The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant Applicants for 2020 requested more than $4.1 million. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic and Translational Research and Clinical Research Evaluated 111 applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded Research Grants totaling more than $860,000 to support 24 plastic surgery research proposals.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/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.

Tissue Derived Stem Cells and Radiation Injury

Principal Investigator
Babak Mehrara MD


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant

Focus Area
Wounds / Scar, General Reconstructive

Tissue injury resulting from radiation therapy is a significant problem. We have previously shown that radiation causes dysfunction of tissue stem cells by preventing their self-renewal and differentiation into adult cell types. This response is dependent on p21, a cell cycle regulator. In the proposed studies we aim to evaluate the potential of inhibiting p21 on preventing radiation induced stem cell injury. Furthermore, we aim to optimize timing and methods of stem cell delivery as a means of treating established radiation injury of local tissue stem cells. Optimization of stem cell incorporation has significant clinical implications as these techniques may increase the effectiveness of adult stem cell delivery, such as those derived from fat, for tissue regeneration. In addition, the identification of the mechanisms responsible for stem cell homing has broad implications on other clinically relevant topics for plastic surgeons including tissue engineering and wound healing. The expected outcome of this study is that we will identify and prevent the effects of radiation therapy on resident tissue stem cells. In addition, we expect to optimize engraftment of stem cells in order to treat radiation damaged tissues.

Dr. Mehrara is a graduate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He completed his Plastic Surgery Residency at New York University Medical Center followed by microsurgical fellowship at UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Mehrara’s laboratory research is focused on the etiology of lymphedema and deleterious effects of radiation therapy. These fields are intimately related since radiation therapy is a significant risk factor for lymphedema. His recent research has demonstrated that the pathological findings associated with radiation therapy are related in large part to the depletion and dysfunction of resident tissue stem cells and that targeted protection of these cells can decrease tissue injury.