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Research Links


Research Office
Department of Plastic Surgery
S-2221 Medical Center North
1161 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37232
Phone (615) 322-7265


Plastic Surgery Research Initiatives

Research is a vital part of the Plastic Surgery program at Vanderbilt. This endeavor is powered by plastic surgery research fellows, attending physicians, surgical faculty and other collaborators and colleagues from various disciplines. The Department of Plastic Surgery funds one full-time Research Fellow each year who along with research staff and medical students, assist faculty with their scientific studies. Investigators are able to use other shared institutional cores and resources. The inclusive nature of the research environment at Vanderbilt has yields collectively dozens of publications annually. The focus of the labs director is investigating molecular mechanisms controlling cutaneous repair and regeneration in mice, pigs and humans.

Current Research Activities

  • Wesley Thayer, MD, PhD. directs a robust effort within the plastic surgery lab aimed at modulating and minimizing degeneration in injured peripheral nerves. He and a cadre of researchers (the staff, the plastic surgery fellow, a medical scholar and various medical students) are optimizing nerve fusion conditions in the rat sciatic nerve model. To date their work has been nationally recognized in surgical as well as engineering fields and is rapidly approaching the stage of translation into humans under the circumstance of significant nerve damage. Thayer PubMed

Dedicated and Available Research Facilities

Plastic Surgery has a 1650 sq. ft. dedicated laboratory facility including a histopathology lab, molecular biology lab, microscope with computerized morphometry and small animal surgery area and tissue culture facilities. The lab is located in Medical Center North and includes an immunohistochemistry lab, molecular biology lab, and a microscope capable of computerized morphometry as well as facilities used by all divisions of the Section of Surgical Sciences.

The S.R. Light Surgical Operating Suites are maintained by the Section of Surgical Sciences and operate as the University's Survival Surgical Suite.

The VUMC Office of Research is a wealth of knowledge when navigating through the vast resource systems at Vanderbilt.