Donald Laub

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Donald R. Laub
Born (1935-01-01) January 1, 1935 (age 83)
Milwaukee, WI
Alma materMarquette University
WebsiteMany People, Many Passports

Donald R. Laub Sr. (born January 1, 1935) is an American retired plastic surgeon who led multidisciplinary teams on reconstructive surgery missions to developing countries.


Laub completed his undergraduate studies at Marquette University and earned an MD from the Marquette University School of Medicine in 1960. After completing his internship at the Yale School of Medicine, he moved westward to Stanford University, where he assumed an assistant professorship and co-founded a 6-year integrated surgical residency program[1] as well as the Stanford Primacy Care Associate Program. He then served as chief of Plastic Surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine from 1968 to 1980, before entering private practice.

In 1965, 13-year-old Antonio Victoria arrived at Stanford University Medical Center from his home in Mexicali, Mexico, where his cleft lip and palate had made him a social pariah. He had no education and no chance for social advancement, but was otherwise normal. Another surgeon was able to restore the boy’s appearance with a mere three operations, allowing him to continue in life as a happy, productive member of society where once he had been shunned. Victoria inspired Laub to transition from Physician Researcher to Physician Educator.

Techniques in surgery[edit]

In 1969, Laub founded Interplast (now called ReSurge International) with the mission of transforming lives through the art of plastic and reconstructive surgery.[2] He became the first academic to develop and lead multidisciplinary teams on humanitarian surgical trips to developing countries. Since its inception, Interplast has provided tens of thousands of life-altering operations gratis, established thousands of long-term international professional relationships, and turned on countless of medical professionals to the “helping others” way of life.[3] The original spirit of Interplast has given rise to dozens of independent humanitarian medical organizations worldwide, including Interplast Germany, Interplast Turkey, Interplast Holland, Interplast Italy, Interplast Florida, Interplast West Virginia, Interplast Australia, OneHeart World-Wide, and IVUMed. In their unique ways, they all carry Laub’s vision of healing the world through plastic surgery.[4]

Aside from his notable accomplishments with Interplast, Laub has contributed novel surgical techniques to his field of specialty. He made one of the first academic investigations into the efficacy of treating gender dysphoria with surgery.[5][6] He pioneered the rectosigmoid vaginoplasty.[7] He also invented the metoidioplasty and the post-modern phalloplasty.[8][9] Laub’s further professional achievements include developing Q switched ruby laser tattoo removal[10] and the use of medical chemicals to reduce risk of skin cancer while improving cosmetic appearance.[11] From 1981 to 1983, he served as President of HBIGDA, now known as the World Professional Association for Transgender Health.[12]

Later life[edit]

In 2000, Laub was diagnosed with aggressive intravascular CNS large B cell lymphoma. After surviving a difficult but successful battle, he dedicated his “second life” to healthier living. He assisted James B. Johnson in developing the alternate day calorie restriction diet,[13] which prescribes a program for weight loss and longevity based on SIRT-1 gene activation.[14]

After completing 159 surgical trips to developing countries, Laub is now focused on mentoring undergraduate and medical students and conveying the value of students in the field of international health. He has been involved in teaching several courses at Stanford University, including Principles and Practice of International Humanitarian Medicine. His current project is the blog Many People, Many Passports, which features stories from his career in surgery and international health. He resides in Redwood City, California with his wife Judy.


  1. ^ "More Information About the Program - Residency Program - Education - Plastic Surgery". Stanford University School of Medicine. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  2. ^ Laub, DR (Jan–Feb 1969). "U.S. surgical team in Mexico". Rehabil Rec. 10 (1): 5–8. PMID 5797209.
  3. ^ Laub, DR (Aug 1981). "Humanitarianism in plastic surgery". Ann Plast Surg. 7 (2): 99–101. doi:10.1097/00000637-198108000-00004. PMID 7294667.
  4. ^ Samuels, SI; Wyner J; Brodsky JB; Laub DR (Dec 14, 1984). "Interplast: a successful model for anesthesia and plastic surgery in developing countries". JAMA. 252 (22): 3152–3155. doi:10.1001/jama.252.22.3152. PMID 6502884.
  5. ^ Laub, DR; Ascough B (Nov 1970). "Transsexual surgery". Calif Med. 113 (5): 68. PMC 1501793. PMID 18730433.
  6. ^ Laub, DR; Fisk N (Apr 1974). "A rehabilitation program for gender dysphoria syndrome by surgical sex change". Plast Reconstr Surg. 53 (4): 388–403. doi:10.1097/00006534-197404000-00003. PMID 4592953.
  7. ^ Laub, DR; Laub Jr DR; Biber S (Jul 1988). "Vaginoplasty for gender confirmation". Clin Plast Surg. 15 (3): 463–470. PMID 3292115.
  8. ^ Noe, JM; Sato R; Coleman C; Laub DR. (1978). "Construction of male genitalia: the Stanford experience". Arch Sex Behav. 7 (4): 297–303. doi:10.1007/BF01542038. PMID 567967.
  9. ^ Noe, JM; Birdsell D; Laub DR (May 1974). "The surgical construction of male genitalia for the female-to-male transsexual". Plast Reconstr Surg. 53 (5): 511–516. doi:10.1097/00006534-197405000-00001. PMID 4856599.
  10. ^ Apfelberg, DB; Laub DR; Maser MR; Lash H (Nov 1988). "Pathophysiology and treatment of decorative tattoos with reference to argon laser treatment". Clin Plast Surg. 7 (3): 369–377. PMID 7438704.
  11. ^ Johnson, JB; Ichinose H; Obagi ZE; Laub DR (Mar 1996). "Obagi's modified trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-controlled variable-depth peel: a study of clinical signs correlating with histological findings". Ann Plast Surg. 36 (3): 225–237. doi:10.1097/00000637-199603000-00001. PMID 8659944.
  12. ^ WPATH Board of Directors archive
  13. ^ Johnson, JB; Laub DR; John S (Mar 2006). "The effect on health of alternate day calorie restriction: eating less and more than needed on alternate days prolongs life". Med Hypotheses. 67 (2): 209–211. doi:10.1016/j.mehy.2006.01.030. PMID 16529878.
  14. ^ Johnson, JB, with Laub DR (2008). The Alternate-Day Diet: Turn on Your "Skinny Gene," Shed the Pounds, and Live a Longer and HealthierLife. New York: Putnam Adult. ISBN 1-61554-425-9.

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