FULTON, JAMES E. JR., M.D., PH.D., The worlds of dermatology and cosmetic surgery lost an innovator and a true pioneer when James Edwin Fulton, Jr., M.D., Ph.D, succumbed to colon cancer at Mercy Hospital on July 4th at the age of 73. Surrounded by his wife of 44 years, Vivant Skin Care President Sara M. Fulton, daughter and CEO Kelly Fulton-Kendrick (John J. Kendrick III), daughter Susan Fulton-Arregui (Richard E. Arregui), son James Edwin Fulton, III (Isabelle Baranda) and son George Jacob Fulton (Alexandra Hodges-Fulton) when he passed, he is also survived by his brother Andy Fulton and nine grandchildren. Born in Ottumwa, IA to Alice Hermann Fulton and James Sr. (a one-time CEO of Cracker Jack), Dr. Fulton's interest in dermatology stemmed from the acne struggles he endured as a pre-teen. He earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and Doctor of Medicine degree from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1965. Dr. Fulton's academic achievements led to his induction into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society. While in his dermatology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Fulton met his close friend and mentor Dr. Albert Kligman; together they co-developed Retin-A®. In 1969 he relocated to South Florida and completed his dermatology residency under Dr. Harvey Blank at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and simultaneously earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Miami. While at the University of Miami he developed a stabilized benzoyl peroxide gel (Panoxyl®). In the early 1970s and with his wife Sara, Dr. Fulton launched a successful chain of 12 acne clinics called Acne Healthcare Centers, opened the Acne Research Institute and developed and manufactured a line of patented skin care products under the AHC and Face Up brands in their FDA-approved manufacturing facility. He invented a high-speed diamond fraise to perfect dermabrasion procedures for scar improvement. He was the first physician to use aestheticians in a medical office and developed a paramedical aesthetician training and in service program, which educated thousands of aestheticians. In 1990, Dr. Fulton opened JEF Medical Group, a cosmetic surgery and dermatology practice where he pioneered fat transfer techniques and laser surgery. Post-surgery, he placed patients in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to reduce the recovery time from 10 to five days. In addition, Dr. Fulton and Sara co-founded Vivant Skin Care in 1990, a clinical skin care line rooted in Fulton's patented vitamin A therapies. At this time Dr. Fulton developed the antibiotic topical gel erythromycin (E-Gel®). A popular international speaker and teacher, he authored the definitive book on acne, Acne Rx, and published more than 300 medical articles on cosmetic surgery and dermatological procedures. He actively split time between his research lab at the Vivant Skin Care headquarters in Miami Lakes and Flores Dermatology in Coral Gables, where he continued to see patients until a week before his passing. Dr. Fulton mentored and was a role model for countless leaders in dermatology and aesthetics across the nation. He served on the volunteer faculty at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology and sponsored the internship program at St. Thomas University; he had two biochemistry interns under his tutelage at the time of his passing. Dr. Fulton volunteered his dermatology services to His House Children's Home, a foster children's organization, to which he provided no-charge medical treatment to the children and hosted a yearly Thanksgiving luncheon for them. He was most proud of his beloved wife Sara who helped him with his Ph.D. and worked with him in research and in the medical office. She always attended medical meetings with him and helped with his teaching projects. Dr. Fulton always told her he couldn't have done what he did without her. Among his noteworthy achievements were creating more than 50 original skin care formulations, qualifying as a Full Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, as well as membership in the American Society of Lipo Suction Surgery, the American Academy of Dermatology and the Dermatology Foundation's Leader Society. In lieu of flowers, the Fulton family is asking for donations to be made to the Dr. Robert Hsia Memorial Fund, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, 1600 NW 10th Ave., Suite 2023-A, Miami, FL 33136. An open memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at the St.Stephens Church, 2750 McFarland Rd, Coconut Grove, FL 33133.
Published in Miami Herald on July 14, 2013