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The vonDeilen-Curtis Fellowship in Craniofacial Surgery

Edward R. Schmidt was just two months old when Doctor Lawrence Curtis removed a fast-growing, highly-invasive tumor from the left side of his face. It was Philadelphia in 1947, and the procedure was risky at best. But to the relief and gratitude of his parents, Edward and Rita, the operation was a success. Doctor Arthur vonDeilen joined in Ed’s care, performing additional reconstructive surgeries during his childhood in Philadelphia.

Mr. Schmidt went on to graduate from Susquehanna University and the University of Notre Dame Law School before becoming a partner in a major Indianapolis law firm. In 2003 The Schmidt family endowed the vonDeilen-Curtis Fellowship in Craniofacial Surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. This endowment honors the memory of Doctors vonDeilen and Curtis and signifies the Schmidt family’s commitment to advance the understanding of craniofacial anomalies and to enhance the lives of those affected by facial birth defects.

On the evening of June 13th the Schmidt family, along with faculty and staff of the Cleft and Craniofacial Program, gathered to honor this year’s graduating fellow, Doctor Sunil Tholpady. Doctor Tholpady was selected from a highly competitive field of applicants to serve a one-year fellowship from July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012 at Riley at IU Health.

After graduating from MIT at the age of 19, Doctor Tholpady returned to his home state of Virginia to earn both a PhD and an MD degree, as well as to complete an integrated residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

As this year’s vonDeilen-Curtis Fellow in Craniofacial Surgery, Doctor Tholpady had an opportunity to implement several research projects as well as receive additional training and experience in the areas of clefts and craniofacial anomalies, skull-based tumors, and trauma.

The Cleft and Craniofacial Program at Riley at IU Health congratulates Doctor Tholpady on a successful fellowship year and wishes him the best as he pursues a career in surgery and research, continuing the legacy of Doctors Lawrence Curtis and Arthur vonDeilen.

Trish Severns, MA

Author of this Article

Trish is the Cleft and Craniofacial Program Coordinator for Riley at IU Health. She is active in the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association where she serves on the Cleft Palate Foundation Leadership Award Committee.

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