Division in the Media

Dr. Manktelow Honoured by CSPS and IFSSH


Dr. Ralph Manktelow was the recipient of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS) Lifetime Achievement Award at the Society’s Annual Business meeting, which was held in Halifax on June 18, 2010. There have been only three other Canadians honored in the 25 year history of this award and Dr. Manktelow is the only living recipient. Dr. Manktelow developed his unique surgical skills while training in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Toronto.

He was also honoured by the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH) at their international Congress in Seoul in November 2010. He was named a Pioneer of Hand Surgery, joining an illustrious list of such Pioneers named since 1986 by the Society. This is the highest international recognition available to a hand surgeon!

Well known and recognized, Dr. Manktelow is renowned for one of the first texts on reconstructive microsurgery, which has served for many as the template to begin using the free gracilis muscle to power hand tendons.

The Toronto replantation team was started by him and he very rapidly became recognized as an authority in replantation and microvascular surgery. He began a microsurgery course at the University of Toronto, which became an annual event.

Pioneers are recognized leaders in hand surgery who have contributed significantly to the development of Hand Surgery nationally and/or internationally.

Dr. Ali Adibfar – Professorship Inspires Alumni Gratitude

The Division’s goal to establish a first-of-its-kind Professorship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Education for the use by the Division’s program director, has caught the attention of at least one recent alumnus. Dr. Ali Adibfar, grateful for the expert training he received from the Division of Plastic Surgery, considered the opportunity to support the new professorship as a meaningful way to celebrate the discipline and the program that helped him get where he is in life. Keen to see the Division provide leadership in establishing this new professorship, Dr. Adibfar made a first gift of $25,000 to the professorship and feels so good about his support and the impact it will make that he is already considering his next gift.

Today, Dr. Adibfar is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon as well as an oral & maxillofacial surgeon concentrating on cosmetic surgery of face and body with new offices on Avenue Road. He completed his postgraduate plastic & reconstructive surgery residency at Vanderbilt University Hospital (Nashville) and at the University of Toronto, before becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada in plastic surgery in 2003.

Dr. Adibfar says he is thrilled to be able to give back to his alma mater, “Supporting this professorship is a great way to express my gratitude and help this program thrive. I encourage all my colleagues to participate in establishing this important new Professorship”.

The Professorship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Education will provide the Division with much-needed resources to enhance postgraduate plastic surgery education in areas such as curriculum development and information technology. Dr. Adibfar is among the first alumni to step up and help. His commitment will allow the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to attract the best trainees from across Canada and around the world.

Nancy Collett Senior Development Officer, Dept. of Surgery

Dr. John Semple – Team Probes Why Climbers Die on Mount Everest

Please see the attached press release on a publication co-authored by Dr. John Semple soon to be published in the British Medical Journal. The study was on why people die on Mount Everest. The University of Toronto is issuing a press release (below) and it is also covered by the Canadian Press and appeared on the Globe Mail and Post websites. The CBC interview is on the Friday, July 30th.

Press Release

Another Mount Everest paper published recently by Dr. Semple and colleagues was covered by Nature News.com in a press release in November:

Semple J.L, G.W.K. Moore: First observations of surface ozone concentration from the summit region of Mount Everest. Geophysical Research Letters: 2008: 35: pp L20818. PA

Congratulations to John and his colleagues on these important accomplishments!

Repairing a Blown-Up Hand

Dr. Dimitri Anastakis featured in a Globe and Mail article.

Prior to the first in a series of reconstructive surgeries, Dylan Birch's doctor took this photo of his patient displaying the hand he mangled in a rocket-building accident. (Peter Cheney)

Prior to the first in a series of reconstructive surgeries, Dylan Birch’s doctor took this photo of his patient displaying the hand he mangled in a rocket-building accident.
(Peter Cheney)

By Grade 7, Dylan Birch was chasing the dream that would nearly kill him. He collected pencils, aluminum pop cans and a sheet of sandpaper – the materials for his first rocket.

The pencils would be hollowed out, then filled with a homemade fuel propelled by the powdered aluminum that Dylan manufactured by sanding down the cans. His father managed a Canadian Tire store, so tools were easy to come by. And, in the age of the Internet, so was the knowledge – Dylan studied the website of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, soaking up the rudiments of rocket science.

“It was all there,” he says. “All you had to do was look.”

Dylan was a born inventor, an adolescent Leonardo da Vinci who loved nothing better than building a solar-heating system for his parents’ new pool or designing an airplane online with Google Sketch-Up. Now, he was obsessed with rockets.

His early, pencil-based models were powerful enough to shoot a skateboard across his parents’ driveway, but Dylan wanted more. He scaled up his efforts, using cardboard mailing tubes for his rocket bodies instead.

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