JHMI Office of Communications and Public Affairs

October 26, 2000
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Hopkins Names Orthopedics Chief

-- Naval Academy grad at Hopkins since 1992

Concluding a nationwide search, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine officials have named Frank J. Frassica, M.D., chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, citing his "outstanding credentials as an educator, his administrative performance as interim vice chairman of the department, and his international reputation as a surgeon and leader in the field." This appointment was effective Oct. 17.

Frassica received his B.S. degree "with distinction" from the Naval Academy in 1975, and his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina, where he was class valedictorian and recipient of the Upjohn Award for Academic Excellence.

Following an internship at Bethesda Naval Hospital, he went to the Mayo Clinic for his orthopedic residency and orthopedic oncology fellowship, where his contributions to teaching and research earned him the first and only faculty appointment __ to the rank of assistant professor of orthopedic surgery __ ever given to a resident of the Mayo Clinic. While at the Mayo Clinic, he also received a masterís degree in biomedical sciences after completing a thesis on the use of surgical cements in the reconstruction of bone defects. His studies validated the use of this material in young patients with giant cell tumors.

Frassica joined the Hopkins faculty in 1992 as an associate professor, where he established a multidisciplinary musculoskeletal cancer program, now one of the largest in this region attracting patients with bone and soft-tissue tumors. In addition to his expertise in oncology, he is considered an expert in the care of fractures and joint problems.Named Teacher of the Year by orthopedic surgery residents at both the Johns Hopkins University (1994) and Union Memorial Hospital (1996), he is also the general secretary of the International Limb Salvage Society and the president of the Maryland Orthopaedic Society. Frassica was selected as the 1993 American British Canadian (ABC) Traveling Fellow, which the search committee called "perhaps the highest honor that can be given to an academic orthopedic surgeon."

The author of more than 70 papers and more than 30 book chapters, he and a colleague, Ed McCarthy, Ph.D., of the Department of Pathology, recently published a textbook on the pathology of bone and joint diseases. He has also co-authored a textbook for primary care physicians, "The Five-Minute Orthopaedic Consultant," with Paul Sponseller, M.D., and James Wenz, M.D.

His basic science research continues in the development and refinement of custom prostheses for patients with malignant bone tumors. He is an innovative educator and is the founder and chief of the Orthopaedic Hyperguide physician education Web site.

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