Skip to main content

Research and Education


Since 1943, the KU Department of Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program has followed a long tradition of excellence. Over the years, it's boasted some of the most nationally recognized leaders in the field — leaders like David Robinson, M.D., Frank Masters, M.D. Earl Pagett, M.D. and Glenn Jelks, M.D.

The current faculty continues this tradition. Our faculty come from all over the world and have trained at some of the most prominent programs in the world. They are active in professional associations, including the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the Plastic Surgery Education Foundation and the American Burn Association.

All of our faculty are involved in clinical and/or basic science research projects. Many basic science and clinical projects are being done in conjunction with other KU and KUMC departments.

Residents are required to participate in at least one scholarly activity per year in the form of clinical research, performance improvement project, basic science research or other educational projects and to submit their work for presentation at regional and national meetings. There is a dedicated 2 month research block during the PGY 3 year. Project assignments during the research block are arranged through the Department of Plastic Surgery.

Residents have twice yearly meetings with Dr. Bhavsar and Dr. Andrews to evaluate the progress that is being made on their projects and to ensure that they have adequate resources to complete their projects.

The Department of Plastic Surgery provides support for qualified residents to attend meetings at which they have had a project accepted for presentation. The chief residents are given the opportunity to attend one major conference during their final year.

Our faculty is regularly published in peer-reviewed publications and journals for their work in many areas including breast reconstruction, burn and complex wound management, and pediatric and adult cranio/maxillofacial.

Here is a recent article by one of our PGY6 residents Dr. Chris Surek : No Touch Lip Enhancement

Read more about our esteemed alumni.

Midwest Association of Plastic Surgery Meeting 2017

Shikhar Tomur, Stefani Fontana PhD, Kevin Xiao MD, James Vargo MD, Jacob Grow MD (Pictured above from left to right) recently represented the KU Department of Plastic Surgery at the 2017 Midwest Association of Plastic Surgery Meeting "Restoration of Function and Aesthetics in Plastic Surgery" in Chicago, IL on April 15th. Each presented current research projects including orthognathic surgery for Prader-Willi Syndrome, cognitive recovery following craniosynostosis repair, an evaluation of current burn critical care guidelines, and 3-D camera analysis of cheek volumization.

Full abstracts and meeting summary can be found here:


In 2015, the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Kansas Medical Center, was growing and diversifying into several areas including wound and burn care, maxillofacial reconstruction, microvascular reconstruction, breast augmentation and reconstruction, and hand reconstruction. With all the specialties, and expanded training opportunities for residents, there was an interest within the department to expand research to enhance the capabilities of the department. Thus, in October 2015, Drs. Mellott, Korentager, and Zamierowski founded the R3 (Repair, Reconstruction, and Regeneration) Lab for translational research. The goals of the R3 Lab are to provide plastic surgery residents with a basic introduction to basic science research and help them to develop their own original research projects. Additionally, the R3 Lab' specializes in tissue engineering, biomaterials, cellular reprogramming, stem cells, regenerative medicine for wound healing and maxillofacial research. Some of the projects that our group is working are listed below.  

Wound Healing  - Dr. Zamierowski, Dr. Bhavsar, and Dr. Korentager bring a deep knowledge of wound healing to the lab. Together with Dr. Mellott's background in tissue engineering, they are exploring and characterizing the mechanism behind negative pressure wound therapy (NPWT). 

Adult Stem Cells - Dr. Mellott has extensive experience working with human Wharton's jelly cells and matrix as well as a variety of cellular reprogramming techniques. Dr. Mellott is working on a platform technology that combines intracellular and extracellular signal manipulation to differentiate human Wharton's jelly cells, human bone marrow stem cells, and human adipose stem cells toward terminal lineages for wound healing and peripheral nerve applications.



Dr. David Zamierowski develops "SA Finger Stick" 


David Zamierowski and nursing professor Kathy Carver patented the SA FingerStick, the first product conceived, funded and developed by Johnson County Community College. Some proceeds from the sale of the teaching tool are going to provide capital investment funds for future innovations. Read the full article here:

Last modified: Sep 28, 2018
Meet Our Experts
This database highlights research, publications, teaching and clinical scholarship of our faculty. Learn more about our research.