The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 plastic surgery research proposals.

ASPS/PSF leadership is committed to continuing to provide high levels of investigator-initiated research support to ensure that plastic surgeons have the needed research resources to be pioneers and innovators in advancing the practice of medicine.

Research Abstracts

Search The PSF database to have easy access to full-text grant abstracts from past PSF-funded research projects 2003 to present. All abstracts are the work of the Principal Investigators and were retrieved from their PSF grant applications. Several different filters may be applied to locate abstracts specific to a particular focus area or PSF funding mechanism.

EGR-1: expression in a rabbit flexor tendon scar model

Principal Investigator
Brian Derby MD


Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Hand or Upper Extremity, Wounds / Scar

Despite extensive progress in scar research, hand surgeons still rely primarily on early active motion hand therapy protocols to combat morbidity of reduced function after flexor tendon repair. To date, studies have not generated a clinically available product, applied intraoperatively at the time of flexor tendon repair, to ensure reduction in peritendinous adhesions and smooth tendon glide. Various growth factors have been implicated in the scar process. Research focused on enhancing or inhibiting single factors has demonstrated that the central mechanism for scar control is unknown. A universal regulator, through which all fibrotic pathways must pass to elicit scar formation following tendon injury, and repair, has not been discovered. Early growth response factor-1 (EGR-1), a transcription factor associated with synthesis of a variety of key profibrotic growth factors and expression of extracellular matrix genes, holds promise as that primary mechanism of control. The purpose of this study is to develop a scar model, useful for quantification of the tendon scar process, and to identify EGR-1 in the healing tendon wound bed. To our knowledge, no study has addressed EGR-1's presence or absence at flexor tendon repair sites. By application of sodium morrhuate, a sclerosing agent, to an established rabbit flexor tendon repair model, a novel model of tendon scar formation is hypothesized to develop. Sodium morrhuate infiltration into rabbit tendons has been previously shown to increase tendon diameter and cellularity. Application of EGR-1 antibody to tendon harvested at various time points along the inflammatory and early proliferative phases of healing will, in theory, identify this factor in the wound matrix. Future research focused on modulation of EGR-1 expression could lead to novel treatments for preventing adhesion formation following flexor tendon repair. Applicability of these potential treatments spans all medical disciplines interested in scar manipulation.

Graduated, with a Bachelor of Science, from Stetson University in Deland, FL in 2003. Completed medical school education at the University of South Florida College of Medicine in Tampa, FL. Training began in 2007 in the Integrated Plastic Surgery Program of Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, IL. Member of Arnold P. Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society in Medicine. Research interests currently include the molecular biology of tendon healing and adhesion scar modulation, and lower extremity reconstruction outcomes.