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Dr. Philip Boyne – A Surgeon, An Innovator, A Teacher

Philip J. Boyne, DMD, MS, DSc was a world-famous oral and maxillofacial surgeon, dental implantologist, biological innovator, and bone physiologist at Loma Linda University.  Dr. Boyne passed away in June 2008, and Osteo Science Foundation was established to honor Dr. Philip Boyne’s surgical excellence and outstanding research, helping to make his vision of bone and tissue regeneration a reality.

Today, we continue his legacy through our support of research in regenerative medicine to improve patient outcomes in Oral and CranioMaxillofacial surgery. The Philip J. Boyne Junior Faculty Research Award is given to outstanding junior faculty members who are pursuing research in the field of hard and soft tissue regeneration.

Studies and Service

A native of Maine, Dr. Boyne received his BA degree from Colby College in Waterville, ME. 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 landmark research in the study of bone.

Dr. Boyne’s 20 years of military service included active duty in Vietnam as a surgeon on an aircraft carrier, followed by intensive studies of severe craniomaxillary injuries sustained in battle. His seminal work on facial skeletal reconstruction still serves today 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. His research involved the application of bone inductor cytokines to produce bone repair without the necessity of bone grafting.

Other remarkable firsts in dental treatment attributed to Dr. Boyne include studying the use of xenografts, freeze-dried bone, and autografts 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 also 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.

Awards and Accomplishments

For his pioneering development of a method of cleft palate grafting now used internationally, Dr. Boyne 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 OMFS, Dr. Boyne served as president of the American College of OMFSand as president of the American Institute of Oral Biology.

Notable among his accomplishments is his influence on students and colleagues. Alan Herford, DDS, MD, board member of the Osteo Science Foundation, who collaborated in research with Dr. Boyne, 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.”

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.

Our Honor to Him

Dr. Boyne was a lifelong friend of the late Dr. Peter Geistlich of Geistlich Biomaterials, the founder of Osteo Science Foundation. Dr. Boyne and Dr. Geistlich collaborated frequently on pioneering work in bone regeneration, including early work on the bone replacement material Geistlich Bio-Oss®.  Dr. Geistlich pledged to Dr. Boyne to advance regenerative medicine in Oral and CranioMaxillofacial Surgery. As Dr. A.Thomas Indresano put it, “Osteo Science Foundation is a promise between two friends, Dr. Peter Geistlich and Dr. Philip Boyne.” Dr. Geistlich dedicated Osteo Science Foundation to Dr. Boyne and his great contributions to Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

The Philip J. Boyne Junior Faculty Research Award is exclusively designated for junior faculty members (within the first five years of the first faculty appointment) interested in research topics related to hard and soft tissue regeneration. We award $25,000 per year for a one or two-year project up to $50,000 total. We hope that you join us finding new ways to incorporate regenerative medicine into the Oral and CranioMaxillofacial surgery field, in honor of Dr. Boyne.

Author: Andrea Boidman


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