Penn Surgery

Penn Plastic Surgery Research Group

Clinical Research Fellowship

The Clinical Research Fellowship in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania is a 12-month funded fellowship dedicated to patient related research. There have been 8 research fellows since the inception of the position in 2008. Research fellows are either senior medical students or general surgery residents. The research fellowship is an outstanding opportunity for those applying into plastic surgery, and a great help to the clinical research endeavors within the research group.

Position Description

The Clinical Research Fellows’ broad responsibilities include organizing and gaining approval for the majority of the research that is produced within the division. This includes developing project ideas, grant proposals, and IRB protocols, if necessary. It also includes the prospective and retrospective management and statistical analysis of several large databases, including one of the largest and most detailed autologous breast reconstruction databases in the field.

Although no formal bio-statistical or clinical research training is funded through the fellowship, the Clinical Research Fellows gain a tremendous amount of on-the-job training from residents and previous fellows who are accomplished academic researchers in plastic surgery. The fast-paced environment and abundance of practical training leaves Clinical Research Fellows with a robust knowledge of the current state of academic literature in their areas of interest within plastic surgery, as well as an ability to effectively explore this literature, develop new ideas, and gather, manage, and analyze institution and national datasets to answer novel hypotheses.

At the end of the year, a Clinical Research Fellow is expected to be involved in the completion of 20+ clinical research ideas and submit them for publication, many to high-impact plastic and general surgery journals. At any one given time, a Clinical Research Fellow may be responsible for directly overseeing 5-10 projects, some of which he or she will complete during their tenure and others of which he or she will pass on to the next fellow(s). In this manner, the fellows learn to create reproducible and scientifically valid data in a collaborative environment, thereby setting the foundation for many of the skills they will need throughout their academic careers.


To apply for the clinical research fellowship (7/2018-6/2019), submit a letter of interest along with your CV and a letter of recommendation from a close mentor to Dr. John P. Fischer and CC to Kris Gallagher by September 15, 2017.

Interviews will be held on TBD.

For more information about the fellowship or application process, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the current fellows:

Current Clinical Research Fellows


Irfan Rhemtulla
Irfan Rhemtulla
Fabiola Enriquez
Fabiola Enriquez

Previous Clinical Research Fellows


Martin Carney
Martin Carney
  • Microsurgical outcomes and program development
  • Lower extremity reconstruction free flap choice, fasciocutaneous versus muscle
  • Posterior sheath repair during abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Three-dimensional (3D) micropigmentation following breast reconstruction


Jason Weissler
Jason Weissler
  • Restoring breast sensation following mastectomy and reconstruction, efficacy of neurotization
  • Applications of chemodenervation using Botox for Abdominal Wall Reconstruction
  • Risk modeling and prediction strategies for incisional hernia following open abdominal surgery
  • Lymphovenous bypass for refractory chylothorax


Michael Lanni
Michael Lanni
  • Prophylactic mesh augmentation for incisional hernia prevention
  • Quantitative digital image correlation and patient reported outcomes in facial rejuvenation
  • Acoustic radiation force impulse elastography for prediction of primary fascial closure in ventral hernia
  • Long-term functional impact and patient reported outcomes following autologous breast reconstruction


Michael Tecce
Michael Tecce
  • 3-Dimensional Printing in Nasal Reconstruction: Development of Precise Patient-Tailored Forehead Flap Templates
  • Defining indications and opportunities for incisional hernia risk reduction after open hysterectomy
  • Risk assessment for deep wound infection after median sternotomy
  • Long-term functional impact and patient reported outcomes following autologous breast reconstruction


Andrew Bauder
Andrew R. Bauder
  • The interplay of plastic surgeon distribution, race, and insurance type on breast reconstruction
  • Three dimensional craniometrics in syndromic craniosynostosis
  • Clinical and patient reported outcomes in ventral hernia repair


Jonathan Sarik
Jonathan R. Sarik
  • Patient reported outcomes in plastic surgery
  • Clinical outcomes in breast reconstruction
  • Outcomes and cost in ventral hernia repair
  • Surgical treatment of peripheral lymphedema


Marten Basta
Marten N. Basta
  • Breast Cancer-Related Lymphedema Outcomes research
  • Ventral Hernia Repair Outcomes & Economic Analysis
  • Head and Neck Microsurgical Reconstruction Outcomes & Economic Analysis


Air Wes
Ari M. Wes
  • Clinical outcomes in autologous and implant-based breast reconstruction
  • Outcomes, cost, and complications in abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Long-term clinical outcomes in single-suture craniosynostosis repair
  • Complications in body contouring procedures from a national dataset


Carrie Stansky
Carrie A. Stansky
  • Clinical outcomes in cleft lip and palate repair
  • Fat grafting and molecular mechanisms of human aging
  • Clinical outcomes in breast reconstruction


Michael Mirzabeigi
Michael N. Mirzabeigi
  • Clinical outcomes in breast cancer and autologous breast reconstruction
  • Outcomes and techniques in ventral hernia repair


Jonas Nelson
Jonas A. Nelson
  • The functional impact and outcomes following breast reconstruction
  • Patient level factors and healthcare costs in breast and abdominal wall reconstruction
  • The effect of hemodynamic factors on outcomes in free flap breast reconstruction
  • Complex lower extremity reconstruction


Joshua Fosot
Joshua Fosnot

Research Activities

  • Outcomes research, primarily focusing on free flap breast reconstruction
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