Chien-Wei Eric Liao, M.D., Ph.D

faculty photo
Professor of Surgery
Chief Scientific Officer Advisory Council Member, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, Philadelphia, PA
Director, Center for Craniofacial Innovation, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Vice Chair of Surgery, Academic Affairs, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
Department: Surgery
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Center for Craniofacial Innovation
Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery
CTRB 11006
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
3501 Civic Center Boulevard, HUB 11574
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Office: 215-590-3096
M.S. (Developmental Biology)
Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1995.
B.S. (Biological Sciences)
Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 1995.
Ph.D. (Genetics)
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2002.
Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 2002.
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Description of Clinical Expertise

Clinical Expertise: cleft lip and palate surgery, rhinoplasty, pediatric and adolescent breast conditions, complex pediatric reconstruction.

Description of Other Expertise

Dr. Liao is a graduate of Stanford University (B.S., M.S.), Harvard Medical School / M.I.T. (M.D., Ph.D.), and trained in plastic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Liao's clinical and academic achievements have earned numerous prestigious awards, including American Surgical Association Research Fellowship, March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Scholar Award, and the Presidential Scholar Endowed Chair at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Eric Liao is the founding Director of the Center for Craniofacial Innovation at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Liao is a pediatric plastic surgeon-scientist who leverages convergent advances in fetal care, human genetics and developmental biology to initiate first-in-child trials and treatments. As a surgeon, Dr. Liao cares for patients born with orofacial clefts and complex craniofacial conditions. Dr. Liao also leads the Department of Surgery as the Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, where he is dedicated to nurturing trainees and faculty toward impactful academic careers.
Prior to joining CHOP, Dr. Liao was a Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, lead the Mass General Department of Surgery as Vice Chair of Research, and lead Shriners Children’s Boston as Chief of Staff. Dr. Liao pioneered the zebrafish model to investigate the developmental basis of craniofacial anomalies. Dr. Liao works to address critical knowledge gaps in human genetics to determine pathogenicity of gene variants, by using the zebrafish model as a high throughput functional assay.
“As a pediatric cleft surgeon, it is incredibly humbling and rewarding to restore form and function to patients born with cleft lip and palate anomalies. As surgeon-scientists, we hope our discoveries will lay the foundation for advances that will impact patients everywhere.”


Selected Publications

Liao EC, Longaker MT: Are plastic surgeon-scientists becoming unicorns? Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 2023 (in press).

Lin AM, Lorenzi R, Van Der Hulst JE, Liao EC, Austen WG Jr, Webster A, Smith BL, Colwell AS: A decade of nipple-sparing mastectomy: Lessons learned in 3035 immediate implant-based breast reconstructions. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery May 1 2023 (Epub) Notes: doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000010616.

Barrero CE, Pontell ME, Ryan IA, Wietlisbach LE, Wagner CS, Salinero L, Swanson JW, Liao EC, Bartlett SP, Taylor JA: Kaban-Pruzansky grade predicts airway severity in hemifacial microsomia. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery May 31 2023 (Epub) Notes: doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000010785.

Jimenez RB, Packowski K, Horick N, Rosado N, Chinta S, Koh DJ, Sobti N, Specht MC, Liao EC: The timing of acute and late complications following mastectomy and implant-based reconstruction. Annals of Surgery 278(1): e203-e208, July 1 2023 Notes: Epub July 15, 2022.

Bargiela M, Kueper J, Serebrakian AT, Browne MR, Brogna S, Peacock ZS, Bojovic B, Shaw ND, Liao EC: Nasal construction in congenital arhinia due to novel SMCHD1 gene variant. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 34(3): 849-854, May 1 2023 Notes: Epub Mar. 22, 2023.

Specht MC, Kelly BN, Tomczyk E, Ford OA, Webster AJ, Smith BL, Gadd MA, Colwell AS, Liao EC: One-year experience of same-day mastectomy and breast reconstruction protocol. Annals of Surgical Oncology 29(9): 5711-5719, Sept. 2022 Notes: Epub May 11, 2022.

Kelly BN, Liao EC, Specht MC: ASO Author Reflections: Reducing length of stay and postoperative opioid administration in a same-day approach to breast reconstruction. Annals of Surgical Oncology 29(9): 5720, Sept. 2022 Notes: Epub May 16, 2022.

Bargiela M, Liao EC: Discussion: Genetic influence on neurodevelopment in nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 149(5): 1166-1167, May 1 2022 Notes: Epub Apr. 26, 2022.

Yoon B, Yeung P, Santistevan N, Bluhm L, Kawasaki K, Kueper J, Dubielzig R, Vanoudenhove J, Cotney J, Liao EC, Grinblat Y: Zebrafish models of Alx-linked frontonasal dysplasia reveal a role for Alx1 and Alx3 in the anterior segment and vasculature of the developing eye. Biology Open 11(5): bio059189, May 2022 Notes: Epub June 7, 2022.

Faulkner HR, Coopey SB, Liao EC, Specht M, Smith BL, Colwell AS: The safety of performing breast reconstruction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Breast Cancer 29(2): 242-246, Mar. 2022 Notes: Epub Oct. 15, 2021.

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Last updated: 09/08/2023
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