Phil Boyne is a world famous oral and maxillofacial surgeon, dental implantologist, biological innovator, and bone physiologist. Unlike several of my other subjects previously described on these pages, he is very much alive and remains an active teacher and scientist at the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry.

He established his reputation as a young man. After having received a DMD from Tufts and an MS (in bone grafting) from Georgetown, he joined the navy as a lieutenant (jg) and completed some landmark research in the study of bone. It was sufficiently impressive to marshal his appointment 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.

His pioneering developments include: the use of hyperbaric oxygen, the benefits of membranes as an influence in guiding bone repair, and the values of autogenous bone grafting in the correction of cleft palate deformities. In an exciting reversal of his earlier projects, Professor Boyne more recently has been assaying the use of bone induction cytokines to contribute to bone repair without the use of bone.

His honors and awards are not only varied and eclectic, but are significant and prestigious. Among them are the highest award ever made by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, “Honors of the Association”, and he is the only oral and maxillofacial surgeon to ever have been so celebrated. In addition, his undergraduate school Colby College of Maine presented him with the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Professor Boyne currently occupies the position of Professor Emeritus at Loma Linda University which also bestowed upon him its Distinguished Faculty Award. He was an Examiner for the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for 14 years, and served as president of the board during that period. Among his other honors have been President of the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and President of the American Institute of Oral Biology for a precedent-shattering 34 years. There have been many other honors, which lead his biographers and admirers into frenzies of adulation.

In addition to his scholarly and skillful pursuits, Dr Boyne has endowed programs at Loma Linda and Colby to fund resident support and student tuition. He is a man of incredible talent, great humility and an abiding level of empathy and tolerance.

Since 1978 he and Mary Anne, his wife of 59 years, have lived in Loma Linda. They take great pride in their 2 children, 4 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.

Author notes

A. Norman Cranin, DDS, DEng, is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Oral Implantology