Joseph A. Molnar, MD, PhD
Joseph Andrew Molnar, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; Associate Director, Burn Center
Dr. Molnar was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and pursued his undergraduate education at Eisenhower College in Seneca Falls, N.Y. He attended medical school at Ohio State University where he graduated cum laude. He began general surgical training at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee but chose to interrupt this training to obtain his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism at M.I.T. while working in the laboratories of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Burn Institute of Harvard Medical School. He then completed general surgery training at the University of Washington in Seattle followed by Plastic Surgery training at the Medical College of Virginia. He finalized his clinical training with Hand and Microsurgery fellowships at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He joined the faculty in plastic surgery of Wake Forest University in 1994 and was appointed to the Department of Regenerative Medicine in 2005.
SYNOPSIS OF AREA OF INTEREST: Wound healing especially as related to burns, nutrition, biomatrices, and subatmospheric pressure treatment.
DETAILED AREA OF INTEREST: Dr. Molnar's research is primarily related to wound healing. His thesis work at M.I.T. concentrated on the use of stable isotopes to measure collagen turnover in healthy and protein-calorie malnourished rats to gain seminal fundamental information on the relationship of nutrition to the major protein of wound healing, collagen. While some of his research relates to completely clinical issues such as microsurgery, his more recent work is related to the use of subatmospheric pressure treatment (V.A.C., K.C.I., Inc, San Antonio, TX) in translational research. He has recently completed a prospective, randomized, controlled, blinded, multicenter trial using subatmospheric pressure treatment in acute burns demonstrating a significant effect of this method to decrease burn wound progression, increase the rate of epithelialization, and to decrease edema. This technique has also been used in conjunction with the biomatrix Integra, Dermal Regeneration Template (Integra Life Sciences, Plainsboro, N.J.).
Examining the effect of subatmospheric pressure on Integra in an animal model showed faster vascularization and greater adherence in the early days after placement compared to more traditional dressings. This technique has now been applied by Dr. Molnar in a variety of clinical situations demonstrating an ability to get this matrix to heal wounds that previously would have required major reconstructive surgery or resulted in amputation. The technique has been used to decrease the time from placement of the matrix to placement of the skin graft from 2-4 weeks to immediate placement of the graft as a one-stage procedure. Currently, Dr. Molnar is editing a book on Nutrition and Wound Healing.