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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-4

Obituary of Prof. Delaire

1 Chairman and Head of Oral and Maxillofacia Department, Lille, France
2 Emeritus Consultant, Maxillofacial Surgeon, Poole Hospital, University of Bournemouth, University of Duisburg- Essen, Trinity College of Dublin, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
3 Department of Craniofacial Surgery, GSR Institute of Craniofacial and Facial Plastic Surgery, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission21-Dec-2022
Date of Acceptance23-Jan-2023
Date of Web Publication14-Mar-2023

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Srinivas Gosla Reddy
Department of Craniofacial Surgery, GSR Institute of Craniofacial and Facial Plastic Surgery, Hyderabad
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jclpca.jclpca_31_22

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How to cite this article:
Ferri J, Markus TA, Reddy SG. Obituary of Prof. Delaire. J Cleft Lip Palate Craniofac Anomal 2023;10:3-4

How to cite this URL:
Ferri J, Markus TA, Reddy SG. Obituary of Prof. Delaire. J Cleft Lip Palate Craniofac Anomal [serial online] 2023 [cited 2023 Jun 5];10:3-4. Available from: https://www.jclpca.org/text.asp?2023/10/1/3/371647

It is with deep sorrow that we apprise about the demise of Professor Jean Delaire on November 30, 2022. Professor Delaire needs no introduction for his exemplary work in the field of Craniofacial Surgery. He was the previous director of the Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery Service at the University Hospital, Nantes.

Professor Jean Delaire was born on June 2, 1923, in the Vendée region of France. Prior to studying medicine, he had studied dentistry and specialized in orthodontics and thus developed deep interests in the development of craniofacial anomalies. After qualifying from the Faculty of Medicine of Nantes, he continued his training in Nantes and specialized in Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery.

He served as a Director and Chairman of the department from 1959 to 1990. He became the dean of Dentistry during this time and completely revamped and took the system of Dental School and Hospital to a new level.

He was utterly curious about the growth and thus developing functions of craniofacial region since the beginning of his career. This led him to discuss his ideas of morphology, anatomy, physiology, and surgeries with the mentors and leaders of those times. This led to the evolution of his extremely useful famous innovation and research of the functional theory of repair of cleft lip and palate. His philosophy is widely adopted all over the world because of good results. He developed his own philosophy and concepts, leading to the establishment of surgical techniques for the correction of cleft and craniofacial deformities that respected the relationship between function and growth and promoted the best possible outcomes. His earliest papers, describing surgical methods of cleft repair, were published in 1972.

A man of incredible determination, hard work, who was endowed with a prodigious memory. He was an exceptional teacher and dazzled his students with his immense knowledge and practical teaching. He was a man of innovation and along with the orthodontist developed the Delaire face mask. He was also associated with the invention of Aerophonoscope for detailed assessment of cleft speech in collaboration with his speech pathologist.

He is also known for formulating the Delaire craniofacial cephalometric analysis, which is used widely today.

Despite his “eponymous” developments, he was humble enough to give credit for his inventions to his influences and colleagues.

He also authored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications, contributed to numerous books, and gave numerous lectures throughout the globe. His research on cranio-maxillo-facial growth and malformation diseases has greatly advanced their care and spurred significant innovation.

He received numerous prizes for outstanding research output. His commitment, knowledge, and hard work inspired many young aspiring surgeons. He was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur. He was also the President of the French Society of Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery, President of the Association Francaise des Chirurgiens Maxillofaciaux, 7th President of the European Association of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery (1984), became an Honorary Member in 1996, and President of the French Society of Dentofacial Orthopaedics later. He received honorary doctorates from several universities around the world. He was also awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, membership of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Kieferorthopadie, and honorary membership of the British and Belgian Associations of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. The list of honors is limitless.

His role in introducing the Craniofacial Surgeries to maxillofacial surgeons will always be remembered. He was the first person who realized the importance of dentistry in learning the growth of the craniofacial region and thus improving the overall surgeries and care to the patients. His immense knowledge and extraordinary surgical caliber was the source of inspiration not only in Europe but also the whole world, including India. Almost all the cleft and craniofacial surgeons in India vouch for Delaire's functional repair of clefts.

He was a man of extraordinary talent who will always be remembered in Europe and other parts of the world for his modesty, hard work, and commitment. He was an exceptional teacher with immense knowledge and innovation. He developed his own path and gave us the legacy to walk on his path for the betterment of the surgery and medicine and thus humanity in general.

Professor Delaire and some of his early students From left to right: Professor A F Markus, former head of Maxillofacial Surgery, Poole Hospital, UK; Professor J Ferri, Head of the Department of Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital of Lille, France; Professor U Joos, former head of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery in Münster, Germany; Professor J Mercier, former head of the Department of the Clinic of Stomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery of the CHRU of Nantes; Professor Jean Delaire; and Professor S Schendel, former head of the Department of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at Stanford University, California, USA.


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