Research Activities

Research Activities

Basic Science and Translational Research

Vascular and Tissue Bioengineering Laboratory

PI: Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D. – Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Focus: Adipose stem cells and tissue engineering; vascular tissue engineering

Mission: A very active federally-funded laboratory focused on tissue engineering, angiogenesis and adipose stem cells.  There are many projects currently being investigated that are germane to plastic surgery and wound healing.


Wound Healing Laboratory

PI: George T. Rodeheaver, Ph.D. – Professor of Plastic Surgery

Focus: Adhesive agents, bone void fillers, skin equivalents, surgical adhesions, surgical suture and needle mechanics, and wound irrigation

Mission: To provide an active investigative program that will improve the management and outcome of patients with malformed or damaged tissue.  The wound healing laboratory was initiated in 1972 under the direction of George T. Rodeheaver, Ph.D. and continues under his leadership with a staff of eight. Dr. Rodeheaver, the lab's research supervisor, director of animal surgery, and director of engineering act as a team in conducting the research program of the laboratory.  In addition, they facilitate the research programs of the faculty, residents, medical students and undergraduate students affiliated with the Department of Plastic Surgery, as well as collaborate with faculty in other departments.


The Nettie Marie Jones Microsurgery Laboratory

Mission: The Nettie Marie Jones Microsurgical Center was founded in 1976 by a grant from the benefactor. This lab is one of the oldest continuously running microsurgery labs in the country. The Center provides instruction in microsurgery for medical students, residents, and faculty, including a one-week course of intense instruction in the techniques of dissection and repair of arteries, veins and nerves. In addition, medical students can elect to spend 2-4 weeks mastering basic microsurgical techniques. We also provide 24-hour coverage for replantation services. Interdisciplinary collaboration is encouraged through research and instructional activity. The lab is directed by Raymond F. Morgan, MD and staffed by Randy Amiss, RN. 


Tendon Tissue Engineering

PI: A. Bobby Chhabra, M.D. – Professor of Orthopaedic and Plastic Surgery

Focus: Tendon healing

Mission: A federally funded active basic science laboratory that is investigating flexor tendon healing using growth factors, adipose stem cell technology, and tissue engineering principles.


Clinical Research

There are several active clinical research projects being conducted within the Department of Plastic Surgery.  Topics include abdominal wall reconstruction, hand surgery, burn treatments, and breast reconstruction among others.