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Paul Nellis Manson

Paul Nellis Manson
Date: 2008
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 40 x 34 in.
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Paul Nellis Manson


Manson, distinguished service professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Johns Hopkins and former chief of plastic surgery, was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, in 1965 and his medical degree from Northwestern in 1968.

After completing his internship in surgery through Harvard at Boston City Hospital and a year of surgical residency through Harvard at Boston City and New England Deaconess Hospitals, Manson served for nearly three years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in Panama. During that time, he commanded the largest U.S. Army Health Clinic and received an Army Commendation medal for heroism after rescuing victims from a hospital following the 1972 earthquake in Nicaragua that killed more than 7,000 people.
Following his discharge from the Army in 1973 with the rank of major, Manson did another year of a surgical fellowship in colorectal surgery at Lahey Clinic before completing his general surgery training in the Harvard program.

Manson came to Johns Hopkins in 1976 for a fellowship in plastic surgery and remained on the faculty since. He has been a consultant for and director of the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Unit division of plastic surgery. Manson pioneered the acute treatment of traumatic facial injuries. He also was among the first to recognize that open procedures to repair or replace bone, first using wires and later rigid fixation devices like plates and screws, were also critical to good outcomes. He led the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Johns Hopkins from 1990 to 2010 and was named distinguished service professor at Johns Hopkins in 2012.

Manson lectures internationally and has held leadership roles in many professional organizations, including serving as president of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS), the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the Association of Academic Chairmen in Plastic Surgery. He is actively involved in the AO Foundation, a voluntary international society of 12,000 surgeons dedicated to excellence in the surgical management of trauma and disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Manson has also been editor of or served on the editorial boards of plastic surgery journals such as Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, and the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery. He has authored more than 435 papers, 111 book chapters, and five books.

Manson has received dozens of honors and awards including the Clinician of the Year Award in 2006 from the American Association of Plastic Surgeons; in 2014 the AAPS gave him its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Clinical Research Award.

Manson’s clinical practice focuses largely on facial reconstruction of patients with significant facial skin cancers.