Institute of Life Science 2 Internal Atrium
Iain Whitaker profile picture

Professor Iain Whitaker

Clinical Chair in Burns & Plastic Surgery, Biomedical Sciences

Telephone number

+44 (0) 1792 606311

Research Links

Office - 509
Fifth Floor
Institute of Life Science 2
Singleton Campus
Available For Postgraduate Supervision


Professor Iain Whitaker is the Chair of Plastic Surgery in Swansea University Medical School & Honorary Consultant Plastic Surgeon at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery. Iain is the Surgical Specialty Lead for Health & Care Research Wales and Director of the Largest Plastic Surgery Research Group in the UK – The Reconstructive Surgery and Regenerative Medicine Research Group ( Iain sits on the Specialist Advisory Committee for Plastic Surgery which overseas plastic surgery training in the UK, where he is the Academic Lead.

Iain is an Academic Scholar at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, sponsored by both the European and American Associations of Plastic Surgeons (EURAPS & AAPS), the first award of its type to a UK trained surgeon.

Iain is currently the Chief Specialty Editor for Frontiers in Surgery (Reconstructive Plastic Surgery), Associate Editor for the Annals of Plastic Surgery, and on the editorial boards of BMC Medicine, Scientific Reports, Bioprinting and 3D Printing in Medicine.  He is an ex Deputy Editor of Europe's Largest Plastic Surgery Journal, the Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Asthetic Surgery (JPRAS).

Since graduating from Cambridge University (Trinity Hall College) in 2001, Iain has published 264 papers & 5 books with an H index of 38 and i10 index of 104.  He has won many prestigious awards from The Royal College of Surgeons of England (Clarke Medal, Cutler Surgical Fellowship, Pump Priming Award, Ronald Raven Travelling Scholarship), The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (Mentor Prize, Allergan Presentation Prize, Travelling Fellowshop, Pum Priming Grant, Paton Masser Award), Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (Rowen Nick's Fellowship) and The European Association of Plastic Surgeons (Young Plastic Surgeon Scholarship, EURAPS / AAPS Academic Scholarship).  Since his appointment to Chair in 2012, he has built a Translational Research Group and has attracted grant funding of over £4 million leading to an interdisciplinary critical mass of researchers including 8 Clinical Lecturers and 2 Foundation Academic Doctors.

Areas Of Expertise

  • • Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
  • • 3D Bioprinting
  • • Tissue Engineering (Mesenchymal)
  • • The use of big data in plastic surgery
  • • Natural language processing

Career Highlights


Publications     264

H Index             38

I10 Index          104

Books                5

Book Chapters 35

Main themes

  • 3D Bioprinting & Tissue Engineering
  • Big Data, NLP, Service Development
Award Highlights

2011      FRCS Plast.                       RCS (Eng)

2009      PhD                                   University of Utrecht

2005      MRCS                                RCS (UK)

2001      MA Cantab                       University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall, UK

2000      MBBChir                           University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall, UK

1997      BA Hons                            University of Cambridge, Trinity Hall, UK

Awards (selected)

AAPS/ EURAPS Academic Scholar

Mass General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2019-21

Cutler / Royal College of Surgeons Surgical Fellowship, Clinic Bizet, Paris, 2018

Clarke Medal, Royal College of Surgeons, 2017

EURAPS Young Plastic Surgeon Scholarship, HEGP, Paris, 2011

Rowan Nick’s Fellowship, RACS, Melbourne University, Melbourne 2011



The Reconstructive Surgery & Regenerative Medicine Research Group has active interdisciplinary laboratory based collaborations with Professor Cathy Thornton (Cell Biology) , Professor Shareen Doak & Dr Martin Clift (Nanotoxicology), Professor Karl Hawkins (Rheology) & Dr Feihu Zhao (In silico tissue engineering).

Iain’s group also works closely with the SAIL databank (Professor Ronan Lyons, Professor Anne John & Dr Ashley Akbari, Dr Owen Pickrell) and the Swansea Trials Unit (Professor Hayley Hutchings)



Oxford University (Dr Jeremy Rodriguez)

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Professor Sinead Langhan)

Queen Mary, University of London (Dr Tom Abbott)

Bristol University (Professor Steve Eichorn)



Harvard University (Professor Jay Austen, Dr Mark Randolph)

Utrecht University (Professor Moshe Kon)