Ronald Zuker was born in Niagara Falls, Canada, and received his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1969. After a rotating internship in Vancouver, British Columbia, and a brief period of family practice in Scarborough, he pursued his interest in anthropology and jungle medicine, spending one year working with the Shipibo Indians in the Amazon basin of eastern Peru. He then entered the McGill University Training Program in Surgery and completed the FRCSC in plastic surgery in 1976 through the Gallie Programme at the University of Toronto. He received a McLaughlin Travelling Fellowship to study microvascular surgery and pediatric plastic surgery in Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and Europe. In 1978 he joined the staff of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) as a consultant in plastic surgery, was appointed to the University of Toronto’s Department of Surgery as a lecturer in 1978. He became an assistant professor in 1982, associate professor in 1987, and a full professor in 1994. He served as chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at SickKids from 1986-2002.
As a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, his primary interest is in facial reanimation, and he is the recognized worldwide authority. Dr. Zuker is currently co-director of the Facial Paralysis Programme at SickKids. He also has a major interest in the management of cleft lip and palate and, in addition to his volunteer surgical commitment, serves on the plastic surgery council of Operation Smile. He was the medical director of SickKids Cleft Lip and Palate Program for over a decade.
Dr. Zuker is the past chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Section of Plastic Surgery; past president of the American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons; and past president of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery. He is very active in the teaching and training of future reconstructive surgeons, and in the structuring of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation Team in Toronto.
His clinical focus is on Moebius syndrome, facial paralysis reconstruction, tissue expansion in children, and cleft lip and palate. Dr. Zuker became an emeritus Scientific Advisory Board member in 2022.