Obesity has become a major chronic health problem in this country, and is second only to tobacco as a cause of premature death. Bariatric surgery has evolved as an effective treatment for morbid obesity, inducing rapid and predictable weight loss within a period of 12 to 18 months following surgery.
The dramatic increase in volume of bariatric surgery procedures in the United States has resulted in a large number of patients with secondary deformities of hanging skin after massive weight loss. Consequently, body contouring after weight loss is emerging as the fastest growing field of plastic surgery.
Patients seek consultation with a plastic surgeon to correct skin laxity of the abdomen, thighs, chest, back, and neck, and often undergo multiple procedures involving lengthy incisions. The Life After Weight Loss program at the University of Pittsburgh is a unique clinical center dedicated to meeting the body contouring needs of the massive weight loss patient.
While at least one clinical research project leading to presentation and publication is expected during the fellowship year, significant basic and applied basic science research opportunities are available.
The Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory is directed by Kacey G. Marra, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering and Faculty of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. This laboratory conducts scientific investigation in multiple interdisciplinary areas.
The scope of projects revolves around the two future avenues of tissue reconstruction: transplantation and tissue engineering. Modalities are investigated to manipulate the immune system in order to achieve transplantation of composite tissue allografts. Novel biomaterials are being designed for skin, bone, and nerve regeneration, with a strong focus on polymeric materials, both native and synthetic.
This laboratory isolates preadipocytes from human adipose tissue, and is exploring applications of these adult stem cells in soft tissue reconstruction. Of recent interest is the differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes, neural progenitor cells, and osteoblasts for tissue engineering applications.
Applications for the Body Contouring Fellowship will be accepted between June 1 – October 30 of each year for the fellowship beginning the following academic year. This is a non-accredited fellowship, therefore, you are not required to participate in the match.
Please submit the following information with your application packet:
You may mail your completed Body Contouring Fellowship Application materials to:
Body Contouring Fellowship Coordinator
3380 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
If you have any questions or require additional information regarding the fellowship, please do not hesitate to contact me.