In Burn News

Ronald G. Tompkins, MD, ScD
Director, Center for Surgery, Innovation & Bioengineering
Massachusetts General Hospital
Sumner M. Redstone Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA

The Harvey Stuart Allen Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an outstanding North American scientist for his/her contribution in the burn field.

Dr. Ronald Tompkins is the Sumner M. Redstone Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, Former Medical Director, Sumner Redstone Burn Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Chief of Staff Emeritus at Shriners Hospitals for Children―Boston, and Founding Director of The Center for Surgery, Innovation & Bioengineering at MGH. Dr. Tompkins is widely recognized for his work in translational science and engineering. He graduated from Tulane University with a B.S. in Chemistry (Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa), earned an MD from Tulane School of Medicine (Alpha Omega Alpha), and received training in general surgery at the MGH. During his surgical training, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology earning SM and ScD degrees in Medical and Chemical Engineering. He returned to MGH and completed his surgical residency in 1986, where he has continued on the staff of the MGH Surgical Services. Dr. Tompkins’ contributions at MGH consolidated leadership and created synergy to build upon a single center at MGH with a superb clinical care, research, teaching, and training reputation.

Following his mentor, Dr. John F. Burke, Dr. Tompkins served as the principal investigator of the first-in-the-nation P50 Specialized Research Center award, which began in 1974, from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences and its associated T32 Burn Research Training Grant in 1975 for postdoctoral training in injury and inflammation research. As PI of the NIGMS U54 program, “Inflammation and the Host Response to Injury” – the largest award received by MGH and 10th largest funded extramural NIH grant – he contributed new paradigms in the understanding of human systems biology and also leads advances in microarrays, high throughput databases for human proteomics, novel cell separation technologies, and advanced bioinformatics methods and algorithms.

The Center for Surgery, Innovation & Bioengineering ( is based a collaborative track record and expertise in securing more than $250 million in federal, foundation, and industrial support for basic research and clinical programs. It is a clinically driven enterprise that engages in the basic sciences and engineering to solve everyday challenges in clinical medicine. The Center promotes the development of new approaches to healthcare delivery and personalized medicine, minimally invasive therapies, as well as a myriad of new technologies such as re-engineered organs, smart nano-pharmaceuticals and nano-diagnostics, and living cell-based microfabricated devices for diagnostics, therapeutics, high-throughput drug screening, and basic and applied biomedical investigation. The Center has spawned eight start-up companies – five of which have harvested over $1.2B for its investors. Three companies continue at this time in Series A or B funding, totally $110M, as successful start-up companies.

Dr. Tompkins has served on dozens of boards and committees and published more than 600 research contributions in medicine and engineering journals toward the advancement of science and engineering. He has delivered over 500 invited keynote and scientific meeting presentations and received numerous honors and awards.