This post is part of a series of interviews with new and junior faculty. Stay tuned for more interviews with your colleagues!
Q: How long have you been at UVA and where were you before you came to UVA?
I graduated summa cum laude from The College of William and Mary and attended Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University where I completed my medical education and a PhD in Molecular Pharmacology and Structural Biology. I then completed residency training in the Department of Plastic Surgery at the University of Virginia, and then went on to complete fellowship training in Hand and Microvascular Surgery in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Mayo Clinic. I have returned this fall to the University of Virginia to join the faculty at the UVA Hand Center. My areas of expertise include brachial plexus and peripheral nerve surgery and hand, wrist, and forearm reconstruction following trauma. I also specialize in microsurgery and arthroscopy of the upper extremity.
Q: Is there something that you’ve worked on or accomplished in your career that you’re particularly proud of or glad you were able to experience?
My research interests include articular cartilage repair and regeneration techniques, patient-reported outcomes research, and allograft tendon, cartilage, and dermis. However, I have been impacted greatly by the overseas Plastic Surgery mission trips I have been a part of. I have performed Plastic Surgery and Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery in Iasi, Romania and twice in the Giridih, India. It has been a perspective-changing gift to be able to learn about these people and their culture and bring our expertise to try and improve the quality of their lives.
Q: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My dad. He is an auto-mechanic for large equipment / machines for a construction company. I loved getting to go to work with him on weekends – being the gopher for tools and supplies. I am thankful he steered me toward a career in medicine, and now I am a mechanic of the hand and upper extremity.
Q: A favorite spot to grab lunch during the day?
Roots has changed my existence here at UVA. I eat there too often to report. I have a standard rotation of the ‘Pesto Caesar’, ‘Apollo’, and of course the ‘El Jefe’. One day I aspire to have my own eponymous bowl.
Q: Do you have any children or fur babies at home?
Both. I have an amazing wife, Kate, who is a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine. We have three kids – Brent III (I am Jr.), Juliet, and Scarlett, with ages ranging from 9 to 18 months. We have a Golden Retriever, named Virginia or Ginny for short (She was named when we lived in New Jersey).
Q: Do you have a favorite local restaurant or hangout spot?
My favorite restaurant seems to change on a weekly basis, but hall of fame places for me would consist of The Barbecue Exchange (I am partial to the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw and Colonel Bacon BBQ sauce), Riverside Lunch (I enjoy a greasy spoon double cheeseburger and fries), and Commonwealth (A favorite for my wife and I – they make a great Manhattan). My favorite hangout spot is my basement, which is being converted into a music studio and houses our guitars, drums, banjo, piano, and recording equipment. I hope to form a family band / supergroup.