leading global medical device company that develops, produces and markets instruments, implants and biomaterials for the surgical fixation, correction and regeneration of the human skeleton and its soft tissues. Synthes was recently sold to Johnson & Johnson.

    Mr. Wyss made his $2.5 million gift to the School of Medicine to honor the living legacy of Dr. Manson, an eminent craniofacial and reconstructive surgeon who began his legendary career at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center of the University of Maryland Medical Center. Dr. Manson, clinical professor of surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, is a pioneer of the modern surgical treatment of facial injury.  His unwavering desire to improve the care of these patients sparked a relationship with Mr. Hansjörg Wyss to develop instruments and implants to address specific clinical needs.  Their collaboration with Synthes and the AO Foundation established a new standard and improved patient outcomes.  Dr. Manson is board-certified in both General Surgery and Plastic Surgery, and is Professor and former Chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. In addition to honoring Dr. Manson, this endowed professorship ensures the future of craniofacial medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine by supporting advances in clinical care and research in reconstructive plastic surgery through the work of Dr. Rodriguez, the inaugural Paul N. Manson, M.D. Distinguished Professor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

    “I am delighted to be able to support this Distinguished Professorship that honors and recognizes the outstanding legacy of Dr. Paul Manson,” says Mr. Wyss. “He is one of the pillars of modern craniofacial surgery.  I am also pleased that Dr. Rodriguez is the inaugural distinguished professorship holder, recognizing his remarkable work in the area of facial reconstruction and transplant.

    “Mr. Wyss’s generous gift will help advance the practice of plastic surgery while also enabling research aimed at restoring the lives and functionality of those injured or disfigured,” says E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs, University of Maryland, and The John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean, University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The University of Maryland School of Medicine is incredibly proud and honored to be at the forefront of science and history in reconstructive plastic surgery, and this incredibly generous gift will ensure the continuation of this important legacy. Our sincerest gratitude to Mr. Wyss.”

    Dr. Rodriguez is Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Chief of Plastic Surgery at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He has distinguished himself internationally in the fields of craniofacial surgery and reconstructive microsurgery. He has pioneered innovative approaches in treating composite craniofacial defects with state of the art techniques and defined novel advances in tissue regeneration and tissue transplantation.

    In March 2012, Dr. Rodriguez led the team that completed the most extensive face transplant to date.  The historic 36-hour operation performed at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center at the University of Maryland Medical Center included the replacement of both jaws, teeth, tongue, and skin and underlying nerve and muscle tissue from scalp to neck. The transplant marked the first time in the world that a face transplant was performed by a team of plastic and reconstructive surgeons with specialized training and expertise in craniofacial surgery and reconstructive microsurgery. 

    “I am truly honored to be named the inaugural Paul N, Manson, M.D. Distinguished Professor in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  This professorship represents the culmination of a long standing relationship I have had with Mr. Wyss and my mentor, Dr. Manson,” says Dr. Rodriguez, who in addition to his faculty position at the University of Maryland School of Medicine serves as Chief of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center’s R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. “Establishing this professorship at Shock Trauma honors the trans-generational legacy committed to restore, regenerate and transform patients made vulnerable by injury or disease.”

    Dr. Rodriguez earned his medical degree (M.D.) at the Medical College of Virginia and his dental degree (D.D.S.) at New York University.  He completed residencies in Dental Anesthesiology at Jackson Memorial Hospital/VA Medical Center/University of Miami School of Medicine; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine; General Surgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Plastic Surgery at Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland School of Medicine.  As an international fellow, he received additional training in Reconstructive Microsurgery at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.  He was named Chief of Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgery at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in 2005. 

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