Research

As plastic surgery researchers at the University of Michigan, we seek not just to advance knowledge but to translate what we discover into life-changing solutions for our patients.

We’re interested in setting the standard for what’s new and novel in the field of plastic surgery, from developing the first prosthetic hand controlled by a patient’s own muscles to defining regenerative medicine techniques to treat heterotopic ossification.

With more than $3 million in annual external sponsorship and the deep resources of the U-M Medical School research infrastructure, our research efforts are well-supported. This support for research extends to our culture, where faculty are able to spend between 20 and 40 percent of their time on basic science and clinical research.  

Our strengths in research and in plastic surgery education were rewarded with an NIH T32 Training Grant that supports the training of two residents a year in their pursuit of translational science, including the study of therapeutic interventions and their clinical outcomes.

Current research interests include:

  • Musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve, including the study of bone biology and ways to enhance bone healing; and development of a regenerative peripheral nerve interface that can control a prosthetic device in patients with limb loss.
  • Trauma and critical care, including use of advanced imaging technologies to study heterotopic ossification, a disorder characterized by the formation of mature bone in soft tissues that affects up to 65% of severely injured combat veterans.
  • Health services and outcomes, including a National Cancer Institute-funded collaborative study of quality of life outcomes for breast reconstruction patients; and an initiative to provide effective pain management while reducing opioid use among surgical patients across Michigan.