Allan E. Gross received his M.D. from the University of Toronto in 1962, interned at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, and then entered the Surgical Training Programme of the University of Toronto. As part of his orthopaedic training, he did one year of research under the supervision of Dr. Robert B. Salter, developing an animal model for cortisone arthropathy. He was the Duncan Fellow at the Toronto General Hospital working under Dr. F.P. Dewar. During this year, he developed an interest in bone and cartilage transplantation. In September 1970, he went to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore England, where he continued his work on the immunogenicity of cartilage.
He returned to the Orthopaedic Division of the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital in July 1971, where he along with Dr. Fred Langer developed a clinical and research programme in bone and cartilage transplantation. The first osteochondral allograft was performed on New Years Day in 1972, for a traumatic defect of a knee. A limb salvage tumour programme was initiated a few years later, because of the advances in chemotherapy. A Bone Bank was then established at Mount Sinai so that preserved tissue could be used for the tumour surgery.
In the early 1980s, revision arthroplasty of the hip arrived on the scene, and it soon became apparent that some revisions required restoration of bone stock. The transplant programme continues to flourish for post-traumatic joint defects, revision arthroplasty of the hip and knee, and limb salvage following excision of bone tumours.
Dr. Gross became Head of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Mount Sinai in 1973 and Chief of Surgery in 1975. He became Head of the Combined Orthopaedic Unit of the Toronto General Hospital and Mount Sinai Unit in 1982, and the A.J. Latner Professor and Chairman of the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Toronto, on July 1, 1986 to July 1996. Presently, he is a full time orthopaedic surgeon in the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital, and a