Tissue repair continues to present significant challenges to biomedical scientists and clinicians wishing to understand and manipulate its associated biological processes to facilitate wound healing while also preventing fibrotic complications. My research interests represent a long-term effort to better understand how wound healing can be optimized to benefit patients who suffer from chronic wounds or problematic scarring. These efforts include translational research studies into the roles of the extracellular matrix and microbiome in wound healing and fibrosis as well as clinical studies on the impact of diabetes, nicotine, and other risk factors for poor healing.
As a board-certified plastic surgeon in active clinical practice, I have dedicated my professional life to finding innovative wound treatments for patients through basic and clinical research. My clinical training at Yale had given me a strong foundation to understand wound healing. I also acquired firsthand knowledge of the limitations of current therapies for treating difficult wounds and the great challenges in developing novel treatments that can be widely adopted by practitioners. I came to the conclusion during my clinical training that if I wished to make significant contributions to therapeutic advances for these challenging clinical entities, it would require a much deeper understanding on my part of the basic biological processes underlying wound healing. Through an NIH-funded postdoctoral position at Princeton University, I studied the role of the extracellular matrix in regulating wound cell behavior, work which led to a successful application for NIH funding in the form of a K08 career development award. Accordingly, I have developed an intellectual and professional background that is uniquely well rounded among my clinical and scientific colleagues and find myself poised to bridge the widening translational gap between the basic and clinical sciences. As the Director of the Yale Regenerative Wound Healing Center, I have developed the clinical wound program at Yale-New Haven Hospital into the foremost regional referral center for challenging chronic wounds using innovative approaches to achieve dramatic clinical outcomes. This clinical program is paired with a scientific program that encourages cross-disciplinary collaborations and has already yielded key insights on the role of macrophages in regulating fibroblast heterogeneity (Shook et al., Science, 2018) that I hope to one day will lead to the development of novel approaches in regenerative medicine. My lab's goal is also to attract trainees that will benefit from direct exposure to such approaches, and as a consequence, allow them deeper insights to answer questions relevant to the “bedside” as well as the “bench.”
Aging; Biomedical Engineering; Cells, Cultured; Pressure Ulcer; Fibrosis; Leg Ulcer; Surgery, Plastic; Surgical Wound Dehiscence; Wound Healing; Wounds and Injuries; Foot Ulcer; Telemedicine; Tissue Engineering; Regenerative Medicine; Tissue Scaffolds; Negative-Pressure Wound Therapy; Wound Closure Techniques; Acellular Dermis; Surgical Wound
Aging; Clinical Guidelines; Clinical Trials; Nutrition; e-Health