MILTON THOMAS EDGERTON, Med 1944, has played a pivotal role in the history of plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins.
After earning his medical degree at Johns Hopkins and serving as captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. Edgerton returned to Johns Hopkins in 1951, completed a residency in surgery and, following his term as the first official resident in the division of plastic surgery, he became board certified in both surgery and plastic surgery that same year. While serving under Dr. Alfred Blalock, Dr. Edgerton established the Division of Plastic Surgery and also created the Johns Hopkins Plastic Surgery Training Program, which he directed until 1971. Dr. Edgerton served as the first full-time chief of plastic surgery and plastic surgeon-in-chief, in addition to holding the position of professor of plastic surgery. He lectured throughout the country on a variety of topics in plastic surgery. His research focused on work related to pediatric patients with craniofacial deformities. He was the first plastic surgeon to correct orbital hypertelorism, and he co-authored the first textbook on human ear construction. After 16 years at Hopkins, he became chairman of the Division of Plastic Surgery and then chair of the Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Virginia Medical Center where he remained for the duration of his career. The author of more than 500 peer-reviewed medical papers and four medical textbooks, Dr. Edgerton continues to remain active in the Charlottesville community.
THE BLUE MOON FUND, established by Dr. Edgerton’s daughter and late wife in 2002, is a strategic, initiative-based philanthropic organization that works to improve the human relationship to the natural world. They use natural, social, and financial capital to implement new models in high-biodiversity regions around the world. (Pictured here are members of the blue moon fund team.) In honor of her father’s dedication and contribution to the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery, Diane Edgerton Miller, who leads the fund, has helped to establish this directorship and professorship, ensuring that Milton Edgerton’s dream of departmental status for Johns Hopkins’ Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is realized. In October 2010, the leaders of Johns Hopkins Medicine established the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, separating it from the Department of Surgery.
W.P. ANDREW LEE, Med 1983, is the inaugural Milton T. Edgerton, M.D. Director and Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. A hand surgeon and basic science researcher, he conducts investigations on tolerance strategy for composite tissue allografts, such as hand or face transplants, to ameliorate the need for long-term systemic immunosuppression.
He is currently president of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He was the 47th chair of the Plastic Surgery Research Council, which had its founding meeting at Johns Hopkins in 1955 under Dr. Milton Edgerton. In 2008, Dr. Lee helped to found the American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation. He is the recipient of more than 70 awards and honors.
Dr. Lee graduated with honors from Harvard College in physics, and received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins where he also completed his general surgery residency and a microvascular research fellowship. He did his plastic surgery fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and his orthopaedic hand fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center. In 1993, Dr. Lee joined the faculty of the Division of Plastic Surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where he became director of the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory and subsequently chief of Hand Service. He comes to Johns Hopkins from the University of Pittsburgh, where he served as division chief of plastic surgery until 2010. At Pittsburgh, he led the surgical team that performed the first bilateral hand transplant and the first above-elbow transplant in the United States.