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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2021 cycle requested a total of over $3.3 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 106 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling more than $755,000 to support 25 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.

Osteogenic Potential Of Oxysterols In Osseous Tissue Engineering

Principal Investigator
Reza Jarrahy MD


The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles

Funding Mechanism
Research Fellowship

Focus Area
Cranio / Maxillofacial / Head and Neck, General Reconstructive

The relative paucity of autologous bone available for use in the reconstruction of complex osseous defects and the potential morbidity associated with autologous bone graft harvesting has driven the search for an engineered bone graft substitute (BGS) for years. The long-term goal of this project is to generate a clinically useful BGS. In this study, we plan to specifically address that goal by testing the usefulness of an alternative osteoinductive molecule: oxysterol.

Oxysterols are naturally occurring cholesterol oxidation products that have been shown to induce the expression of markers of osteogenic differentiation. We have previously shown that treatment of multi-lineage progenitor cells (MLPC) cells with oxysterols results induces osteogenic markers and mineralization. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that govern the osteogenic activity of oxysterols. The specific aims of this project are to further investigate these mechanisms and to test the osteogenic activity of oxysterols in vivo.

In particular, we plan to (1) study the effects of oxysterols on osteogenesis in human MLPCs, (2) identify signal transduction pathways utilized by oxysterols in their stimulation of osteogenesis, and (3) test the efficacy of oxysterols in healing critical-sized rabbit cranial defects. We will culture MLPCs and expose them to various oxysterol isomers and look at the expression of markers of osteogenesis and at mineralization. We will also study the effect of oxysterols on the MAP Kinase, Hedgehog, and Wnt signaling pathways. Finally, we will use an oxysterol-based BGS construct to heal a critical-sized rabbit cranial defect.

This work may help provide a clinically available product to be used in the reconstruction of bone defects associated with congenital anomalies, craniofacial or extremity trauma, or tumor extirpation, which would be of great use to plastic surgeons who manage these types of problems.

Reza Jarrahy, MD, FACS, FAAP is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has served on the full-time faculty of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA since 2007. He specializes in craniofacial reconstructive surgery in children and adults, pediatric plastic surgery, and in cosmetic and surgery of the face and body. He is Co-Director of the UCLA Craniofacial Clinic, Co-Director of the UCLA Face Transplant Program, and Assistant Chief of Plastic Surgery at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Jarrahy earned his B.S. in Biology from Stanford University (1992) and his M.D. from SUNY Stony Brook (1996). He completed his plastic surgery residency and craniofacial surgery fellowship at UCLA. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Jarrahy also directs a productive research laboratory which focus on tissue engineering research and clinical research relevant to craniofacial surgery and other fields in plastic surgery. He is the recipient of numerous research awards and grants and the author of many scientific publications, abstracts, and book chapters. He serves on the Board of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, contributing to national educational programs in craniofacial surgery. Dr. Jarrahy also regularly travels overseas to provide free reconstructive surgery to children in developing nations.