What’s Going On: June 2020, Part 1

“A riot is the language of the unheard.”

2020 will be remembered as the year that the world caught on fire. It started with the bush blazes in Australia, escalated to the pandemic and now seems to have reached even greater heights with the amplification of racial disparity and unrest. Marginalization, focused oppression, racial profiling and discrimination are absolutely unacceptable.

I am in a privileged position as a white male of influence and prosperity to be able to walk down a street and not worry about being pulled over or assaulted purely because of the colour of my skin. It is something I don’t take for granted.

And before we start patting ourselves on the back that our country is different than our neighbours to the south, we should remind ourselves of what is taking place here in Canada. Our Chinese community being targeted in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, there is  inequity in health care access and health outcomes of marginalized communities, and the racism experienced by our Black and Indigenous citizens. 2020 UofT Medical School class valedictorian Dr. Chika Oriuwa reading an online comment about her that said “I would never let her treat me” after she was profiled by the Toronto Star and many other publications as being the only black student in a class of 259. If you haven’t seen her Valedictorian address, I highly recommend you take a look:

We have a long way to go. But I am encouraged that subsequent MD classes have 14 and 15 Black students, respectively, and that the incoming MD class of 2024 has 25 Black students. And hopefully some of those students will develop an interest in plastic surgery and successfully enter our training program.

I like this quote. 

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room.” – Anita Koddick


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world: Indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

We, as individuals and as a group, can’t stay quiet about this.. Speak out when you see injustice.. Grieve with those who have lost loved ones. Recognize that there is a disparity in our society and work to address and change it. Here are some specific and actionable things you can do: https://medicine.utoronto.ca/oid-statement-solidarity-resisting-anti-blackness.

We must do the work.

Stay healthy and safe.

Best wishes,

Christopher R. Forrest, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
Chair, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Medical Director, HSC Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

2020 Research Day Gallery

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to congratulate everyone on a fantastic Hoyle Campbell Resident Research Day this year. I am so proud of what we are doing here in the division and the scope of the presentations was remarkable, ranging from artificial intelligence to global health and patient reported outcome measures to top quality basic science nerve physiology research. Thank-you to Karen, Natalia, Melissa, Celine, Whitney, Pierre, David, Moaath, Sultan, Tomas, Josephine, Brian, Annie, Helene, Kevin and Adam for all your hard work and to their supervisors for mentoring them to such a high level.

Thank-you all the staff and community partners who attended this year and cancelled their clinical duties to show support for the trainees in the division and to also listen to the amazing Hoyle Campbell Lecturer Dr. Michael Klebuc and Young Investigator Awardee Dr. Siba Haykal. Both of these lectures were awe-inspiring. As everyone realizes, presentations to peers can be stressful and take a significant effort. Those who attended were fortunate to hear two master-class presentations.

Although all papers were of the highest caliber, I would like to extend congratulations to the following outstanding individuals who were the recipients of this year’s awards:

Mentor Canada, Johnson and Johnson Medical Companies Prize for Best Clinical Paper Award, 2020 was awarded to Dr. Tomas Saun

Title: “Deep Learning for Automated Assessment of Upper Extremity Radiographs”.

Allergan Medical Canada Prize for Best Basic Science Award, 2020 was awarded to Dr. Kevin Zuo

Title: “Local FK506 (Tacrolimus) Drug Delivery Enhances Nerve Regeneration Through Unprocessed Fresh Nerve Allografts”

Authors: Kevin Zuo, Golsa Shafa, Katelyn Chan, Jennifer Zhang, Kasra Tajdaran, Tessa Gordon, Gregory Borschel

Supervisor: Dr. Gregory Borschel

It was a pleasure hosting Dr. Klebuc as the Hoyle Campbell Visiting Professor this year. Mike is Assistant Professor of Surgery in the  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College and Director of the Center for Facial Paralysis Surgery and Functional Restoration, Houston, Texas. He was a fellow at the Hospital for Sick Children in 2000-2001 so this was a 20 year anniversary for him. It was great to have him back in town and see what he has accomplished in the area of facial reanimation and microsurgical reconstruction.

I would also like to acknowledge and thank our new resident Research Director, Dr. Kristen Davidge for creating a terrific two-day program and ensuring that our research program put its best face forward. 

Thanks also to the industry partners who supported the event. 

  • 3M – KCI
  • Galderma
  • Allergan – Natrelle
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • KLS Martin Group
  • Zimmer Biomet

As always, it never happens without the tireless efforts of Kathy….very much appreciated.

The Hoyle Campbell Visiting Lecture and Resident Research Day is the highlight of the academic calendar and I look forward to seeing what’s in store for next year and would welcome all of you, staff, community partners and alumni to attend. 


Christopher R. Forrest, MD, MSc, FRCSC, FACS
Chair, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Medical Director, HSC Centre for Craniofacial Care and Research
Department of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

Dr. Marc Jeschke Develops Burn Injury Resource Tool for Nature Science Journal

Dr. Marc Jeschke, director of the Ross Tilley Burn Centre, has developed a burn injury disease Primer for the Nature Reviews Disease Primers journal.

These disease Primers are introductory reviews on diseases and disorders across all medical specialties. They are intended to serve as a reference resource for experienced researchers, and as an introduction to the field for early career researchers and medical students. Dr. Jeschke led a group of researchers around the globe to develop this burn injury resource.