As a paediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Zuker’s primary interest is in facial reanimation and he is a recognized authority worldwide. He is currently co-director of the Facial Paralysis Program at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). He also has a major interest in the management of cleft lip and palate and, in addition to his volunteer surgical commitment overseas, he serves on the Board of Directors of the International Cleft Charity, Transforming Faces. He was Medical Director of SickKids Cleft Lip and Palate Program for over a decade. Dr. Zuker is the past Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section of Plastic Surgery, past president of the American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons, and past president of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. He is very active in teaching and in the training of future reconstructive surgeons, and in the structuring of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Team in Toronto. Dr. Zuker also currently serves as the Medical Director of the International Patient Program at SickKids. His clinical focus at present is on Moebius syndrome, facial paralysis reconstruction and corneal re-innervation.
Dr. Zuker’s research interests currently include the assessment of long-term outcomes for patients who have had reconstructive surgery for facial paralysis. Research includes the assessment of nerve and muscle transplant growth, their function over time and whether their function improves, deteriorates or remains the same. Importantly the psychosocial aspects are assessed as well. How has the surgery impacted the patient’s social well-being, his or her work opportunities, self-esteem and social interaction? A similar study is underway to assess complex hand reconstruction. What are the long-term results of complex microsurgical reconstructions such as toe to hand transfer? After decades, what is the outcome both physically and psychosocially?
In addition, clinical studies affecting eye closure and blink are underway for the patients with facial paralysis and particularly Moebius Syndrome. A new surgical reconstructive procedure is being studied in the laboratory and we hope will soon be available to aid in corneal protection by facilitating eyelid closure, where there was little or none before.
Education and experience
- 1965–1969: MD, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 1963–1965: Pre Med, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Postgraduate, Research and Specialty Training
- 1977: McLaughlin Travelling Fellowship: Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Europe. Studies in Microsurgery, Cleft Lip and Palate and Burns.
- 1974–1976 Resident III/IV, Plastic Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 1973–1974 Resident II, General Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 1972–1973 Resident I, General Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
- 1969–1970 Rotating Intern, Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Qualifications, Certifications and Licenses
- 2013–Present Honorary Fellowship of the College Of Plastic Surgeons of South Africa
- 2006–Present FRCSEd (Hon), Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Honorary), Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
- 1991–Present FAAP, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, United States
- 1991–Present Medical Licence, Indiana, United States, License/Membership #01039412
- 1982–Present FACS, Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, United States
- 1976–Present FRCSC, Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
- 1970–Present College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, License #22875
- 2020 Jan: The William A. Zamboni Visiting Professorship ASRM, Ft. Lauderdale, FLD, U.S.A.
- 2018 Nov: The Idalion Lecture, ISPRAS, Limasol, Cyprus
- 2017 Nov: The Shushruta Oration, Apsicon, Kochi, India
- 2017 Nov: Honorary Member, The Association of Plastic Surgeons of India (APSI), Kochi, India
- 2017 June: The Fu-Chan Wei Lecture, WSRM, Seoul, Korea
- 2015 Dec: The Ward Family Lectureship in Pediatric Plastic Surgery Duke University, Durham, NC, U.S.A.
- 2015 Nov: The Paul Tessier Lecture SOFCPRE, Paris France
- 2015 March: The Walter Scott Brown Memorial Lecture University of Illinois Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
- 2014 June: The James Barrett Brown Lecture Washington University St. Louis, MO, U.S.A.
- 2013 Dec: Clinician of the Year, American Academy of Pediatrics - Section on Plastic Surgery, United States. (Distinction)
- 2013 Nov: Humanitarian Award, The Smile Foundation of South Africa. (Distinction)
- 2013 Oct: Honorary Fellowship, The College of Plastic Surgeons of South Africa, Durban, South Africa.
- 2013 Oct: Honorary Membership, The Association of Plastic Surgeons of Southern Africa, Kwazulu, Natal, South Africa.
- 2013 May: The Hans Wilhelmsen Lecture in the Craniofacial Sciences, Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.
- 2011 Oct: Fu Chan Wei Award for Reconstructive Surgery, Chang Gung Mayo Clinic Symposium in Microsurgery, Taipei, Taiwan. (Distinction)
A prestigious award, which recognizes international expertise in the area of reconstructive microsurgery.
- 2010 Dec: Board of Directors Transforming Faces International Cleft Charity Toronto, Canada
- 2008: Best Paper, The Hunley Society Annual Meeting, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, United States. “Necrotizing Syndrome”. Zuker R.
- 2007: Honorary Member. Sociedad De Cirugia Plastica, Estetica y Reconstructiva de El Salvador.
- 2007: Recognition Award, Amercian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Education Foundation, United States.
- 2007: The Art of Listening Award, Genetic Alliance, Washington, D.C., USA.
- 2006: Honorary Fellowship, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
- 2000 Nov: The William J. Barwick Lecture Duke University, Durham, NC, U.S.A.
- 1998 June: The Dingman Visiting Professorship University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A
- 1998 Apr: The B. Herold Griffith Lecture Northwestern University Chicago, IL, U.S.A.
