Department of Plastic And Oral Surgery | Research and Innovations

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Contact the Department of Plastic Surgery

  • 1-617-355-7252
  • International: +01-617-355-5209

About our research

The basic science focus of our laboratory is angiogenesis, the formation of new capillaries from pre-existing blood vessels. Learn more about Boston Children's Hospital's rich tradition in angiogenesis research and discovery, launched by the renowned clinician-scientist Judah Folkman, MD.

Our laboratory is located on the tenth floor of the Enders Research Building on the main Boston Children's campus. Its central location among Harvard Medical School and other affiliated medical centers—including Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Joslin Diabetes Center—facilitates collaboration with talented investigators across many disciplines.

Our facility has approximately 2,500 square feet of space with state-of-the-art equipment. The laboratory is supported by both the Boston Children's Department of Plastic and Oral Surgery, under the leadership of John G. Meara, MD, DMD, MBA, and its Vascular Anomalies Center, directed by John B. Mulliken, MD, and Steven Fishman, MD.

Our mission

The purpose of our laboratory is to study pediatric plastic surgical problems and to develop improved treatments for those conditions. We are interested in translational basic research that has direct clinical applicability. Our basic science questions are derived from clinical experience, and our aim is to translate the knowledge gained in the laboratory back to the clinic to improve patient care.

Areas of study

Our research is focused on two main areas:

  • Vascular anomalies

    Vascular anomalies are a group of tumors and malformations that affect blood vessels. We are investigating the pathophysiology of these lesions by studying resected clinical tissue to determine why they progress over time. Our primary goal is to develop pharmacological treatments for patients with vascular malformations.
  • Cranioplasty

    Repairing skull defects is particularly difficult in young children because of limited autologous donor sites and the reluctance to use alloplastic materials. We have shown that particulate cranial bone graft harvested from the infant effectively heals calvarial defects. We have translated our technique to an animal model and are comparing particulate graft to other cranioplasty materials.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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