Letter from the director
Welcome to the University of Pittsburgh Department of Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory!
Established in 2002, our Research Laboratory is one of the country’s premier Plastic Surgery Research Laboratories and is routinely recognized for cutting edge research in tissue reconstruction. We strive to perform research that will change medical practice for the benefit of our patients and establish new paradigms of care. Through three focused laboratories (Tissue Engineering, Vascularized Allotransplantation, and Craniofacial Biology), we offer research opportunities for residents, medical students, graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, research faculty, and undergraduate students. Principal Investigators (PI’s) include Plastic Surgery clinicians and basic scientists, all sharing the common goal of helping these trainees gain the expertise and experiences they need to move onto the next step in their career. Whether you are looking to develop your reputation in the field, build grantsmanship skills, learn bench-top techniques while in residency, build skillsets during gap years, or earn directed research credits as an undergraduate student, the Plastic Surgery PI’s will provide strong mentorship toward these goals. PI’s coach active participation and build upon bench-top techniques. Successful lab members are presented with opportunities such as travel for poster presentations and podium talks at national meetings, data compilation and manuscript writing, cross collaboration within the departments of the School of Medicine and School of Engineering, and exposure to both industry and government agencies through funded research projects. Our laboratories are supported by funding from the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health, Foundations such as the Plastic Surgery Foundation, and Industry partners.
Through a positive group dynamic, our Laboratory brings together a talented group of researchers from a wide range of different cultural and organizational backgrounds and allows for a safe environment to share unique perspectives on the scientific topics we research. Diversity has become a key pillar of the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory. Our interdisciplinary team not only brings together those members trained in different disciplines, but also recruits members of varying cultures, to help our team better answer our research questions.
In the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory, we are a collaborative research team and each member develops and applies skills to enable contribution to team efforts and the overall vision. Trainees are regularly engaged to become aware of other team members’ projects and PI’s strive to combine concurrent trainee efforts toward a cohesive Laboratory. Collaborative teams meet regularly to discuss group goals, individuals’ aims in the project, and next steps in the research objective.
The consistent efforts of our team have led to multi-institutional grants, career advancements, innovations and licensed technology, and post graduate training opportunities. I invite you to visit our site to learn more about the opportunities in our Laboratory and the advancements our team has made.
With Kind Regards,
Kacey G. Marra, Ph.D.
Director, Plastic Surgery Research