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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

Dr. Gil Gradinger Honored with Career Achievement Award Print

Dr. Gil Gradinger Honored with Career Achievement Award

At the business meeting of the Aesthetic Society this year, an outstanding physician, educator and mentor was honored with the Society’s first Career Achievement Award. That member is Dr. Gill Gradinger. A much loved and visionary aesthetic surgeon who is one of the founding members of the organization.

In 2009, the Editors of ASN had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Gradinger. Excerpts of that interview are below:

Dr. Gilbert P. Gradinger may not have known that he was helping create a legacy through the formation of the Aesthetic Society in 1967, but his ideals on education and excellence have nonetheless remained a standard within the community of plastic surgeons. As a founding member, former president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and former chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gradinger has contributed countless hours of service, research and experience to generations of plastic surgeons. He retired from his private practice several years ago and has dedicated great effort to the organization and maintenance of the Resident Cosmetic Clinic at the University of California at San Francisco. This effort has resulted in a busy cosmetic surgery practice for the senior and chief residents, as well as continuing his educational goals.

As a founding member, did you realize the potential for ASAPS?
I definitely lacked the vision to realize its potential back then—I had no idea it was going to become the important Society it is today. In 1967, I was approached by Simon Fredricks to join a travel club of young plastic surgeons surgeons (because we were young at that time) and by the next meeting in 1968, we became the Aesthetic Society. I was concerned at the time that it would be divisive and would disrupt the community, but it was definitely an underserved subject. We needed the teaching and it just grew from then. When I considered it from that standpoint—I was pleased to be a founding member.

When did you realize the Aesthetic Society was something substantial in the plastic surgery community?
After two or three years it really began to grow. The membership requirements were hard to reach back then in terms of cases and years of practice. In the beginning, there was just an annual meeting and the first program was a visiting professor program. It was only one person per year—I did mine in 1982 and I visited 24 different residency programs during that year. You didn’t turn down any invitations.

What do you feel is the Society’s role now that plastic surgery is in the mainstream and all over the media?
I think the Society’s primary role rests in education—both clinical and investigative. I think the formation of Quad A (The American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities, Inc. (AAAASF) and the research foundation (ASERF) are extremely important functions that benefit all plastic surgeons. A major secondary goal is the ethical promotion of the member’s needs and interests. In terms of the public, we should aid in informing and protecting the public.

Update: ASERF Exposed Print

Update: ASERF Exposed
Steven Teitelbaum, MD

The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation has been chugging along for 20 years now, but a recent member survey suggests that we haven’t been doing a good job keeping you in the loop on our activities, and many members don’t know what we actually do. That’s about to change.

ASERF has a significant corpus and invites any board certified plastic surgeon to apply for an ASERF grant. I pledge to do a better job of informing you of research opportunities and letting you know on a regular basis what is going on with studies in progress.

Our work over the past several years has had a seminal effect on how we approach procedures, view clinical complication and contribute to the armamentarium of aesthetic surgeons.

One grant that had a demonstrable impact on our work was awarded last year to Dr. Marshall Kadin at Boston University. This funding directly led to the publication in ASJ of Biomarkers Provide Clues to Early Events in the Pathogenesis of Breast Implant-Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. This study by Dr. Kadin changed our understanding on the precursor cells that are responsible for this disease. The research is ongoing and now funds a collaboration between Boston University, McQuarie University, and MD Anderson Cancer Center, and has made recent headway into understanding how BIA-ALCL interacts with the body.

Outside of this work, ASAPS and ASPS released a joint statement on BIA-ALCL diagnosis and treatment recommendations in June. This treatment algorithm has subsequently been adopted by plastic surgery societies in Canada, UK, Sweden, South Africa, and Australia.

My friend and colleague Mark Clemens, MD, has been asked to be a co-author for the official recommendation to all oncologists worldwide that is called the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. He confirms that the ASAPS/ASPS algorithm forms the basis for NCCN guidelines to be released Spring 2017. And personally attests that the efforts of ASERF had significantly progressed our understanding of the disease and defined how we diagnose and treat this rare condition.

Not all ASERF work involves awarding of grants; some of our work is done in traditional committees and task forces similar to ones found in ASAPS. Recently, after several disturbing reports in the media, we formed the Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force to learn more about morbidities and mortalities that may occur with the highly popular procedure.

The Task Force is Chaired by Mark Mofid, MD and includes members from both the United states and abroad. They include: Denis C. Astarita, MD; Lazaro Cardenas Camarena, MD; Sydney Coleman, MD; Ashkan Ghavami, MD; Constantino Mendieta, MD; Arturo Ramirez-Montanana, MD; Moises Salama, MD; Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran, MD; Daniel Suissa, MD and myself. The data is still being readied for submission to the Aesthetic Surgery Journal. An advisory on its findings has been sent to all members of ASERF and ASAPS.

These are just a couple of recent examples of how we help you improve patient safety and give every member an opportunity to participate in clinical research: not always available for those of us in solo practice. ASERF is, to my knowledge, the only purely aesthetic research organization out there where 100 percent of your donations go directly to research, not to administrative or other fees.

If you’re looking for funding, please visit

We strongly encourage your ideas and suggestions for research projects that will make our specialty stronger and give our patients a safer experience and outstanding outcome.

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