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At the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, research is the mainstay of what we do. Whether it is clinical outcomes studies, surgical innovations or bench to patient translational research, our clinician scientists are leaders in their field and among the best in the world. Our research is problem-driven and focuses on discovering new and better solutions for our patients.

Our research is critical because it allows us to make the jump from what we learn to improved and advanced surgical techniques.

- Dr. Lisa Ishii

Areas of research focus include:

  • Facial Nerve and Facial Paralysis
    • Blink efficiency in facial paralysis
    • Predicting Facial muscle recovery in partial and complete facial paralysis
    • Functional omohyoid muscle for smile and blink restoration
    • Selective myectomy for facial synkinesis
    • Detecting occult neoplasm in facial paralysis
    • Facial paralysis in neurofibromatosis
    • Facial weakness and restoration in facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD)
    • Multi-vector gracilis functional muscle transfer for smile and blink restoration
    • Reconfiguration of the facial neural network
    • Optimizing facial paralysis outcomes in the elderly
  • Tissue Engineering
    • Functional trachea engineered on a thermoplastic scaffold
    • Towards a hybrid biologic ear construct
  • Complex Nasal Reconstruction
    • Laminated and prelaminated forehead flaps
    • Thermoplastic structured total nasal reconstruction
  • Facial Expression and Perception Research
    • Assessing gaze patterns in facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
    • Exploring the facial cues of age in a tasked eye-tracking study
    • Societal identification of facial paralysis and paralysis location
  • Microsurgical Tissue Transplantation
    • Versatile application of vastus lateralis-circumflex femoral artery-based flap in head and neck reconstruction
    • Multi-vector functional muscle tendon transplantation
    • Functional omohyoid flap
    • Multi-segmented fibular osteocutaneous flap in midfacial reconstruction
    • Vascularized tissue transplant is osteoradionecrosis
    • Targeted out-patient boutique flaps in head and neck reconstruction
    • Optimizing function reconstruction for total glossectomy (tongue) reconstruction
    • Predicting flap volume changes following microvascular transfer
  • Hair loss and restorative research
    • Advances in diagnostics, artistry, and surgical techniques
  • Sports trauma

We offer extensive opportunities for collaboration with private companies seeking clinical trials.

Collaborative research projects are available for interested researchers, including postdocs, residents, and students, as well as foreign medical graduates.


Selected Publications

    • Boahene KD. Principles and biomechanics of muscle tendon unit transfer: application in temporalis muscle tendon transposition for smile improvement in facial paralysis. Laryngoscope. 2013;123(2):350-355.
    • Boahene KO, Owusu J, Ishii L, et al. The Multivector Gracilis Free Functional Muscle Flap for Facial Reanimation. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2018;20(4):300-306.
    • Lee AH, Han Liu R, Ishii LE, et al. Free Functional Gracilis Flaps for Facial Reanimation in Elderly Patients. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2020.
    • Revenaugh PC, Smith RM, Plitt MA, Ishii L, Boahene K, Byrne PJ. Use of Objective Metrics in Dynamic Facial Reanimation: A Systematic Review. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2018;20(6):501-508.
    • Dey JK, Ishii LE, Byrne PJ, Boahene KD, Ishii M. Seeing is believing: objectively evaluating the impact of facial reanimation surgery on social perception. Laryngoscope. 2014;124(11):2489-2497.
    • Lee LN, Boahene KD. A novel technique for sculpting costal cartilage in microtia repair and rhinoplasty. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2013;15(5):349-351.
    • Chen D, Britt CJ, Mydlarz W, Desai SC. A novel technique for tracheal reconstruction using a resorbable synthetic mesh. Laryngoscope. 2018;128(7):1567-1570.
    • Desai SC. Is e-Cigarette Vaping a New Clinical Challenge to Wound Healing? JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019;21(1):10-11.
    • Brissett AE, Ishii LE, Boahene KDO. Ethnically Sensitive Rhinoplasty. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2020;53(2):xiii-xiv.
    • Smith DF, Albathi M, Lee A, Lee LN, Boahene KD. Upper lateral cartilage composite flap for closure of complicated septal perforations. Laryngoscope. 2017;127(8):1767-1771.
    • Kumar AR, Ishii M, Papel I, et al. The Health Utility and Valuation of Cosmetic Rhinoplasty. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2020;22(4):268-273.
    • Bater KL, Ishii LE, Papel ID, et al. Association Between Facial Rejuvenation and Observer Ratings of Youth, Attractiveness, Success, and Health. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017;19(5):360-367.
    • Dey JK, Ishii LE, Boahene KDO, Byrne PJ, Ishii M. Measuring Outcomes of Mohs Defect Reconstruction Using Eye-Tracking Technology. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019;21(6):518-525.
    • Godoy A, Ishii M, Byrne PJ, Boahene KD, Encarnacion CO, Ishii LE. The straight truth: measuring observer attention to the crooked nose. Laryngoscope. 2011;121(5):937-941.
    • Ishii LE, Nellis JC, Boahene KD, Byrne P, Ishii M. The Importance and Psychology of Facial Expression. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2018;51(6):1011-1017.
    • Nellis JC, Ishii M, Papel ID, et al. Association of Face-lift Surgery With Social Perception, Age, Attractiveness, Health, and Success. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2017;19(4):311-317.
    • Roxbury C, Ishii M, Godoy A, et al. Impact of crooked nose rhinoplasty on observer perceptions of attractiveness. Laryngoscope. 2012;122(4):773-778.
    • Chen J, Ishii M, Bater KL, et al. Association Between the Use of Social Media and Photograph Editing Applications, Self-esteem, and Cosmetic Surgery Acceptance. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019;21(5):361-367.
    • Britt CJ, Hwang MS, Day AT, et al. A Review of and Algorithmic Approach to Soft Palate Reconstruction. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2019;21(4):332-339.
    • Kim IA, Boahene KD, Byrne PJ, Desai SC. Microvascular Flaps in Nasal Reconstruction. Facial Plast Surg. 2017;33(1):74-81.
    • Desai SC, Seth R. Shifting Paradigms in Head and Neck Reconstructive Surgery During the COVID-19 Crisis. Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med. 2020;22(3):152-154.
    • Rabbani CC, Hwang MS, Byrne PJ, Desai SC. Management of Large Facial Defects. Facial Plast Surg. 2020;36(2):148-157.
    • Kumar AR, Ishii LE. Hair Transplantation for Scarring Alopecia. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2020;28(2):177-179.
    • Boahene KD, Brissett AE. Contemporary management of facial trauma. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2013;46(5):xi-xii.
    • Owusu JA, Boahene K. Update of patient-specific maxillofacial implant. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;23(4):261-264.
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