The OBI Department is a world leader in developing and refining methods to replace or repair tissues and organs damaged by injury or disease.  The benefits to patients are wide reaching ranging from improved wound healing to organ and tissue replacement for conditions such as cardiac failure and diabetes, or for breast cancer reconstruction and even regeneration of limbs.

The O’Brien Institute was established in 1970 to promote research and training in microsurgery. Initially known as the Microsurgery Research Centre, it quickly developed a pre-eminent reputation and attracted plastic and orthopaedic surgeons from the US, UK, Europe, Japan and elsewhere and many of these researchers have returned to their home countries to become leaders in the field. More than 200 surgically trained researchers have completed Fellowships since 1972.

Much of the research we undertake has immediate and practical application to patients. Although we find our research and clinical work absorbing and at times consuming, we never overlook our ultimate aim of restoring hope, confidence, identity and personal fulfillment to our patients. It's a sad fact that society does not react well to people with disfigurement and disability. This is the true worth of our work.

With the universal adoption of microsurgery skills as a standard pre-requisite for all plastic surgeons, the need for clinical microsurgery training has diminished and the OBI Department has evolved into basic science research. Its focus is particularly in the fields of Tissue Engineering, Angiogenesis, Matrix Biology, Peripheral Nerve Regeneration, Anti-fibrosis, and Ischaemia Reperfusion Injury . The Department is configured into separate laboratories according to the specific field of research and expertise under the guidance of the Director. PhD, Doctorate, Masters and B.Sc(Hons) students are an integral part of our program. Overseas and Australian Surgical Research Fellowships have also been a key feature of the Institute. We also welcome shorter term visiting clinicians who come here to learn about the exacting work of microsurgery.

Vascularisation of tissues, a concept fundamental to plastic surgery is seen to be key to the successful translation of laboratory based tissue engineering into humans. We have developed a platform technology for vascularising tissue engineered products and organs and as our team comprises plastic surgeons, trained microsurgeons and scientists, with joint appointments to a co-located major teaching hospital, we see ourselves and our collaborators positioned to be essential players not only in the exciting development of tissue engineered products, but also in their fabrication and transfer into patients.