- 1997 Aug: The Thuss Memorial LectureStanford UniversityPalo Alto, CA, U.S.A.
- 1996: Distinguished Service Award, 2nd National Mobius Syndrome Conference, New York, United States.
- 1993 May: The Betty Pilliod Visiting Professor in Plastic Surgery Akron, OH, U.S.A.
- 2014 June: CSPS Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Distinction)
- 2012 June: The Stanley Mercer Visiting Professorship, CHEO, Ottawa, Canada.
- 2011 June: President, IPRAS Vancouver 2011, Vancouver, B.C. Canada
- 1996: Newsmaker of the Week, CBC, Canada.
- 2019 Sept: Long Service Award,University of Toronto
- 2018 April: Dean’s Alumni Award, University of Toronto. Lifetime Achievement Award for Global Impact.
- 2016–2019: Board of Directors,Trillium Gift of Life NetworkGovernment of Ontario, Canada
- 2015 Jun: Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Toronto, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. (Distinction)
- 2013–2015: Ultrasound Standards Committee’sGuidelines for Users, SickKids, Toronto, Canada.
- 2012 Oct: Smile Award, Visit Orlando, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Research Award)
- 2000: Physician of the Year - Operation Herbie,SickKids Foundation
- 1995–2000: Most Responsible Physician Policy SickKids
- 1986–2003: Division Head, The Division of Plastic Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- 1978: Award of Merit, Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, Canada
Elected leadership positions
- 2019: ISVCA Council
- 1998: AAPPS Chair Elect
- 1998: AAP Section on Plastic Surgery Chair Elect
- 1995: AAP Section on Plastic Surgery Secretary Treasurer
- 1990: PRAS National Representative
- Catapano J, Fung SSM, Halliday W, Jobst C, Cheyne D, Ho ES, Zuker RM, Borschel GH, Ali A. Treatment of Neurotrophic Keratopathy with Minimally Invasive Corneal Neurotisation: Long-Term Clinical Outcomes and Evidence of Corneal Reinnervation. British Journal of Ophthalmology. 2019; 0: 1-8. Co-Principal Author.
- Zuo K, Draginov A, Panossian A, Fecteau A, Ho E, Zuker RM. Pediatric Hepatic Artery Microvascular Anastomosis in Living Donor Liver Transplantation: 73 Consecutive Cases by a Single Surgeon. Plast Surg, 2017 May, Vol 25(2): 118. Co-Principal Author.
- Zuker RM. Facial Paralysis and the Rople of Free Muscle Transplantation. Annales de Chirurgie Plastique Esthetique. 2015 Oct;Vol 60(Issue 5):420 - 429. Principal Author.
- Domantovsky I, Copeland J, Clancy RM, Zuker RM, Borschel GH. Long-Term Outcomes of Smile Reconstruction in Moebius Syndrome. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 141(6):868e-882e, 2018, June. Co-Principal Author.
- Snyder-Warwick A, Fattah A, Zive L, Halliday W, Borschel G, Zuker R. The Degree of Facial Movement following Microvascular Muscle Transfer in Pediatric Facial Reanimation Depends on Donor Motor Nerve Axonal Density. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2015 Feb;Vol 135(2):370e-381e. Vol 135 - Issue 2: p 370e-381e. Co-Principal Author.
- 2020: Collaborator. Surgical treatment to enhance dynamic eyelid closure in patients with Moebius Syndrome. $210,000 CAD. (Grants)
- 2015–2020: Principal Investigator. The creation of a Moebius Syndrome patient registry and assessment of the long-term outcomes from surgical reconstruction. The Moebius Syndrome Foundation. $131,000 USD (Grants).
- 2012–2013: Principal Investigator. Grant Support for Dr. Zuker’s Smile Fund. Visit Orlando. 10,000 CAD. [Grants]
- 2008–2009: Principal Investigator. Training of Plastic Surgeons in Kerala, India. Cooper Foundation. 100,000 CAD. [Grants]
- 2007–Present: Principal Investigator. Educational Exchange Program for Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery. India. Donner Foundation. 230,000 CAD. [Grants]
- 2006–2009: Principal Investigator. The creation of a normal smile. Josie Walther Fund. Collaborator(s): Manktelow, Ralph T. 15,000 CAD. [Grants]
- 2003–2006: Principal Investigator. Nerve grafting and muscle transplantation in facial paralysis reconstruction. Josie Walther Fund. Collaborator(s): Manktelow, Ralph T. 15,000 CAD. [Grants]
- 1999–2000: Tisseel and epidermal cells autogenic spray transplant. Baxter Healthcare Corporation. PI: Bahoric A. Collaborator(s): Zuker RM. 44,266 CAD. [Grants]
- 1979–1980: Principal Investigator. The role of cultured epidermal cells in resurfacing large open wounds. Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation (The) (PSI). Collaborator(s): Zingg W, Salter R, Carlisle IR, Grant. 35,000 CAD. [Grants]
- 1978–1980: Principal Investigator. The effect of soft tissue in a growing epiphysis. American Association of Plastic Surgery. Collaborator(s): Zingg W. 3,000 USD. [Grants]