Chat With Haute Beauty Leaders, Episode 9: Dr. Gabrielle Davis

As Haute Beauty continues its “Chat with Haute Beauty Leaders” series, Haute Media Group Co-founder Seth Semilof hosted a discussion with Dr. Gabrielle Davis, a representative of the Haute Beauty Network in the Los Angeles market.

The conversation includes topics such as Dr. Davis' unusual educational route, becoming a mother at an early age and the power of determination.

Gabrielle B. Davis, MD is a practicing Plastic Surgeon in Beverly Hills. Dr. Davis redefines aesthetic medicine by implementing her unique research background in tissue regeneration into her medical practice to reduce the effects of aging on the body. Dr. Davis graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Houston with a degree in Biochemistry and minors in Chemistry and Spanish. Her academic achievement led her to be awarded as the student commencement speaker for the university. She went on to obtain her medical degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, and subsequently relocated to Los Angeles to complete General Surgery training at the University of Southern California. During her General Surgery training, she was awarded a competitive 3- year research fellowship through the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. The focus of her research was investigating the regenerative properties of stem cells derived from fat on tissue injury. She was awarded by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons the “Young Researcher Award” in Geneva, Switzerland for her research.

Here are some of the highlights from the exclusive interview with Dr. Davis:

Seth Semilof: You went to the University of Houston and did not know what you wanted to study. How did you go from that to graduating with such honors? What changed?

Dr. Gabrielle Davis: What changed in my life was that I became pregnant at 16 in high school . Before then, I didn't really think about education or school. I was partying and hanging out a lot and just doing things rebellious teenagers do at that age. So, when I became pregnant, I had to start thinking about not only my future, but the future of my daughter. That's when I decided to change and I wanted to create better opportunities for her so that's when I decided that education was going to be the route for me to do so.

SS: So, you decide to stay in Texas for Medical School, but you go to Dallas, to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. Tell us about that decision and some of the trials and tribulations of being a mother and having to raise a child through that.

DGD: The biggest shock for me in Medical School was the amount of work you had to do. The amount of studying that you had to do day to day. I was always a quick learner so it did not really take that long for me to study. I might have a bit of a photographic memory. However, I remember that Medical School was the first time where we had so much information that we had to learn in such a short period of time. So, I found myself studying for the majority of my day. And of course, that's challenging because you have a young child for whom you want to be present and you want to try to find that balance. Not one is perfect and in retrospect, sometimes I feel like I put too much into medicine at that time. Because you can't go back and give back that time. You know, missed school plays and performances because you had to be at work. I think it was always that challenge from Medical School, to residency, to fellowship, to always find that time and trying to find that balance.

SS: During your general training surgery you were awarded the three-year research fellowship through the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. What I find to be interesting is that your research was in stem cell research, which I assume was not much of a buzz word back then but now it is.

DGD: Absolutely, it was more of an upcoming field at that time, especially when it related to plastic surgery. It dealt with tissue regeneration and how can you recreate tissues using your own cells. So, people will be like, "steam cells? What does that have to do with plastic surgery?" My research was looking at tissue injury after radiation treatment. Patients, usually cancer patients, who have to go through radiation can develop permanent changes in their skin, which makes them more prone to develop chronic wounds or different effects where they don't heal as well as other people. A lot of time, plastic surgeons are the ones coming in to reconstruct these ares and these surgeries are very big and invasive and are related to a prolonged recovery period... So what I was doing was looking at how we can take stem cells from fat and use them to mitigate the changes or effects of radiation injury.

Watch the entire conversation below: