Our Story

Advancing aesthetics since 1993.

Our History

It was the summer of 1992. The popularity of plastic surgery was rising, yet the public's focus was on reconstructive surgery. While the medical community embraced reconstructive research studies, research opportunities for aesthetic plastic surgery were largely dismissed. Furthermore, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (now known as The Aesthetic Society) could not accept charitable donations due to how their organization was incorporated, so they had to turn away potential donors who wanted to support aesthetic research. These factors created a knowledge gap that prevented the aesthetic field from advancing.

During The Aesthetic Society's Strategic Planning Meeting in July 1992 in Rosemont, Illinois, Robert Singer, MD (The Aesthetic Society's President at the time) had the idea to start a foundation to bridge this gap. The goal of the Foundation was to support aesthetic research through charitable donations from its members.

The Aesthetic Foundation began as scribbles on paper and has evolved into a critical funding source for aesthetic research.

Less than a year later, on April 20, 1993, in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Singer and the other Founding Members officially formed The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), a 501(c)(3) organization now called The Aesthetic Foundation. The Foundation allowed Aesthetic Society members to make tax-deductible contributions that support aesthetic surgery research initiatives.

From The Foundation's early days, researchers explored the science of beauty, discovering new materials and techniques for implants, skin rejuvenation, facial reshaping, and more, leading to safer, more effective procedures. Through these efforts, The Foundation helped to raise the standard of care and improve patient outcomes.

Foundation “Firsts”

The Aesthetic Foundation has a rich history of innovative firsts that have served as the building blocks for aesthetic advancement.

  • 1993: Dr. Simon Fredricks became the first President of The Aesthetic Foundation. 

  • 1993/1994: In the first year of The Foundation, 436 members joined, contributing $52,983 in member dues. Mentor and McGhan became the first two corporate members, contributing $2,000 each.

  • 1994: The Foundation launched its first program. The program was a panel designed to help staff members of aesthetic surgery facilities identify solutions for office management issues. It was moderated by then-President Dr. Simon Fredricks at The Aesthetic Meeting and created in honor of Mrs. Joyce Kaye, who helped pioneer the practice management classes and lectures available to plastic surgeons.

  • 1996: The Aesthetic Foundation served on its first task force. The Aesthetic Society created the task force to determine the safety and efficacy of the Ultrasound-Assisted Lipoplasty device. Foundation-funded research findings provided a basis to announce that the device was safe when used by properly trained plastic surgeons experienced in traditional suction-assisted liposuction. The Aesthetic Foundation and PSEF sponsored the creation of a course curriculum utilizing the research findings with instructions on the device's physics, technology, and use. Over 1,000 surgeons signed up for this course in the first nine months.

  • 2012: The Foundation introduced its Resident Travel Scholarship. The scholarship is still active and has helped hundreds of residents and fellows be able to attend The Aesthetic Meeting each year. 

  • 2013: Held its first silent auction. Over the years, this program has grown and become one of the major sources of revenue, with over $1 million in donations since its inception through 2023.

  • 2022: The Aesthetic Foundation launched The Externship Program. The program doubled its second year and is on track to grow and help expose more medical students to the specialty.

The Foundation Today

It's been almost three decades since the birth of The Aesthetic Foundation, and we have made significant progress in advancing aesthetics. With support from our members, we have funded research projects that led to the development of new techniques and technologies that have revolutionized the field of aesthetic surgery.

Over the years, we continue to evolve, reflecting the changing needs and priorities of the aesthetic community. Today, we remain a vital force in advancing the field of aesthetic surgery, providing the resources and support necessary to drive innovation and progress. 

A snapshot of where we are today: 

  • $3.1 million in awarded grants to over 130 grant recipients

  • 79 total published studies, with 47 published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal

  • 1,144 members and growing

Our Future

As we look to the future, we can only imagine the possibilities. With continued support from our members and the aesthetic community, The Aesthetic Foundation will undoubtedly continue to be at the forefront of advancing aesthetics, improving the lives of surgeons and patients alike.

Advancing aesthetics starts with research. Research is possible thanks to you.