The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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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.

Post-transplant Malignancy in Organ Transplant Patients

Principal Investigator
Nijaguna Prasad PhD


Johns Hopkins University

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area

Post-transplant malignancy has become a major consequence of long-term survival in organ transplant patients. Most common tumors occurring in transplanted patients are non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC) of which, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is most common with an average 200 fold increase in incidence in transplant patients as compared to non- transplanted patients. NMSC occurring in transplant patients are highly aggressive accounting for significant mortality. Based on observed increased incidence of cancer and its aggressive nature compared to non-transplanted population, it is clear that immunosuppression has an important role in development of cSCC. Recent studies show the incidence of cancer is directly associated with 3 variables: type, dose, and duration of immunosuppressive therapy following organ transplantation. The induction of an immunocompromised state in the host was the traditional rationale presumed with high incidence of cancer in this population. However, the mechanism underlying in the pathogenesis of cSCC in organ transplant patients in the context of immunosuppressive therapy remain unclear. We will investigate the molecular changes associated with cSCC in non-transplanted populations and transplant recipients. The long term goals of this proposal 1) to identify molecular candidates involved in signaling pathways associated with development of cSCC 2) to further understand molecular mechanism underlying pathogenesis of cSCC in transplant patients. The proposed study will give insight into specific genetic information that may have been modified or altered under influence of immunosuppressive treatments and help to understand molecular mechanism underlying in pathogenesis of cSCC in transplant populations. Our ability to risk stratify patients based on their need for immunosuppression and their individualized risk will be enhanced improving clinical and surgical management of over 2 million new diagnosis of NMSC annually in the U.S.

Nijaguna Prasad, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Mysore, India and further received postdoctoral training in the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Prasad led multiple research programs in research areas including protein chemistry, molecular biology and oncology. He currently focuses his research on post-transplant malignancies, particularly non-melanoma skin cancer in solid organ transplant patients.