Europe’s first professor of aesthetic plastic surgery, Prof. dr. Berend van der Lei, who is affiliated with the University Medical Centre Groningen, offered Dr. Lennert Minelli, a PhD position for the ongoing research and Dr. Bryan Mendelson to become the promotor of this PhD project.

The Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG) was founded in 1614 and is the second-oldest university in The Netherlands. It is placed in the top 100 universities worldwide according to three ranking tables and is among the European top in the field of academic research. The University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) is the hospital affiliated with the University of Groningen which offers supraregional tertiary care to the northern part of The Netherlands. It is also one of the largest centres for transplant surgery in the world.

In the pursuit of providing MAFAC’s Tagliacozzi Research Fellow with a PhD position, Dr. Naveen Somia, past president of ASAPS, introduced the MAFAC research project to Prof. dr. Paul Werker, head of the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG) in The Netherlands. As a professor of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery focused on regenerative medicine, Prof. dr. Werker believed that this project would be most suitable for his colleague Prof. dr. Berend van der Lei who is professor of aesthetic plastic surgery.

Prof. dr. Berend van der Lei is one of the most well-known and renowned plastic surgeons in The Netherlands with more than 25 years of experience in aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments. In 2007 he was appointed the first professor of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in the Netherlands and in Europe. He has been chairman of the Dutch Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery for more than 10 years and is currently the National Secretary of ISAPS for The Netherlands. In the past two decades, he has published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Prof. dr. van der Lei was intrigued by the research project and the work done to date. He accepted the responsibility to supervise this project and commenced the enrolment process for Dr. Minelli. While the enrolment process can take a long time and the official starting date will not be for at least another month, Prof. dr. van der Lei has already started working closely with Dr. Mendelson and Dr. Minelli, reviewing the research papers, giving feedback, and supporting the preparation for the MAFAC presentation at the upcoming ISAPS 2021 World Congress Vienna.

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