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.

Blockade of TGF-B1 Signal to Improve Lymphatic Regeneration

Principal Investigator
Tomer Avraham MD


Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Funding Mechanism
Basic Research Grant

Focus Area
General Reconstructive

The purpose of these experiments is to evaluate the effect of scarring secondary to surgery or radiation (XRT) on lymphatic regeneration. Specifically, we will evaluate the role of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-Bl) expression during this process. Our central hypothesis is that inhibition of local TGF-B I action following surgery and XRT will reduce scarring and improve lymphatic regeneration. TGF-B 1 an important growth factor with numerous functions during wound repair. In addition, a number of studies have demonstrated that TGF-B 1 is an important regulator of scarring following wounding both in tissues that have been irradiated, and those that have not. In a surgical mouse tail model of lymphatic regeneration we have previously shown that increased TGF -B 1 expression correlates temporally and spatially with increased scarring and impaired lymphatic repair. Previous studies have also demonstrated that radiation therapy is associated with tissue fibrosis and a significant increase in the risk of lymphedema. The tissue fibrosis secondary to radiation therapy, similar to scarring, is associated with increased TGF -B 1 expression. Based on these findings, we propose that abrogation of local TGF-BI activity may lead to improved lymphatic repair after surgical excision in both non-irradiated and irradiated tissues. These experiments are highly relevant since they may provide a means to decrease the incidence of lymphedema, a devastating condition with no viable cure.

Dr. Avraham graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in History from Tufts University. He then completed his medical training at Tufts University School of Medicine with AOA honors. Following medical school, Dr. Avraham started a General Surgery residency at NYU medical center in New York. At the completion of his second clinical year he joined Dr. Mehrara’s lab at Memorial-Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York. Dr. Avraham is currently starting his 3rd year in Dr. Mehrara’s lab studying lymphatic endothelial biology with a goal of developing novel methods to treat or prevent lymphedema. He is currently the Chief Administrative Research Fellow for the Department of Surgery at MSKCC.