William C. Grabb, M.D., served as head of the Section of Plastic Surgery at the University of Michigan from 1977 until the time of his death in 1982. Dr. Grabb received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. With the exception of one year, during which he completed his internship at The Ohio State University, Dr. Grabb's medical career was spent entirely at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Grabb was a noted author and editor of textbooks, including Plastic Surgery — A Concise Guide to Clinical Practice, co-authored by James W. Smith, M.D. This book is regarded as the primary text of plastic surgery for students, interns and residents. Dr. Grabb's published scientific works exceeded 60 papers. At the time of his death, he was working on another textbook, An Encyclopedia of Flaps, edited by Grabb, Vasconez and Strauch.
Dr. Grabb's persistent fundraising efforts led to the establishment of the F. Roland Sargent Plastic Surgery Laboratory, one of his finest achievements as head of the Section of Plastic Surgery.
His interest in research resulted in two awards from the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and one from the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He was also deeply involved in primary research for the cause and treatment of hemangiomas, nerve regeneration and cleft lip and cleft palate.
Dr. Grabb was co-editor of the Cleft Palate Journal from 1969 through 1973 and Associate Editor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from 1973 through 1979. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Educational Foundation of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons from 1968 through 1976, and its president from 1974 through 1975.
Dr. Grabb was an active member of the University of Michigan Medical School faculty and held numerous committee memberships. He also served as a visiting professor to 11 medical schools throughout North and South America. Dr. Grabb made hundreds of presentations at local, national and international medical meetings.
The contributions of Dr. Grabb were immense and spanned a broad spectrum of disciplines, including education, research, patient care and administration.
He was a “doctor's surgeon,” beloved by his close friends and colleagues, highly respected by his patients, and regarded throughout the world as a leader in the field.