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.

Acellular Musculofascial Flap Matrix for Muscle Engineering

Principal Investigator
Qixu Zhang MD, PhD


University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Tissue Engineering

Significant soft tissue loss due to severe traumatic events such as tumor resection often requires surgical reconstruction by means of autologous grafts such as muscle flaps. However, the restricted availability of qualitative autologous muscle flaps as well as the donor site morbidity significantly limits this approach. Engineered muscle flap grafts may offer a clinically relevant alternative to the autologous muscle flap. We propose to develop decellularized skeletal musclofascial flaps (DMFs) with a dominant vascular pedicle and then repopulate them with human adipose-derived stem cells (hASCs) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) for pre-vascularization to improve the vascularization and survival of engineered muscle constructs after transplantation in vivo. The proposed work will be the first investigation that uses engineered skeletal musclofascial flap graft to replace autologous muscle flap. This research will contribute to biomedical science and will tremendously impact clinical musculofascial tissue reconstruction and regenerative medicine.

Qixu Zhang, MD, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is an active member of PSRC, WHS, SFB, TERMIS and SPRBM. Dr. Zhang received his Medical Doctorate degree from Nanjing Medical University in China. He completed orthopedic surgery and microsurgery residency at an affiliate hospital of BinZhou Medical College. After that, Dr. Zhang continued his education at Peking Union Medical College, where he received PhD degree in Surgery. Dr. Zhang was formally trained in plastic surgery at the Plastic Surgery Hospital of Peking Union Medical College, the top one plastic surgery institution in China. Dr. Zhang then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship in Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He continued his postdoctoral training in Plastic Surgery at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. After completing his fellowship, Dr. Zhang joined the research faculty in Plastic Surgery at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Zhang has published over 40 scholarly articles, and is the editor and/or author of five books. He has presented his research over forty times at the international and national conferences. His research focuses on the biomaterials, tissue engineering, and wound healing, inflammatory fibrosis. In his free time, Dr. Zhang enjoys playing tennis and practicing Chinese Calligraphy.