The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

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.

Induction of Immunological Tolerance to Vascularized Skin

Principal Investigator
Elaine Horibe MD


University of Pittsburgh

Funding Mechanism
Basic Research Grant

Focus Area
Technology Based

Composite tissue allografts (CTA) have emerged as an option for hand and even face reconstruction following major traumas, tumor ablation or congenital malformations. As of now, CTA survival requires continued immunosuppression, which brings along increased susceptibility to infections, cytotoxicity, and carcinogenesis. Furthermore, clinical and experimental evidences show that cutaneous components, a significant portion of most CTAs, are more prone to be rejected. By manipulating the immune system, less or no immunosuppressant drugs would be required to prolong allograft survival and allogeneic skin would also be more tolerated by recipients, leading to a considerable improvement in quality of life of these patients. The work in our laboratory is concentrated on the induction of immunological tolerance to CTAs using rodent model of hind-limb or vascularized skin. We have shown significant prolongation in hind-limb allograft survival using donor-pulsed bone marrow (BM)-derived dendritic cells (DCs) and a short course of anti-lymphocyte serum (ALS)/cyclosporine (CsA). Our preliminary data demonstrate that stromal stem cells (SSC) regulate allogeneic T cell responses and inhibit stimulatory function of heist DCs in vitro. Administration of host SSC delays onset of graft versus host disease (GVHD), enhances engraftment of allogeneic rat BM cells, and Induces survival of vascularized skin allograft. Based on these studies, we have hypothesized that prolonged survival of allogeneic skin flaps in rats can be achieved by utilizing a conjoint approach of different tolerogeneic techniques during the perioperative period.