Jigsaw Professor of Paediatric Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
Prof. Tony Penington graduated in Medicine from Melbourne University in 1985 and attained his RACS fellowship in Plastic Surgery in 1996. Following 18 months in Oxford as a clinical and research fellow he was appointed consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne and the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and Senior Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Department of Surgery St. Vincent’s Hospital. In 2003 he was awarded a Graduate Certificate in Health Statistics from Swinburne University of Technology and MD(research) from the University of Melbourne in 2008. From 2008 to 2012 he was head of Plastic Surgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital and from 1999 to 2012 deputy director of the O’Brien Institute at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
In May 2012 he was appointed as the inaugural Jigsaw Professor of Paediatric Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. He is involved in all aspects of research in the Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit at the Royal Children’s, from basic laboratory research into vascular anomalies to clinical research in craniofacial, cleft and hand surgery. He is currently the Vice President of the International Society for the Study of Vascular Anomalies. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Devices for the TGA.
Professor Penington’s two primary areas of research are vascular anomalies – haemangiomas and vascular malformations, and the quantification of outcomes in Plastic Surgery. Vascular anomalies is a rapidly changing area of research. In recent years it has emerged that vascular malformations are caused by somatic mutations in genes which had previously been associated with the development of cancer. This is leading to a new generation of drug treatments for vascular anomalies. Our research into outcomes has centred around the quantification and analysis of facial morphology using 3D photography and dense morphometric techniques of statistical shape analysis. In the future we hope to expand this research to investigate the full impact of appearance altering surgery on quality of life, aiming to achieve a deep understanding of how the aesthetic aspects of reconstruction improve quality of life, particularly in children.