Education, Research and Innovation
The Foundation is proud to play a leading role in supporting improved patient outcomes in plastic and reconstructive surgery both nationally and globally.
The Foundation is committed to effective use of our resources and a nimble approach to leverage opportunities in order to benefit patients and the broader community.
In 2018, the Foundation’s Board of Directors determined that, going forward, the Remote Wound Program and the Body Image Program are the Foundation’s key focus and priority.
In the period 2010-2018, the Foundation provided seed grants to catalyse programs, based on scientific principles, to deliver improved patient outcomes. Our particular emphasis was innovation in Registry Science. The Foundation led the world with the establishment of the Australian Breast Device Registry (ABDR) and the International Collaboration on Breast Registry Activities (ICOBRA).
In collaboration with the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association, the Foundation provided funding to support the Burns Registry Australia and New Zealand.
In partnership with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, the Foundation contributed critical funding to support the Australian Hand Device Registry (AHDR), a global first, which aims to establish the prevalence of various types of congenital hand / arm differences in children in Australia.
Scientific research based on validated data collection is critical to increase medical knowledge and support efforts to deliver better surgical outcomes for patients.
The Foundation’s (PRS) Research Grant, 2012-2018, supported and promoted early-career plastic surgery related research. The Grant provided catalyst funding to initiate and sustain innovative research projects relevant to the Specialty of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The Foundation’s B K Rank Travelling Fellowship Fund is named in honour of Sir Benjamin Keith Rank, a world leader in the field of plastic surgery and considered by many to be the father of plastic surgery in Australia. The Fund is made up of voluntary contributions from Specialist Plastic Surgeons. With the Foundation’s establishment in 2011, this Fund is used broadly for educational purposes, in accordance with the Objects of the Foundation and to advance the specialty of plastic surgery.
Australian Breast Device Registry (ABDR)
In 2012, the Foundation initiated and funded the development of the ABDR. In 2014, Monash University was successful in the Commonwealth Government tender to operate the ABDR. It is set up to monitor the safety of implantable breast devices and identify any associated adverse outcomes, enabling:
- Early identification of poor performing devices
- Quality of clinical care – to reduce complication rates
- Risk mitigation
- Inform best practice guidelines
For more information visit: https://www.abdr.org.au/
International Collaboration on Breast Registry Activities (ICOBRA)
The Foundation is the birthplace of ICOBRA and in 2013 hosted the official signing of its Memorandum of Understanding between the Foundation and national plastic and reconstructive surgery societies and research institutions thus extending the ABDR into international partnerships.
At the heart of the ICOBRA agreement is the core ethic and commitment to improving patient outcomes. This is facilitated by encouraging a collaborative approach to sharing registry science and registry data and by supporting emerging and existing breast device registries to enhance their effectiveness.
Through the vehicle of ICOBRA, the Australasian Foundation for Plastic Surgery designed and distributed free of charge a minimum dataset form and a comprehensive data dictionary and offered registry design expertise pro bono to all participating countries.
Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ)
Since 2013, we have provided the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) with an annual grant to support its operation and improve outcomes for patients.
The registry captures important data about
The project is a collaboration between the Australian and New Zealand Burn Association and the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine at Monash University.
For more information visit www.branz.org
Australian Hand Differences Register (AHDR)
The Foundation is also proud to partner with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute to create the Australian Hand Differences Register (AHDR) – a world first – which aims to establish the prevalence of various types of congenital
The AHDR will help focus the management teams of these children so that presenting data and treatment outcomes from multiple
For more information visit: www.mcri.edu.au/ahdr
Australasian Journal of Plastic Surgery (AJOPS)
This is a joint initiative of the Foundation, ASPS and NZAPS. This on-line journal serves as a platform for the publication and dissemination of plastic and reconstructive surgery related research in the form of research papers, presentations, case studies, letters to the editor, editorials, occasional papers, video library procedures or photo series.
B K Rank Travelling Fellowship
Through the B K Rank Travelling Fellowship Fund, the Foundation has sponsored significant educational activities including: cadaver workshops for PRS trainees; craniofacial/cleft lip and palate workshops; suturing workshops; melanoma symposium; an international breast cancer symposium; and breast reconstruction awareness day.
The Foundation’s B K Rank Travelling Fellowship Fund has also sponsored the participation of a plastic and reconstructive surgery trainee as an observer as part of an Interplast team for a one week mission. The program highlights the importance of international outreach through the provision of medical aid, and encourages voluntary service and future engagement with disadvantaged communities in the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to the above, the Foundation also sponsors the annual prestigious Foundation BK Rank Lecture. This lecture is delivered at the Royal College of Surgeons Scientific Congress and the biennial Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Scientific Congress.
International Registrar Program
In collaboration with Interplast Australia and New Zealand, the Foundation supported a plastic and reconstructive surgery trainee to travel as an observer to an Interplast medical aid mission.
The program highlights the importance of international outreach through the provision of medical aid and encourages voluntary service and future engagement with disadvantaged communities in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Plastic surgery restores hope by improving self-esteem and rebuilds life by restoring appearance and function. I feel privileged to be equipped with the skills to provide such a service to my own community and couldn’t think of anything more rewarding than being able to travel with the Interplast team to Laos to observe and learn how they offer such hope and life to people in our neighbouring regions.”
Recipients of the grant include:
2012 – Dr Alex Cameron
The role of Flightless (Flii) in human scarring
2014 – Dr Ramin Shayan
Understanding the mechanism and reversing the effects of radiation surgery
2016 – Dr Michael Findlay
Stem and progenitor cell subpopulation profiling in tissue engineered breast reconstruction
2017 – Dr Kyra Sierakowski
Developing the Hand-Q: a patient reported outcome suitable for clinical application with hand surgery patients
2018 – Dr Shiv Chopra
Developing a breast reconstruction APP (BRA)