Maria Siemionow

Professor and Director of Microsurgery Research


Maria Siemionow

Dr. Maria Siemionow (Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC)

Dr. Maria Siemionow is an expert on vascularized composite allografts, hand surgery,  peripheral nerve surgery and microsurgery.

In 2008, Siemionow led the team of surgeons that performed the first near-total face transplant in the United States at the Cleveland Clinic. At UIC, her clinical focus is on hand surgery and peripheral nerve surgery.

Her research is aimed at reducing allograft rejection and the need for lifelong immunosuppressive drugs in transplant patients and developing new techniques to enhance nerve regeneration. She is investigating the effect of chimeric cells — made by fusing donor and recipient bone marrow stem cells — on the immune system’s natural attack response to foreign tissues and donor organs.

Her work on repairing nerve damage revolves around the innovative use of epineural sheaths. The epineurium is a layer of tissue that surrounds, nourishes and protects bundles of nerves and enhances nerve regeneration.

She is a member of the academic-industry team known as the Warrior Restoration Consortium, which focuses on the development of clinical therapies and new treatments for wounded soldiers as part of the second phase of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

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