Joshua Vorstenbosch

Academic title(s): 

Assistant Professor

Joshua Vorstenbosch
Contact Information
Email address: 
joshua.vorstenbosch [at]
McGill University Health Centre (MUHC - Glen) - Royal Victoria Hospital
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery


Current research: 

My research focuses on how the body reacts to implantable non-rigid biomaterials. We use non-rigid biomaterials for a broad range of surgeries, such as breast reconstruction, hernia repair, and ocular lens replacement. While these materials are all safe, when adverse tissue reactions such as chronic inflammation or fibrosis occur at the tissue-implant interface, the implanted device becomes non-functional and patients suffer significant morbidity. To better understand why these adverse reactions happen, my lab studies the impact of various surgical and biomaterial factors on the tissue reaction at the implant interface. We are interested in using this information to develop surgical, molecular, and biomaterial solutions to improve the biocompatibility of non-rigid implants and their associated surgical outcomes.

Clinical Interests: 
  • Breast Reconstruction
  • Microvascular Complex Oncologic Reconstruction
  • Lymphedema Surgery
Language(s) spoken: 

Joshua Vorstenbosch MD PhD FRCSC is a plastic-surgeon scientist at the McGill University Health Centre with a clinical focus on breast cancer reconstruction and a research focus evaluating cellular and molecular events at tissue-implant interfaces to improve breast implant safety. Following his BSc (Hons) in Physiology at McGill, Dr. Vorstenbosch earned his PhD in the Division of Experimental Surgery studying molecular mechanisms of wound healing and fibrosis under the supervision of Dr. Anie Philip. Concurrently with his graduate studies, he studied medicine at McGill where he graduated as valedictorian. Dr. Vorstenbosch followed his studies at McGill with residency training in plastic surgery at the University of Manitoba, widely regarded as the top microsurgery program in Canada. Before returning to McGill, he did a reconstructive oncologic microsurgery fellowship at the largest private cancer hospital in the world, the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Clinically, Dr. Vorstenbosch offers a breadth of breast reconstructive options ranging from using patients own tissues to various implant-based breast reconstructive procedures. In his practice, he sees many patients affected by pathology and fibrosis arising from the tissue-implant interface in implant-based breast reconstruction. He brings this immediate clinical contact to the lab in order to better understand the mechanisms underlying these conditions in an attempt to improve patient outcomes.

The goals of Dr. Vorstenbosch’s research program are: (1) to identify temporal changes in the inflammatory molecular and cellular microenvironment at the tissue-implant interface leading to fibrosis and capsule-related pathology, (2) to characterize distinct molecular pathways underlying the inflammatory and fibrotic responses to implantable devices in breast reconstruction patients, and (3) to determine the roles of specific cell/tissue types adjacent to the breast implant in inducing capsular contracture in breast cancer reconstruction

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