Provost Inaugural Lecture: Dr. Peter Rubin
In celebration of his appointment to the UPMC Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the School of Medicine of the University of Pittsburgh, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member J. Peter Rubin, MD, presented the February 3, 2014, Provost Inaugural Lecture. His presentation was entitled, “The Healing Power of Fat: Plastic Surgery, Regenerative Medicine, and the Science of Adipose Derived Stem Cells.”
Dr. Rubin is an internationally recognized expert in the science of adipose stem cells and fat grafting. He serves as co-director of the Adipose Stem Cell Center and is founder and director of the Center for Innovation in Restorative Medicine in the Department of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Rubin is principal investigator in an NIH-funded line of research aimed at developing cell based methods for clinical soft tissue reconstruction after cancer therapy, and directs a related line of research aimed at soft tissue reconstruction for injured soldiers as an investigator for the Department of Defense Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine. His scientific leadership positions include past president of the International Society of Adipose Therapeutics and Science (IFATS), Board Chair of IFATS, and past Chairman of the Plastic Surgery Research Council. He is the recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on outstanding scientists and engineers early in their research careers.
Dr. Rubin leads a program that is devising innovative strategies for the use of adipose (fat)-derived stem cells to not only address problems of tissue regeneration but also other diseases that benefit from stem cell-based therapies. In addition, he is the founder and director of the UPMC Life After Weight Loss Program, a leading center for plastic surgery after weight loss. He is the co-director of the UPMC Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Center and the founder and director of the Clinical Fellowship Training Program in Breast and Body Contouring Surgery. In this latter capacity, he provides over 1000 hours per year of direct teaching. Additionally, Dr. Rubin serves as Director of the Body Contouring Rotation and teaches medical students, junior residents, senior residents, and fellows in the operating room, clinic, and hospital wards. His laboratory research focuses on applications of adult adipose-derived stem cells for restoring damaged tissues after trauma and cancer therapy. He currently is the lead investigator for clinical trials using technologies designed to improve the lives of wounded military personnel.
He has published extensively in the medical literature and has received numerous awards for his research work, most recently:
- Award for Outstanding Achievement in Basic Science Research, American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS)
- American Association of Plastic Surgeons Traveling Professor (Inaugural)
- International Society of Aesthetic Surgeons Traveling Professor (Inaugural)
- Co-Chair, American Association of Plastic Surgeons Symposium
- Co-Chair, American Society of Plastic Surgeons Regenerative Medicine Symposium
Dr. Rubin has been a consistent leader in the international plastic surgery community. As a past president of the IFATS, Dr. Rubin led a group of scientists worldwide who are on the cutting edge in the study of the use of fat stem cells for treating numerous disorders. Dr. Rubin also has been chair of the Plastic Surgery Research Council, the oldest and most respected basic science research organization in the field of plastic surgery. He currently serves as a member of a joint society task force of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and serves as the chair on the Fat Grafting and Stem Cell Task Force. Additionally, he serves as the liaison between the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgeons, working to promote safety and quality standards in plastic surgery after weight loss. He is also the co-chair of the Regenerative Medicine Task Force of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons/Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation.
He is well known for his innovative techniques in breast and body contouring surgery and frequently lectures at institutions across the country and internationally. He has published a textbook on plastic surgery after weight loss and currently is lead editor of a multi-author textbook project on body contouring surgery that is expected to be the standard reference.
Dr. Rubin earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Grinnell College and his MD degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed a categorical residency training program in general surgery at Boston University/Boston City Hospital. He took time away from the clinic to pursue a 2-year fellowship in surgical basic science at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. After graduating from general surgery residency, he completed a 3-year residency in plastic surgery at Harvard Medical School.