Oral surgeon and emeritus professor Philip Boyne passes away
Philip Boyne, DMD, MS, DSc
Loma Linda University School of Dentistry is mourning the loss of a world-famous oral and maxillofacial (OMF) surgeon, dental implantologist, biological innovator, and bone physiologist—and incidentally a notable marathon runner.
A native of Maine, Philip Boyne, DMD, MS, DSc, received his BA degree from Colby College in that state. After receiving a DMD degree from the Tufts School of Dental Medicine and an MS degree (in bone grafting) from Georgetown University, he joined the Navy as a lieutenant and completed some landmark research in the study of bone. As director of dental and craniofacial research at the Navy Medical Research Institute, one of his significant but lesser known discoveries was the response of the jaws to tooth extraction (1961).
Dr. Boyne’s 20 years of service included active duty in Vietnam as a surgeon on an aircraft carrier, followed by intensive studies of severe craniomaxillary injuries sustained in battle. He wrote the roadmap for facial skeletal reconstruction, which still serves as a fundamental guide to surgeons.
Upon retirement with a rank of captain from the Navy, he was on the faculty at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was assistant dean for graduate training and hospital affairs. After serving as founding dean of the new School of Dentistry at the University of Texas, San Antonio, he was appointed to the faculty of Loma Linda University Medical Center as chief of the oral and maxillofacial service. He was made emeritus professor in 2001.
Dr. Boyne’s work has involved a lifelong study of maxillofacial bone grafting. He was the first to develop and report many new surgical procedures including the use of hyperbaric oxygen to treat bone infection of the jaws, the use of membranes to guide bone repair, and the use of an effective autogenous graft system to correct cleft palate deformities. More recently his research has involved the application of bone inductor cytokines to produce bone repair without the necessity of bone grafting.
His interest in maxillofacial surgery received impetus during service in Vietnam, site of the last of three wars in which Dr. Boyne served.
Other remarkable firsts in dental treatment are attributed to Dr. Boyne: He was studying the use of xenograft, freeze-dried bone, and autograft for bone defect treatment more than 50 years ago. He advocated the use of autogenous bone marrow aspirate in dental reconstruction and reported the first verified technique for secondary bone grafting of alveolar clefts; he was the first to describe use of sinus elevation to augment alveolar bone mass for implants. In 1987 he reported the use of socket preservation grafts. He is credited with initial use of human bone morphogenetic protein-2 for mandibular discontinuity treatment, for sinus grafting, for cleft repair, and as part of dental implant surfaces.
For his pioneering development of a method of cleft palate grafting now used internationally, he was the recipient of
the highest honor given by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, the “Honors of the Association.” Dr. Boyne also received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Colby College and the Distinguished Faculty Award from Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. He served as examiner for the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for 14 years and served as president of that Board. In addition to being president of the American Board of OMS, Dr. Boyne served as president of the American College of OMS and as president of the American Institute of Oral Biology.
Among the many plaques on his office walls appears a framed collage of pictures with the inscription “Thank you on behalf of the Norwegian children you helped without even knowing them, from the Oslo Cleft Palate team, October 1994.” A happy (and attractive) patient smiles from one of the pictures, being the beneficiary of Dr. Boyne’s pioneering method of cleft-palate bone grafting, which is now used internationally.
Notable among his accomplishments is his influence on students and colleagues. Alan Herford, DDS, MD, associate professor and current chair of the School’s oral and maxillofacial surgery department, who has participated with Dr. Boyne in research, says:
“Dr. Boyne was the reason I chose to pursue a career in oral and maxillofacial surgery. When I completed a residency program in 2000, I chose to return to Loma Linda—a big reason was to work with Dr. Boyne, whom I first got to know as a dental student working on various research projects with him. He has been a mentor, colleague, and friend, but mostly an inspiration. I first got to know Dr. Boyne in 1992 as a dental student. I worked with him on various research projects. We have discussed topics ranging from surgery to baseball. I have many fond memories of spending time with both him and Mrs. Boyne. I have continually asked for his advice and guidance. I owe much of what I have become as an OMF surgeon to him.”
Lorenz F. de Julien Jr., DDS, first established a longtime relationship with Dr. Boyne when he was on the receiving end of Korean casualties at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. Coming direct from Japan, these patients had received fine reconstructive procedures performed by Dr. Boyne on the hospital ship. Dr. de Julien, who taught with Dr. Boyne, comments that some of the “home movies” taken of Dr. Boyne’s bone grafting, reconstruction, periodontology, and implantology are classics deserving wide viewing by the profession.
Franco Audia, DDS, MS, a former OMF surgery resident, remembers that his most memorable times with Dr. Boyne came in the bone research lab, where he might launch into a discussion of science, history, ballistics, cooking, running, and traveling—all in one conversation. He was someone who could carry on a conversation with people in any walk of life at a high level.
Timothy B. Welch, DDS, MD, recalls meeting Dr. Boyne in 1988. Dr. Boyne was running the Boston Marathon, barefooted no less. He had started the race, as he always did, with feet wrapped in athletic tape, which by now was in shreds. Now at the 20-mile mark, Dr. Boyne was visibly hypothermic and wet. Asked if he wanted to stop, Dr. Boyne looked at Dr. Welch as if he were crazy. Later joining Dr. Boyne in a junior faculty position, Dr. Welch says, “I am the surgeon I am today because of those four incredibly busy years I spent on staff under his direction.”
Dr. Boyne is survived by his wife of nearly 62 years, Mary Anne Boyne; a son, John P. Boyne; a daughter, Kathryn Boyne Kearny; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
In addition to his scholarly and skillful pursuits, Dr. Boyne has endowed scholarship programs at Loma Linda University and Colby College to fund resident support and student tuition. The School of Dentistry lost a treasure on June 9, 2008, when this man of incredible talent, great humility, and an abiding level of empathy and tolerance died.
By Edna Maye Loveless