Department of Plastic Surgery



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. Lillian B. Nanney, Ph.D, is director of the laboratory. The focus of the lab’s director is investigating molecular mechanisms controlling cutaneous repair and regeneration in mice, pigs and humans.

Current Research Activities

  • Various research projects, lead by Dr. Nanney, continue to bring innovation and discovery in the areas of: wound repair, regeneration, growth factors, regenerative phenotype resulting in scarring and pressure ulcers.  Nanney PubMed
  • 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.

This page was last updated April 12, 2016 and is maintained by