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August 16, 2018 at 9:05 am

Alumni News | National Geographic Details Dr. Papay’s Face Transplant at Cleveland Clinic

Dr. Frank Papay, portrait.

Dr. Frank Papay, chairs the Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute.

Ohio University alum Dr. Frank Papay’s plastic surgery work to restore a young woman’s face was featured in a National Geographic article headlined “The Story of a Face: Inside the groundbreaking face transplant that has given a  young woman a second chance at life.”

Papay earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University in 1975. He earned an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Case Western Reserve and an M.D. at Northeast Ohio Universities Medical University.

A veteran plastic surgeon, Papay chairs the Cleveland Clinic’s Dermatology and Plastic Surgery Institute.

Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Joanna Connors wrote the National Geographic story, as well as a condensed version at “Katie’s face: Where a bullet and an overdose intersected, Cleveland Clinic doctors gave new life.”

Papay studied biomedical engineering before going to medical school; he learned to “work from failure,” anticipating potential problems and devising solutions. “Everyone thinks that we’re the cosmetic guys, the hairdressers of surgery, and we do face-lifts and breast augmentations,” he said. “But in plastic surgery and now face transplants we’re innovators—we’re fix-it guys.”

Read about the procedure at Follow Katie Stubblefield’s three-year journey to a new face in photos in National Geographic.

Papay received a Medal of Merit from Ohio University in 2016.

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