Plastic Surgery Basic Science Research
At NYU Langone’s Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery, basic science and translational research are cornerstones of our mission.
Our research often leads to significant achievements in transplantation surgery, craniofacial distraction, and microsurgery. Under the leadership of Daniel J. Ceradini, MD, our research team pursues scientific and technological innovations designed to improve the treatment of human disease. Because our researchers are also surgeons, we are uniquely able to quickly translate ideas from bench to bedside, making a significant impact on patient care.
We provide numerous research opportunities to our medical students, residents, and fellows, and offer a Plastic Surgery Research Fellowship to medical students and general surgery residents.
Current Basic Science Research
Our researchers are currently pursuing an array of basic science research projects in plastic surgery.
Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation
Vascularized composite allotransplantation is the transplantation of multiple tissues, such as muscle, bone, nerve, and skin, as one functional unit. Examples include hand transplants and face transplants. Vascularized composite allotransplantation is the ideal method for restoring delicate three-dimensional anatomy and function in reconstructive surgery, yet the technique is significantly limited by the need for lifelong systemic immunosuppression.
Our lab is working to develop novel approaches to facilitating the tolerance of allogeneic tissue without the need for lifelong systemic immunosuppression. Our work includes engineering and optimization of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), as well as MSC-derived exosomes. We use these in our rat transplantation model to investigate their immunomodulatory capacities and effects on rejection. We are also developing noninvasive tests to better monitor and diagnose rejection in the acute care setting.
Diabetes and Tissue Regeneration
Chronic wounds in diabetes are a major public health problem. Studies show that impaired redox homeostasis in diabetes often leads to dysfunctional tissue regeneration and the development of nonhealing wounds.
Our researchers are studying the oxidative and metabolic mechanisms and the deficiencies that are responsible for this nonhealing wound pathology. Based on our cellular and molecular discoveries, we are developing innovative therapeutic strategies to normalize tissue regeneration after skin injuries in patients with diabetes.
Fibrosis and Wound Healing
Fibrosis is a central pathophysiological process common to many different types of tissue injury, from myocardial infarction to cutaneous radiation injury. Fibrosis during wound healing results in organ dysfunction, vascular compromise, and cutaneous scarring. Mitigation of fibrosis and promotion of normal tissue regeneration could have broad-reaching clinical consequences across surgical disciplines.
We are investigating redox pathways underlying the various etiologies of fibrosis. We are also targeting these pathways to develop rapidly translatable nanotechnology for delivery of therapeutic agents directly to the regenerative environment to normalize tissue repair.
Our department’s laboratory facilities are located in the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine.
The space features equipment for biological studies, including normal and hypoxic tissue and cell culture, tissue processing, immunohistochemistry, microscopes with immunofluorescence capability, and digital image analysis.
It also contains a fully equipped microsurgical operating suite with an advanced double-headed operating microscope for microsurgical procedures and space for animal recovery and analysis, color laser Doppler, and a perfusion system for ex vivo perfusion of composite tissues and organs.
For more information about our basic science research program, contact Renee McKell, senior research coordinator, at email@example.com or 212-263-8745.
Basic Science Research Faculty
Faculty members who are actively involved in basic research include the following:
Eduardo D. Rodriguez, MD, DDS
Chair, Hansjörg Wyss Department of Plastic Surgery
Daniel J. Ceradini, MD
Director of Research