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.

Regulatory T cells Therapy in Vascularized Composite Transplants

Principal Investigator
Byoung Chol Oh


Johns Hopkins University

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Composite Tissue Allotransplantation

Reconstructive transplantation represents a valid therapeutic option after devastating tissue loss. However, long-term multi-drug immunosuppressive therapy is haltering wider applicability of vascularized composite tissue allotransplantation (VCA) due to various side effects. Regulatory T cells plays a critical role in transplant tolerance and their therapeutic application has been tested in solid transplantation setting. In long-term objective in this proposal, Minimization or even avoidance of maintenance immunosuppression using non-cytoreductive regimens and regulatory T cells would increase successful VCA transplantation. So we will aim to develop a treatment regimen without cytoreductive conditioning in a murine model of VCA and then on top of finding treatment will introduce regulatory T cells to prolong further survival. We will test different combination using T cell depletion, costimulation blockade and short-course of Rapamycin in fully mismatched murine orthotopic hind limb transplantation. Also we will expand regulatory T cells from naïve T cells. After functional test, we will test their ability to prolong VCA survival. Behind we hypothesize that while central mechanisms of alloantigen specific tolerance such as clonal selection and deletion phenomena require thymic engraftment, regulatory T cells predominantly contribute to immune homeostasis in the initial phase of alloantigen recognition following transplantation. Thus a regulatory T cell therapy may prevent allograft rejection and allow for the establishment of central tolerance towards alloantigen after VCA. Using our unique murine VCA model, we will test level of mixed chimerism generated by vascularized donor bone components and also define the contribution of central and peripheral tolerance mechanism.
Tregs therapy would be an important step toward the development of clinically applicable tolerance protocols in VCA. Most importantly, these strategies are already adopted in the clinic. Additionally, our laboratory has obtained substantial experience with translational large animal models allowing us to readily translate results obtained from small animal models into clinically applicable model systems.

Dr. Byoung Chol Oh has a broad background in immunology, with specific training and expertise in key research areas for microsurgeries. As investigator on several university- and NIH-funded grants, he laid the groundwork for the proposed research relevant to immune rejection. The results of this study will significantly contribute to the advancement of our understanding of the specific mechanism of vascularized composite tissue allograft (VCA) rejection. Furthermore, this study will contribute to our understanding of differences in immunogenicity between solid organ transplantation and VCA.