Ronald Zuker


Short Biography

As a paediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, his primary interest is in facial reanimation and is the recognized worldwide authority. Dr. Zuker is currently co-director of the Facial Paralysis Programme at Sickkids.  He is best known for his work as the "Smile Doctor". His passion has been the restoration of facial function in patients with facial paralysis and Moebius Syndrome. He has been recognized for his passion by the Moebius Foundation and the Smile Foundation of South Africa. He also has a major interest in the management of cleft lip and palate and, in addition to his volunteer surgical commitment, serves on the Plastic Surgery Council of "Operation Smile". More recently, Dr. Zuker in collaboration with Dr. Gregory Borschel, have developed new techniques for re-innvervating the insensate cornea. Together, they have also created the Pediatric Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation program at SickKids.


1969 - Present                     MD, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
1970 – Present                     College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO).  Licence # 22875
1976 – Present                     Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. FRCSC ID # 217529
1982 – Present                     FACS, American College of Surgeons, USA.

Current Appointments

1994 - present                      Professor, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
1983 - present                      Associate Staff, Department of Surgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
1983 - present                      Consultant, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario
1978 - present                      Consultant, Division of Plastic Surgery, Bloorview MacMillan Centre, Toronto, Ontario
1978 - present                      Consultant, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario



1987 - 1994                          Associate Professor, Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1982 - 1987                          Assistant Professor, Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1978 - 1982                          Lecturer, Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Distinctions and Research Awards


2014 Jul - 2015 Jun              Best Clinical Paper, American Society for Peripheral Nerve, Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Corneal Reinnervation:  A Minimally Invasive Approach.
2013 Dec                             Clinician of the Year, American Academy of Pediatrics - Section on Plastic Surgery, United States. (Distinction)
2013 Nov                             Honorary Fellowship, Fellow of The College of Plastic Surgery of South Africa, Spain. (Distinction)
2013 Nov                             Humanitarian Award, The Smile Foundation of South Africa. (Distinction)
2013 Oct                             Fellow of The College of Plastic Surgery of South Africa, The Association of Plastic Surgeons of South Africa, South Africa. (Honorary Membership)
2013 Aug                             Young Investigation Award, 11th Meeting of IHCTAS, Wroclaw, Poland. (Research Award)
Proximal Forearm Amputation - A Privileged Site for Transplantation.   McClelland B, McCabe S, Zuker R, Borschel G, Levin S.
2011 Oct                             Best Paper Award, 2011 Chang Gung Mayo Clinic Symposium in Reconstructive Surgery
Axonal Counts in Free Muscle Transfer for Facial Paralysis.
2011 Oct                             Fu Chan Wei Award for Reconstructive Surgery awarded to Dr. Ronald Zuker, Chang Gung Mayo Clinic Symposium in Microsurgery, Taipei, Taiwan, October, 2011, Taiwan, Province Of China. (Distinction)
A prestigious award, which recognizes international expertise in the area of reconstructive microsurgery.
2008                                    Best Paper, The Hunley Society Annual Meeting, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, United States.
"Necrotizing Syndrome".
2007                                    Recognition Award, Amercian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Plastic Surgery Education Foundation, United States.
2007                                    The Art of Listening Award, Genetic Alliance
2006                                    Honorary Fellowship, The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom.
2003                                    The Leonard Rubin Award for best paper, American Association of Plastic Surgeons - Annual Meeting, United States.
1996                                    Distinguished Service Award, 2nd National Moebius Syndrome Conference, New York, United States.
1995                                    First Prize - Poster Competition, 11th Congress of the International Congress of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery Meeting, Yokohama, Japan.
1994                                    Award for the Best Clinical Research Paper
"The Effects of Postoperative Continuous Passive Motion On Peripheral Nerve Repair and Regeneration".
1992                                    First Prize for Best Paper, (The Sirlei Rinaldi Prize), Rhodes, Greece.
1991                                    First Prize for Best Clinical or Research Paper, EURAPS Annual Meeting, Rhodes, Greece.

NATIONAL - Received

2014 Jun                             CSPS Lifetime Achievement Award, Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Distinction)
2012                                    Best Research Paper, GAM Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Research Award)
Functional Outcomes in Facial Animation: Comparison of Innervation Sources.
1996                                    Newsmaker of the Week, CBC, Canada.


2012                                    Lindsay-Thomson 2012 Research Prize, Lindsay-Thomson 2012 Research Competition. (Research Award) 3D Model of Gracilis, Fattah A, Zuker RM.
2000                                    Physician of the Year - Operation Herbie
1978                                    Award of Merit, Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce, Canada.


LOCAL - Received

2014 Nov                             2014 University of Toronto Research Award, University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. (Research Award)
2012 Oct                             Smile Award, Visit Orlando, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Research Award)
Grant Support for Dr. Zuker's Smile Fund. Total Amount: 10,000
2011 - 2012                          Faculty of Medicine's 2012 Research Award, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Research Award)

Peer-Reviewed 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 - 2003                          Gentotype and Phenotype of Brainstem Injury in Autism. National Institutes of Health (NIH) (USA). NICDH. PI: Rodier PM. Collaborator(s): Bryson SE, Figlewicz DA, Gudas LJ, Hyman SL,Stanton ME, Zuker RM. 4,219,189 USD. [Grants]

1999 - 2001                          Autism and Moebius syndrome: A neuropsychological study of visual-spatial attention and facial emotion. Medical Research Council. PI: Bryson SE, Roberts W. Collaborator(s): Zuker RM. 108,000 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                                    Principal Investigator. The effect of soft tissue in a growing epiphysis. American Association of Plastic Surgery. Collaborator(s): Zingg W. 3,000 USD. [Grants]

Non-peer-reviewed Grants


2007 - present                      Principal Investigator. Educational Exchange Programme for Cleft Lip and Palate Repair.  West Bengal and Assam, India. Donner Foundation. 230,000 CAD. [Grants]

2012 Jul - 2013 Jun              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]