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.
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.
Transgenic Adipose Stem Cell-Mediated VEGF Delivery
R. Michael Johnson MD
Wright State University
Pilot Research Grant
Local and targeted delivery of drugs and growth factors has recently been gaining clinical significance. The ability to affect specific target tissues while minimizing systemic delivery has significant implications for improving the therapeutic index and limiting overall side-effect profiles of medications. Targeted transgenic modification of autologous tissues could afford localized ongoing delivery of therapeutic agents/growth factors. The inclusion of environment-sensitive promoter sequences could provide a built-in regulator allowing the cell to sample the local environment and respond accordingly by expressing the gene product when indicated (i.e., expressing the treatment molecules in response to local triggers – in this case hypoxia) and laying dormant when local conditions are satisfactory (i.e., a lack of local stimulus – treatment goal of normal tissue perfusion). This could serve to prevent overexpression of the transgene product and potential sequelae of overactive healing responses such as local tumors.
The adipose-derived stem cell (ASC) represents an ideal cellular vehicle. It is abundant, easily harvested with low donor-site morbidity, can tolerate manipulation, and survives autotransplantation even in relatively ischemic recipient sites. Moreover, ex vivo ASC genetic modification limits potential systemic effects of transduction and can facilitate a localized depot of therapeutic cells that can be removed in case of adverse host reactions.
We propose a potential regenerative solution to ischemia-related chronic refractory wounds (as seen with diabetes and radiotherapy) through the application of ASCs transduced with a recombinant non-pathologic adeno-associated viral vector for highly localized and targeted paracrine expression of VEGF. Based on our pilot studies, we have selected an ASC transduction model using recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype-5 encoded with the VEGF isoform-165 gene, and propose that this model has the potential to optimize safety and be potentially much more efficacious than other vector options currently described.