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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 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.

Obesity-induced Hypoxia and Adipokines in Breast Cancer

Principal Investigator
Naveen Kumar MD


Duke University Medical Center

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area

According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer annually in the United States, and more than 39,000 will die from the disease. Breast cancers can either be estrogen-positive (ER+) or estrogen-negative (ER-) depending on their responsiveness to estrogen. Approximately 2/3 of breast cancers are positive (ER+) on immunohistochemical staining and 1/3 are not (ER-). An important risk factor for breast cancer is obesity. Obesity has become an increasingly larger public health problem over the past 30 years. Currently, approximately, 35% of adults in the United States are categorized as being obese. This link between obesity and breast cancer is thought to be attributed to estrogen production by adipose tissue leading to growth of estrogen positive (ER+) breast cancers. The association between obesity and ER (-) cancers is, unfortunately, less tangible. This relationship may be partially due to the biologic effects of inflammatory cytokines produced by adipose tissue known as adipokines, including leptin, adiponectin and IL6. These adipokines are involved with regulating cell proliferation and death. If their relative amounts in the body are altered, this could contribute to the development of malignancies. Currently, the mechanism and stimulus to which adipose tissue produce these adipokines is unclear. One theory is that obesity may lead to local tissue hypoxia, which could, in turn, lead to a change in the amount of adipokines produced. We hypothesize that alterations in adipokine production in obese individuals with a history of breast cancer is related to subcutaneous tissue hypoxia.

Naveen Kumar, MD is a resident in the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, NC. He received his medical degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA after having completed a degree in chemistry and biology from Cornell University. Dr. Kumar completed his general surgery residency at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. He began his training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Duke University Medical Center in July, 2012 and is expected to graduate in June, 2015. In the middle of his general surgery training, Dr. Kumar spent one year working with Dr. Nolan Karp and Dr. Mihye Choi at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (NYU Medical Center) focusing on innovative uses of three-dimensional technology in cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery. His current project involves investigating the role of tissue hypoxia and altered levels of cytokines in the development of estrogen-negative breast cancers.