The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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The PSF President's Page: April 2018

Welcome to the April edition of The PSF President's Page, where we'll take a closer look at one of the cornerstones of our Foundation – The PSF Research Grants Study Section, which help provide the funding that steers plastic surgery research and innovation into the future. All fellowship and grant applications submitted to The PSF are reviewed in a format parallel to that of the NIH by a team of highly qualified ASPS/PSF member researchers in either the clinical or basic science study sections.

New to the call for applications in 2017-2018 are the Scott Spear Innovation in Breast Reconstruction Research Fellowship, which offers up to $72,500 for the support of a researcher who wishes to devote one year towards innovative research in breast reconstruction, and the Translational Research Grant, which offers up to $50,000 for grants directed towards accelerating the translation of medical discoveries into improved health.

Two new funding mechanisms have been installed this year. The Graduate Research Scholarship is designed to provide tuition support to a plastic surgeon in his or her pursuit of an advanced degree in research, and the Clinical Research Leaders Scholarship provides funding to send talented plastic surgeon-scientists to select clinical research training and development programs around the country to enhance skills in outcomes, translational and clinical research.

The PSF and the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) have also announced additional funding opportunities to foster innovation in allograft-related research. The first will be an off-cycle grant request to focus on novel applications of allograft use such as bioprinting, fat transplantation and regenerative medicine/tissue engineering. Look for the request for applications to be distributed in early May. The second award will consist of a fellowship for $75,000 (one year) to $125,000 (two years), and will be initiated in the 2018-2019 grant cycle to support researchers who wish to develop skills in exploring the use of novel allograft applications.

The strength of these programs is directly tied to you, the members, who support these endeavors through your generous contributions to The PSF. This year's study section chairs, Jeffrey Gusenoff, MD, (clinical study section) and Dennis Orgill, MD, (basic science study section) recently convened their respective study sections to review the current applications for investigator-initiated research grants and fellowships, and awards will be announced shortly. The past-chair of The PSF study section, Matthew Hanasano, MD, (clinical study section) and past-VP of Research, Andrea Pusic, MD, provide more insight on this below.


-Arun Gosain, MD

The PSF Research Grants Study Section Update

One of the most important functions of The PSF is to provide research grants that advance knowledge in the field of plastic surgery. In fact, The PSF is the largest granting body for plastic surgery research outside of the NIH.

The PSF sponsors one of the most comprehensive grant-review processes of any clinical foundation. Experts in a variety of subspecialty fields selected from ASPS membership volunteer their time to serve on Clinical and Basic Science Study Sections that score grants based on factors that include significance, innovation and approach, as well as appropriateness of the investigators and research environment. Through this rigorous process, 27 grants were funded last year for a total of $810,000. The PSF also provides grant applicants with written feedback and the opportunity to meet with research mentors to improve grant applications prior to resubmission.

The PSF offers eight different grant mechanisms: the Association for Surgical Education (ASE)/PSF Combined Research Grant, the Pilot Research Grant, the Combined Pilot Grant (co-sponsored by eight of our sister societies), the National Endowment for Plastic Surgery (NEPS) Grant, The PSF and Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF) Grant, the Translational Research Grant, The PSF Research Fellowship and the Scott Spear Innovation in Breast Reconstruction Research Fellowship that support early career investigators. Project duration is up to two years for the NEPS and PSF/MTF grants and one year for the other grants. Topics covered by grants span the breadth of plastic surgery and include, but are not limited to: tissue engineering, wound healing, craniomaxillofacial/head and neck surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery, nerve, microsurgery, general reconstruction, technology, hand and upper extremity, surgical education, fat grafting, and composite tissue allotransplantation.

With an emphasis on sponsoring pilot research studies and research fellowships for investigators in training, The PSF supports innovation in our field and contributes to the development of future academic leaders.

-Matthew Hanasono, MD, and Andrea Pusic, MD
2017 Clinical Study Section Chair and VP of Research