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.

Stem Cell Therapy for Tolerance Induction in Composite Tissue Allografts

Principal Investigator
Maria Siemionow MD, PhD


The Cleveland Clinic

Funding Mechanism
National Endowment

Focus Area
Technology Based

Transplantation of composite tissue allografts (CTA) such as human hand, larynx, face, muscles, tendons nerves would have unlimited reconstructive applicability in plastic surgery if life-long immunosuppression would not be required for allograft survival. Different tolerance inducing strategies are tested in experimental models to bring CTA closer to clinical reality. Stem cell-based therapies included hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and adoptive immunotherapy constitutes promising strategies for tolerance induction in CTA and solid organ transplants. We have developed a model of tolerance induction in limb allograft transplants across major histocompatibility (MHC) barrier using 7-day protocol of combined anti-ab T-cell receptor (TCR) monoclonal antibody and CsA therapy (ab-TCRlCsA). Remarkably stable hematopoietic chimerism and a long-term tolerance (over 750 days) were achieved, suggesting that the presence of certain tissue compartments (stromal cells) may facilitate efficient engraftment of the HSC. We hypothesize that augmentation of the HSCT with stromal cells of donor origin is essential for improved engraftment and function of the HSCT. The intact bone marrow (BM) compartment of the vascularized graft (VG) model will be compared with non-vascularized bone marrow grafts (NVG) augmented with donor bone marrow stromal cell (BMSC) co-transplantation for chimerism induction. Once stable chimerism is induced, chimeric cells can be isolated, purified and propagated for adoptive transfer that will serve as a new therapeutic modality for allograft transplant recipients without the need for chronic immunosuppression. This innovative therapy may be directly applied to reconstructive procedures in Plastic Surgery, where shortage of autologous tissues will justify composite allografts transplantation.