Mimi R. Borrelli, MBBS, MSc

Mentors: Drs. Longaker & Wan

When Dr. Mimi R. Borrelli decides to do something, she never does it halfway. No, when she made up her mind to study plastic surgery more than 5,000 miles away from her hometown, she not only asked her mentors at Johns Hopkins University where the best lab was in the States but changed her flight to go to an event she hoped the PI would attend.

She says she was two G&Ts in when someone pointed out Dr. Michael Longaker at the American Society of Plastic Surgery’s annual conference in 2016.

“Retrospectively, I realized this was probably not the best way to make a first impression, but I was just super enthusiastic… and only a little bit tipsy,” said Borrelli. Somehow that strategy worked for her, because by the end of the conversation, Borrelli had an invitation to visit the lab.

Today, Borrelli works on several projects with Drs. Longaker and Derrick Wan.

“The projects with Dr. Longaker are centered on fibroblasts and scarring, while the Dr. Wan projects focus more on fat grafting,” said Borrelli.

She was also on the team that discovered the skeletal stem cell. You can watch the video (which she animated and edited herself!) here.

Almost two years into her research fellowship, Borrelli says she wouldn’t change a thing.

“It’s been an amazing experience seeing my projects progress and developing these relationships,” said Borrelli, who plans to apply for plastic surgery residency programs in the near future. “Doing plastic surgery and being a surgeon scientist is my dream!”