The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2023 cycle requested a total of nearly $4 million dollars. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated nearly 140 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling over $1 million dollars to support nearly 30 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.

Combination Therapy for Limb Allograft Acceptance and Nerve Regeneration

Principal Investigator
Thomas Tung MD


Washington University

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment

Focus Area
Composite Tissue Allotransplantation

The primary objectives of this proposal are to determine the compatibility of FK506 with the blockade of costimulatory pathways in the composite tissue transplantation model with emphasis on allograft nerve regeneration as well as survival, and to define strategies that allow the utilization of the neuro-enhancing properties of FK506. Hand transplantation has been performed since 1998 but remains very controversial and no further procedures have been performed since 2003. The overall recovery of hand allograft function has been only fair and has not met expectations. Multiple and late episodes of rejection in almost all of the recipients are also concerning for a high risk of chronic rejection. Despite these issues and the risks of lifelong nonspecific immunosuppression, two partial face transplants have been performed since November of 2005 and are felt by most to be premature because the benefits do not clearly outweigh the long-term risks. Restoration of function is critical to the success of composite tissue transplantation and to justify non-vital transplantation. The use of FK506 remains essential to the composite tissue allograft because it enhances the rate of nerve regeneration and therefore the recovery of allograft muscle function. However, the immunosuppressive properties of calcineurin inhibitors have been shown to be both additive and abrogative depending on the context in which the therapies are used. We propose that selected strategies of costimulation blockade can be used in conjunction with FK506 to minimize the immunologic risks of transplantation and optimize functional outcome. The specific aims of this proposal are: 1) To determine the compatibility of FK506 and costimulation blockade when used as maintenance immunosuppression; and 2) To characterize the immunological mechanisms involved in the interactions between FK506 and selective strategies of costimulation blockade. We remain unique in the ability to perform limb and composite tissue transplantation in the murine model. As such, we are able to investigate the use of costimulation-blocking agents in limb and composite tissue transplantation, and to utilize transgenic mice that express fluorescent chromophores on nerve tissue to study nerve regeneration in the composite tissue allograft in novel ways.