Hilton M. Kaplan, MBBCh 1, FCSSA Plast 2,3, MS MDDE 4, MS RegSci 4, PhD 4
1. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Medical Doctor)
2. University of Cape Town (Plastic Surgery Residency)
3. Colleges of Medicine of South Africa (Plastic Surgery Board Certification)
4. University of Southern California (Medical Device & Diagnostic Engineering; Regulatory Science; Biomedical Engineering)
Dr. Kaplan is a Plastic, Reconstructive and Maxillofacial Surgeon, and a Biomedical Engineer. His research focuses on neurosciences (nerve regeneration and neural prosthetics / implantable man-machine interfaces), and tissue engineering (decellularized composite tissues for limb and face allotransplantation). Dr. Kaplan is Associate Director of the NJ Center for Biomaterials and Research Associate Professor at Rutgers University; and an Adjunct Professor in Regulatory Science at the University of Southern California. He has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in industry, including Senior Medical Director at Allergan (Fortune 500 healthcare) and Vice President of Clinical Sciences at LifeCell (pioneers of tissue decellularization). Kaplan has a long history of passionately advocating for burn prevention and reconstruction (as a burn surgeon, founding board member of the non-profit Grossman Burn Foundation, and father of a spirited burn survivor), and craniofacial reconstruction (as a founding director of the non-profit Look-at-Us Alliance for Craniofacial Differences).
Research Interests: Dr. Kaplan’s research interests in neuroscience focus predominantly on nerve regeneration, neural prosthetics and other implantable man-machine interfaces (fine flexible brain micro-electrodes; and extensive thesis work on injectable electronic microchips (BION™s) for stimulating movement in the paralyzed, under Gerald Loeb). This is important for restoring functional sensory-motor interactions in spinal cord injury and stroke patients.
Another key research area of Dr. Kaplan’s is in the tissue engineering field, where he has established a multi-institutional collaborative program to develop, implement and optimize techniques for decellularization and recellularization of musculoskeletal composite tissues and component structures, towards allotransplantation of limbs and faces.
One of the pre-eminent hurdles to overcome in limb and face transplantation is re-innervation of distant body parts. This is where Dr. Kaplan’s neuroscience and tissue engineering research intersect. This program aims to explore the utility of novel techniques for nerve regeneration over long distances, in conjunction with distal and motor-endplate “baby-sitting” approaches.
Contact Dr. Kaplan
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