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Robert Abbe, MD

  • 1851-1928
  • Born in New York City
  • Grandparents founded the Colgate Soap Company
  • Attended Columbia Medical School
  • Plastic surgeon at New York St. Lukes Hospital
  • Credited with the lip switch flap, described in 1898
  • Even though first described by Italian surgeon, Sabattini, 60 years prior
  • Also described reconstruction of congenitally absent vagina and ankylosed TMJ
  • Befriended Madame Curie who gave him a sample of radiation 
  • Founded field of radiation oncology
  • Opponent of tobacco products (believed carcinogenic)
  • Collected Native American artifacts and established a museum dedicated to it
  • Died of aplastic anemia, likely due to handling radium