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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences 

J. Peter Rubin, M.D., Named Chief of Pitt’s Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 15The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine recently named J. Peter Rubin, M.D., a noted expert on adult stem cells derived from fat tissue and body contouring surgery, chief of the division of plastic and reconstructive surgery.

“Peter Rubin has distinguished himself as one of the leading plastic surgeons and surgical scientists in the United States. He is well-funded as a scientific investigator, receiving support from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense. He leads a program that is devising innovative strategies for the use of adipose (fat)-derived stem cells to not only address problems of tissue regeneration but also other diseases that benefit from stem cell-based therapies,” said Timothy Billiar, M.D., George Vance Foster Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. “I am confident that under Dr. Rubin’s leadership, plastic surgery will continue to thrive at the University of Pittsburgh as one of the leading programs in the United States.” 

In addition to his role as division chief, Dr. Rubin is director of the UPMC Life After Weight Loss Program, a leading center for plastic surgery after weight loss. He is co-director of the Adipose Stem Cell Center and co-director of the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center. His laboratory research focuses on applications of adult adipose-derived stem cells for restoring damaged tissues after trauma and cancer therapy. He currently is the lead investigator for clinical trials using technologies designed to improve the lives of wounded military personnel.

He has published extensively in the medical literature and has received numerous awards for his research work, most notably for the Presidential Early Career Award for Science and Engineering and for his National Institutes of Health-funded work with fat-derived stem cells, and in 2007.

Dr. Rubin has been a consistent leader in the international plastic surgery community. As a past president of the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science, Dr. Rubin led a group of scientists worldwide who are on the cutting edge in the study of the use of fat stem cells for treating numerous disorders. Dr. Rubin also has been chair of the Plastic Surgery Research Council, the oldest and most respected basic science research organizations in the field of plastic surgery. He currently serves as chair of a joint society task force of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons on the use of stem cells. Additionally, he serves as the liaison between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, working to promote safety and quality standards in plastic surgery after weight loss. He is well known for his innovative techniques in breast and body contouring surgery, and frequently lectures at institutions across the country and internationally. He has published a textbook on plastic surgery after weight loss and currently is lead editor of a multi-author textbook project on body contouring surgery that is expected to be the standard reference.

Dr. Rubin received his medical degree from the Tufts University School of Medicine and completed training in plastic surgery at Harvard University. He received his undergraduate degree from Grinnell College.

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About the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

As one of the nation’s leading academic centers for biomedical research, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine integrates advanced technology with basic science across a broad range of disciplines in a continuous quest to harness the power of new knowledge and improve the human condition. Driven mainly by the School of Medicine and its affiliates, Pitt has ranked among the top 10 recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1997 and now ranks fifth in the nation, according to NIH data for 2008 (the most recent year for which the data are final).

Likewise, the School of Medicine is equally committed to advancing the quality and strength of its medical and graduate education programs, for which it is recognized as an innovative leader, and to training highly skilled, compassionate clinicians and creative scientists well-equipped to engage in world-class research. The School of Medicine is the academic partner of UPMC, which has collaborated with the University to raise the standard of medical excellence in Pittsburgh and to position health care as a driving force behind the region’s economy. For more information about the School of Medicine, see

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