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The Frank J. Frassica, M.D. Professorship in Orthopaedic Surgery

School of Medicine

Established in 2011 by Dr. Frassica’s patients, colleagues and friends to recognize his life-long body of work as a teacher, scholar, researcher and clinician

FRANK J. FRASSICA, M.D., graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1975 and served aboard a guided missile destroyer, the USS Semmes (DDG18),  for three years. While aboard, he qualified as a surface warfare officer, engineering officer of the watch, and a command duty officer. He completed medical school at the Medical University of South Carolina where he received the Herbert Ivy Valedictorian Award and Upjohn Achievement Award.  He completed both his residency in orthopaedic surgery and his fellowship in orthopaedic oncology at the Mayo Clinic. Following graduation, he was assigned as a staff surgeon at Portsmouth Naval Hospital and was the director of the residency program for orthopaedic surgery. He was deployed to Fleet Hospital Five as the chief of orthopaedic surgery and the sub-specialty surgeons during the first gulf war (Operation Desert Shield/Storm).

In 1992, Dr. Frassica left the Navy and joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins University where he rose to the rank of professor of orthopaedic surgery and oncology, and was the Director of the department for eleven years. He is an internationally recognized expert in bone and soft tissue tumors. He retired from Johns Hopkins University in 2014 and joined Medstar Health. He has published over 175 peer reviewed articles, three books and was deputy editor for oncology and basic science for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Review Journal. Dr. Frassica is past president of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society and was general secretary of the Limb Salvage Society.

He has received the Teacher of the Year Award at Johns Hopkins Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Portsmouth Naval Hospital, and the Mayo Clinic where he was named Teacher of Decade. He was selected as American Orthopaedic Association Distinguished Clinical Educator in 2006 by the Southern Orthopaedic Association. and was the director of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Comprehensive Review Course for many years.

Held by Mei Wan

MEI WAN, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery where she serves on the Associate Professor Promotion Committee, and serves as the departmental research safety officer.

Dr. Wan joined the department in 2009 and has had continuous independent research funding. She earned her undergraduate degrees and Ph.D. at Hebei Medical University in China in pathologic basis of disease, then completed post-doctoral research and education in cancer biology (pancreatic cancer and breast cancer) and bone biology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

She has been recognized extensively both nationally and internationally. In addition to Dr. Wan’s powerful research line in the molecular bases for arthritis, her research is uniquely qualified to realize the purpose of this professorship to investigate mechanisms of bone disease in cancer & osteoporosis. Dr. Wan collaborates with cancer biologists at Johns Hopkins Medicine-Hematology/Oncology on a project related to how bone cell-secreted angiogenesis factors and cytokines affect tumorigenesis.

Dr. Wan has more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, with 18 directly relevant to cancer. The impact of Dr. Wan’s research extends across different disciplines as testified by her publication record, which includes papers in Nature Communications, Journal Clinical Investigation, Gene & Development, PNAS, eLife, Stem Cells, Stem Cell Development, Bone Research, Science Signaling, etc. Dr. Wan has chaired multiple sessions at annual meetings of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research and the International Conference on Tissue Science and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Wan has served on the editorial boards of two leading skeletal-related journals, the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research and Bone Research. Since 2021, she serves on the Reviewing Editor Board of eLife. Dr. Wan served as a standing committee member on the VA ENDB study section and is currently a standing member on NIH SBSR study section. She consistently presents her work externally and internally through lectures to post-doc fellows, students, and residents. She is an active mentor and coach for students and post-doc fellows. She has received three cancer research grants from NIH and American Cancer Society as a PI or Co-PI. Her current research mainly focuses on the mechanisms underlying skeletal disorders and cancer development.