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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.

Lipoaspirate: Its Potential to Repair Radiation Damage in a Murine Model

Principal Investigator
Alexes Hazen MD


New York University Medical Center

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment

Focus Area
Technology Based

Ischemic damage to tissue is a common problem for plastic surgeons. Ionizing radiation damage is one of the many etiologies of ischemic injury. Recent clinical studies and case reports have observed dramatic improvement in clinical appearance of ischemic wounds that have been treated with human lipoaspirate. The use of adipose derived substrates for tissue repair and regeneration has been a rapidly evolving field over the past two decades. The concept that adipose tissue contains a host of metabolically active cells within the stromal compartment was first described in 1968, with subsequent studies noting the regenerative and differentiation capacity of these cells. The revolution in stem cell technology has reshaped the scientific landscape identifying the possibility that stem cells can be harvested from within the stromal component of the adipose compartment and used for tissue repair, gene therapy and tissue engineering. Clinical experience continues to grow while the molecular mechanisms involved in this process remain unknown. Our lab has an extensive background developing and using animal wound models to study ischemic and radiation damage. We propose utilizing our well established animal models to examine the potential of lipoaspirate to treat ischemic and irradiated wounds and tissue. While much clinical evidence suggests a beneficial effect of lipoaspirate in the treatment of these problems, the data remains sparse and anecdotal. Once the model has been well established we will examine and elucidate the specific mechanisms and cellular components accounting for the clinical improvement. Our specific aims include altering our established murine model to adapt it to study the effects of human lipoaspirate injections on ischemic and irradiated tissue beds. We will accomplish this through a nude mouse model and will use the well described Coleman technique to harvest lipoaspirate. We will analyze the histological changes in the tissue as well as angiogenic and inflammatory mediators. All experiments will be compared to controls. The potential clinical impact of this project is far reaching. Radiation and ischemic damage are common problems facing the plastic surgeon. The animal model will enable us to study and elucidate the beneficial role of lipoaspirate, which then could translate to an easily accessible treatment that plastic surgeons in the community could employ in their every day practice.

Alexes Hazen graduated from Brown Medical School in 1996 and went on to Residency in the combined General Surgery/Plastic Surgery program at NYU. After completing Residency at NYU she did a one year Microsurgical Fellowship at NYU. In 2001 she began work as an Assistant Professor in Plastic Surgery at NYU and Bellevue Hospital. She is the Director of the NYU Aesthetic Center. In 2004 she became Chief of the Manhattan Veterans Administration in Plastic Surgery performing reconstruction on veterans. She has done research focused on lipoaspirate and developed an animal model to study lipoaspirate as well as an animal model to study radiation damage. Her previous PSEF and National Foundation Grant focused on her work in examining the mechanism by which lipoaspirate alters the environment in which it presents. She has done research on developing 3D animation and surgical simulation to help educate both patients and residents regarding surgical procedures. This grant will focus on the evaluation of surgical simulation and 3D animation to educate surgical residents in specific procedures.