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Both basic science and clinical research projects are available. Residents are required to produce one research project during the fellowship period.  Twice a year, resident research day is held where the residents present, discuss and defend their research efforts.

Basic Science Research

Breast Cancer and Adipocyte Stem Cell Interaction


Bruce Bunell, Ph.D. (Tulane Gene Therapy Center)

Brian Rowan, Ph.D. (Tulane Cancer Center)

Jeffrey Gimble, MD PhD (LSU Pennington Research Center)


Ryan Jones, M.A.

Eduardo Lacayo, M.D. (Post-Doctoral Fellow)

Trivia Frazier, PhD Graduate Student

Carolyn Mardsen, PhD Graduate Student

Muralidharan (Murali) Anbalagan, PhD

Latonya Carrier

We are investigating the interaction of adipocyte stem cells with breast cancer cells.  Adipocyte stem cells are being used to treat post-mastectomy radiated tissue defects.  However, the safety of grafting stem cells into an oncologically transformation prone region is not.  ADSCs are multi-potent stem cells that release a number of growth factors, making them mitogenic and potentially carcinogenic, especially in an environment already prone to transformation.  Further, the paracrine interactions between ADSCs and malignant epithelial cells promote breast cancer growth, and could increase the risk of recurrence.  Internal and extramural grants have been successfully obtained for funding.


Human Stem Cells in Diabetic and Radiated Wounds


Abigail Chaffin, M.D. (Division of Plastic Surgery)

Reza Izadpanah, Ph.D. (Division of Medicine)

Working in collaboration with Dr. Izadpanah, we are investigating the biological role of human stem cells in diabetic and radiated wounds.  Greater understanding of stem cell biology in these unique patient subsets will enable us to properly select patient candidates for stem cell therapy.

Clinical Science Research

Breast Reconstruction Health Disparities Research & Quality of Life Issues


Farah A. Arosemena, Ph.D. (School of Public Health)

Maureen Y. Litchveld, M.D. Ph.D. (School of Public Health)

In collaboration with the Tulane School of Public Health, we are developing educational tools for Gulf Coast underserved communities to expand knowledge about breast reconstruction options.


 Supraclavicular Artery Island (SAI) Flap in Head and Neck Reconstruction


Paul L. Friedlander, M.D. (Department of Otolaryngology)sai flap

Cynthia Hanemann, M.D. (Department of Radiology)

We are the first to describe a new less invasive flap (SAI flap) for head & neck oncologic reconstruction.  Donor site morbidity, operative time, and recovery time has been reduced.  Clinical outcomes studies are actively being investigated.  We are developing a new pre-operative 3D CT angiography protocol which should help demystify patient selection criteria.


Research Space

Currently, surgical research is financially supported by the Plastic Surgery Educational Fund, National Endowment Grant, and Tulane Department of Surgery.  A modern laboratory equipped with modern surgical dissecting microscopes, gel electrophoresis, protein purification, tissue culture hoods, EMG recording, is being constructed.  The majority of our collaborators are located in the same building. A certified animal care facility is also in the building.

Plastic Surgery and Neurosurgery Skull Base Laboratory

This research space is utilized by both the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive  Surgery and the Department of Neurosurgery  to investigate anatomical and clinical questions regarding the head and neck anatomy.  Latex injection materials as well as a surgical dissecting microscope are available.  branches facial artery and nerve anatomy

An educational grant was recently received for the purchase of cadaver heads and supplies for several research projects.  These projects include 1. The location and protection of the frontal branch of the facial nerve in plating the zygomatic arch through a rhytidectomy  approach (Principal investigator: Hugo St.Hilaire, DMD, MD) 2. Anatomic and vascular analysis of varying alar base modifications in the open rhinoplasty patient (Principal investigator: Stephen Metzinger, MD) 3. Etiology of tear troughs and their anatomical change with aging (Principal investigator: Michael Moses, MD) 4. Study etiology of malar edema, the potential disruption of the anterior lamellae, lymphatic drainages (Principal investigator: David Jansen, MD)

Tulane University, Department of Surgery, 1430 Tulane Ave. SL-22 New Orleans, LA 70112 504-988-5128