Each month, the AAS Membership Committee presents the “Member Spotlight” – an opportunity to introduce you to a member of your association.
Dr. Jonathan Leckenby is assistant professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Rochester and director of the University of Rochester Plastic Surgery Laboratory.
Dr. Leckenby was born in Pontefract, UK. At three days old he started his international adventures by flying to Hongkong, where his family was based as his father worked as a commercial airline pilot. After early childhood in Far East, at 8 years old he started at boarding school in the UK. Following graduation at Eton College he completed his undergraduate bachelor’s degree in basic medical science and advanced human anatomy at King’s College, London. In 2006, he graduated from medical school at University of London where he also completed his basic surgical training. He then joined Plastic Surgery Department at the Royal Free Hospital in London, where he completed his plastic surgery training. During that time, he was introduced into specialized area of facial palsy surgery under guidance of Professor Adriaan Grobbelaar and developed passion for peripheral nerve regeneration research. He spent two years working in Jeff Lichtman’s laboratory at Harvard gather the data that was used to obtain his PhD degree from the University College, London.
Dr. Leckenby undertook a two-year academic fellowship at Inselspital University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland. As part of the research team, he helped to secure a US Department of Defense grant to analyze the role the lymphatic system plays in vascularized composite allotransplantation, the goal being to minimize immunosuppression requirements in face/hand transplantation. The time he spent in Switzerland culminated in him being awarded the Swiss National Research Prize in 2016. Following his time in Switzerland, Dr. Leckenby moved back to the Royal Free Hospital in London to complete a senior microsurgery fellowship concentrating on the treatment of facial paralysis.
He is recognized author on the topic of facial paralysis and has helped pioneer new techniques for facial reanimation. Together with his wife Susan, who is pediatric orthopedic surgeon, he joined as faculty, the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Rochester in 2018. In addition to his clinical interests, he established a laboratory investigating peripheral nerve regeneration and more recently chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
Dr. Leckenby joined the Association for Academic Surgery in 2018 and has participated as an active member since then. After completing his term on the Publications committee, he is currently serving as on Global Affairs committee, utilizing his international contacts and experience.
Dr. Leckenby, known as Jo by his friends and family, is avid athlete. During his college time, he was among the top university rugby players in UK and he keeps his passion to date but this has somewhat taken its toll on his knees, so enjoys playing tennis as an active pastime. He also likes to cook, mostly for his wife, but he often makes specialties for his colleagues, residents, and lab staff. Jo and Susan provide home to two French bulldogs, Churchill and Hemingway.