Over the past century, research has been an important focus of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery faculty at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Vilray P. Blair, one of the founders of the plastic surgery specialty, joined the faculty in 1902. Blair not only became a leader in research — setting the standard for craniofacial construction and developing many new techniques — but also trained many plastic surgeons who made important contributions in the field. Today, faculty members continue that tradition of excellence. 

As Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is truly a “head-to-toe” surgery discipline, research within the Division is represented across this broad discipline of surgical specialties as outlined by our 10 Clinical Programs. And, we perform research across the entire spectrum of approaches: Clinical, translational, and basic science studies. Our division implements research in a “bench to bedside” manner, where each component of the research approach complements one another to achieve our goal of improved and cutting-edge patient care. 

We are leaders in field of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as represented by the diverse faculty. Our collective research groups comprise dozens of talented staff and trainees ranging from medical students, graduate students, research fellows and associates, and international scholars. Our division has acquired over $690,000 from research grants in 2019. Cumulatively, we have published more than 1,200 peer-reviewed manuscripts represented on PubMed, as well as over 100 books and chapters.

Clinical Research