Robert M. Campbell, Jr., MD, of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his groundbreaking work in thoracic and pulmonary disability at the Rare Impact Awards, an annual event organized by the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), held in Washington, D.C.
In addition to celebrating the 35th anniversary of NORD, which supports Americans with rare diseases, the event also recognized the anniversary of the Orphan Drug Act, a law that facilitates the development of drugs for a variety of rare diseases.
“Dr. Campbell truly exemplifies the thought leadership and dedication required to make breakthroughs that revolutionize how patients with rare diseases are treated,” said John M. Flynn, MD, Chief of the Division of Orthopaedics at CHOP. “I cannot think of a person more deserving of this very prestigious honor from NORD.”
A pediatric orthopaedic surgeon and a world-renowned expert in treating rare diseases of the spine and chest wall, Dr. Campbell has published extensively on the thoracic and pulmonary disability of these patients. He was the first to identify thoracic insufficiency syndrome (TIS), a syndrome most often caused by progressive scoliosis and severe rib fusion or a variety of other rare disorders. TIS affects normal breathing and lung growth and may cause children to become dependent on oxygen or a ventilator to support breathing.
Dr. Campbell is best known in the medical community as the inventor of the vertical expandable prosthetic titanium rib (VEPTR) device, which is able to expand the chest and correct spinal deformities of pediatric patients with diseases of the spine and chest wall without inhibiting the patients’ growth.
Additionally, Dr. Campbell created the Center for Thoracic Insufficiency Syndrome at CHOP, the first national, multidisciplinary program devoted solely to the treatment of TIS. Dr. Campbell leads an interdisciplinary team of surgeons, pulmonologists, nurses, nutritionists and others to comprehensively treat the disorder. The Center is one of CHOP’s frontier programs, a trailblazing group of initiatives pioneering new advances in children’s health by conducting visionary research that translates into cutting-edge clinical care.
Dr. Campbell received his bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, and his medical degree from Georgetown University Medical School in Washington, D.C. He completed an orthopaedic residency at Fitzsimons Army Medical Center in Aurora, CO. and pediatric orthopaedic fellowship at the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE.
Prior to joining CHOP in 2009, he held the President’s Council Chair in Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas.