W. P. Andrew Lee, M.D., 54, director of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a nationally heralded hand transplant surgeon and researcher, was recently elected as chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery Inc.
A Johns Hopkins alumnus who earned his diploma from the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1995, Lee will serve a one-year term ending May 2013 as the board’s 67th chairperson. Lee will be the third Hopkins faculty member to lead the board in its 75-year history, joining Dr. John Staige Davis (1937), the Board’s first chairman, and Dr. John E. Hoopes (1982). Prior to the recent election, Lee also served as one of the board’s directors for the past 6 years.
Lee is the leader of the facial transplantation team at Johns Hopkins. The team is in the process of obtaining approval of its face transplant protocol from the Hopkins’ Institutional Review Board. A pioneer in hand transplants, Lee performed the nation’s first double hand transplant in May 2009 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and was among the first to perform a single hand transplant in the United States in March 2009. He also performed the nation’s first above-elbow transplant. Lee’s research interests include investigating tolerance strategies for composite tissue allografts, such as face and hand transplants, and enhancing nerve regeneration to improve functional outcome of composite tissue allo-transplantation.
Lee received his bachelor’s degree in physics with honors from Harvard College in 1979. After graduating from medical school in 1983 and finishing his general surgery residency at Hopkins in 1989, Lee went on to complete his plastic surgery fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in 1991 and his orthopedic hand fellowship at the Indiana Hand Center in 1993. That same year, he joined the academic faculty in the Division of Plastic Surgery and later became chief of hand service in the Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, at Harvard Medical School.
In 2002, Lee was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh to head its plastic surgery program. Lee became chair of a newly reorganized Johns Hopkins department of plastic and reconstructive surgery in late 2010.