Gerald Brandacher is scientific director of the Johns Hopkins Reconstructive Transplantation Program and vice chair of research in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He is a professor in the departments of surgery and plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and serves as director of interdisciplinary research and innovation for the surgical sciences at Johns Hopkins.
Before joining Johns Hopkins in 2010, Dr. Brandacher was a key member of the hand transplant programs in Innsbruck, Austria, and at the University of Pittsburgh. As scientific director of the program at UPMC, he was instrumental in designing a novel cell-based immunomodulatory treatment protocol for vascularized composite allotransplantation, and was part of the surgical team that performed the first bilateral hand transplant and first forearm transplant in the U.S. In 2018, Dr. Brandacher was a core member of the team executing the world’s first total male genital transplant. His main scientific interests are donor-specific immune tolerance and immunomonitoring strategies, as well as tissue and organ cryopreservation.
Dr. Brandacher received his medical degree summa cum laude from Leopold Franzens University, Innsbruck, School of Medicine, and completed further surgical training at the Center of Operative Medicine, Department of Visceral, Transplant and Thoracic Surgery, at Innsbruck Medical University. He is the recipient of many prestigious national and international awards related to his work in reconstructive transplantation, including the Young Investigator Awards of the American Society of Transplantation and the European Society of Organ Transplantation, the Young Innovator Award of the American Society of Transplantation and the Excellence in Research Award of the American College of Surgeons.
Over the past 20 years, Dr. Brandacher has mentored 70 pre- and postdoctoral researchers. He has authored more than 240 peer-reviewed papers and 27 book chapters, and has edited two textbooks on hand transplantation. In 2014, he co-founded the journal Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation, and serves as its editor-in-chief. Dr. Brandacher is principal or co-investigator of multiple major federal research grants totaling more than $19 million in funding on projects related to upper extremity transplantation, cell-based immune modulation and tolerance induction. He has given over 170 invited lectures and has been a visiting professor around the world and at leading American medical institutions.
Dr. Brandacher has served as president of the Austrian Society for Surgical Research (2008–2009) and as chair of the American Society of Transplantation Vascular Composite Allotransplant Advisory Council (2014–15). He was elected chair of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Committee of the European Society for Organ Transplantation in 2015, and is a founding member of the American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation, for which he currently serves as president. He has been a member at large of the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network/United Network for Organ Sharing Vascularized Composite Allograft Transplantation Committee. In 2015, Dr. Brandacher was selected as a fellow of the American Society of Transplantation.