Research and Scholarship

Although residents have no significant basic science research requirement, each resident in years 4, 5 and 6 is expected to complete one clinical research project per year to present at the annual Resident Research Day each June.

Optional research for a one- or two-year period in the plastic surgery laboratory is offered between the PGY-III and PGY-IV levels. A resident's desire to do 1-2 years of research should be discussed prior to beginning training in the program. We strive for flexibility so residents are able to meet their personal career goals.

Plastic Surgery Residency Research

The faculty is committed to research and promoting scholarly activity among residents:

  • Dr. Susan Mackinnon – The division is home to a productive and innovative basic science laboratory with ongoing research in nerve injury and regeneration founded by Dr. Mackinnon. Her lab is currently supported by two separate R01 grants.
  • Dr. Thomas Tung – Dr. Tung was recently awarded an R21 clinical trials grant for the study of electrical stimulation in nerve regeneration in patients with lack of elbow flexion. This project aims to determine if E-stim increases rate of regeneration and return of functional recovery.
  • Dr. Terence Myckatyn – Dr. Myckatyn has several grants. Funded by Allergan, one looks at the impact of tumor to breast ratio on patient-reported outcomes following breast conservation therapy versus mastectomy with reconstruction. Also funded by Allergan, another investigates the impact of simulation on patient-reported outcomes in breast augmentation in a prospective, randomized control trial. The Plastic Surgery Foundation funds some of his studies including a multi-center trial looking at the impact of fat transfer on cancer recurrence, and another in the clinical and histologic impact of radiation and its timing on the internal mammary vessels when used as recipient for microvascular breast reconstruction. He also does research on the impact of inflammatory adipose-derived cytokines on metabolic disease and the impact of biofilms on capsular contracture.
  • Dr. Ida Fox – Dr. Fox is using the well-established technique of nerve transfers in a new patient population – those with cervical level spinal cord injury (SCI). She was recently awarded a Craig Neilsen Foundation Grant for her work in this field.  Another area of interest for her is web-based educational content as an important aspect of surgical learning.
  • The craniofacial laboratory of Dr. Albert Woo and Dr. Kamlesh Patel is one of the largest archives of craniofacial CT images in the country. Their clinical research is focused on looking into outcomes of patients with cleft and craniosynostosis.
  • Dr. Amy Moore – Dr. Moore has numerous projects and grants funding basic science peripheral nerve research. She was recently awarded a Department of Defense (DOD) Peer-Reviewed Orthopedic Research Program (PRORP) grant entitled, Macroscopic Management of Neuromas. She is exploring the ability “reset” nerve regeneration with a proximal nerve crush followed by inhibiting neuroma formation with the use of a long processed nerve allograft at the time of definitive amputation. 
  • Dr. Alison Snyder-Warwick – Dr. Snyder-Warwick’s lab investigates terminal Schwann cells, which are specialized glial cells located at the neuromuscular junction. They examine the roles of these cells in normal function and after motor nerve injury. The implication of terminal Schwann cells in peripheral nerve development, function, injury, and repair would provide an exciting new avenue for investigation of peripheral nerve reconstruction.
  • Dr. Donald Buck – Dr. Buck’s research interests include plastic surgery education, patient safety, and clinical outcomes. He received the 2013 ACGME David C. Leach Award for his contribution to resident education. He has edited two textbooks in plastic surgery, and is heavily involved nationally on numerous committees within the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Council of Academic Plastic Surgeons, the Plastic Surgery Foundation, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
  • Dr. Marissa Tenenbaum – Dr. Tenenbaum’s clinical interests include facial and body cosmetic plastic surgery. She is also interested in breast surgery including breast reconstruction with implants and patient’s own tissue. Her research interests include clinical outcomes in cosmetic surgery as well as breast reconstruction. Dr. Tenenbaum’s current projects include the impact of tumor to breast ratio on patient-reported outcomes following breast conservation therapy versus mastectomy with reconstruction. Another investigates the impact of simulation on patient-reported outcomes in breast augmentation in a prospective, randomized control trial. Another is a prospective, randomized trial of incision choice in nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction.
  • Dr. Matthew Wood – Dr. Wood’s lab investigates the basic science of treatments used for the clinical management of peripheral nerve injuries. His group is interested in understanding the limitations encountered by current clinical treatments, such as nerve grafts utilized beyond a “critical” length. In addition, his group employs tissue-engineered approaches to understand and augment reconstructive efforts.