The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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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.

Overcoming Skin Immunogenicity in Transplantation Tolerance

Principal Investigator
Mario Solari MD


University of Pittsburgh

Funding Mechanism
Basic Research Grant

Focus Area
Composite Tissue Allotransplantation

The overall goal of this research project is to perform composite tissue allotransplantation without the use of long-term systemic immunosuppression through induction of tolerance. Special attention will be given to examining the immunogenicity of skin. The focus of our laboratory has been to explore the interactions between the immune system and allogeneic musculoskeletal tissues (skin, muscle, bone, nerve, etc.). Induction of donor-specific tolerance would permit significant advances in reconstructive surgery and bum treatment, where autologous sources of tissue are inadequate or absent. Dendritic cells (DCs) are highly specialized, bone marrow-derived antigen presenting cells (APCs) that induce and regulate immune responses. DCs can be manipulated, either in vivo or in vitro to promote antigen specific tolerance. We hypothesize that pulsing "tolerogeneic" DCs with donor skin antigen in addition to donor major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alloantigens will promote long-term survival of skin as well as the other components of a CTA.

Dr. Mario G. Solari is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery. He is board certified in Plastic Surgery and performs reconstructive surgery including head and neck, chest, abdominal wall, and extremities following trauma or cancer surgery. He specializes in microvascular reconstructive surgery of the head and neck and reconstruction after craniofacial trauma. <br /> Dr. Solari performed his undergraduate studies at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and earned his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston. He completed his plastic surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh, including a two-year extramural NIH fellowship (NRSA) studying the immunology of vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation. Following residency, he completed a reconstructive microsurgery fellowship at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. <br /> Dr. Solari is the Director of the Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation and Microsurgery Research Laboratory and Member Faculty of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative medicine. His laboratory has won multiple awards and has been funded by major grants from the Department of Defense. He has received the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Basic Science Research Fellowship as well as the American Association of Plastic Surgeons/Plastic Surgery Foundation Academic Scholarship Award. His current research goals focus on engineering vascularized scaffolds for complex wound reconstruction.