The Plastic Surgery Foundation
Log In Donate Now

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.

Assessing Burdens to Axonal Regeneration across Nerve Autografts

Principal Investigator
Matthew Wood PhD


Washington University in St.Louis

Funding Mechanism
ASPN/PSF Research Grant

Focus Area
Hand or Upper Extremity, Microsurgery

Peripheral nerve injuries are common and associated with devastating morbidity. Functional recovery following peripheral nerve injury is impacted by changes to both the nerve pathway and end-organ target. Recovery is also affected by the reconstructive techniques required to achieve repair. As direct nerve repair without a graft is rarely possible, many techniques have been used to “bridge the gap” and offer a pathway to facilitate axonal regeneration across the gap. These grafts include autografts and graft alternatives, where autografts yield the best outcomes. Yet, while the autograft is considered the “gold standard” for gap reconstruction, it is associated with far from optimal functional outcomes and is more likely a “bronze standard.” Determining why autografts yield poor results has received little attention. Our preliminary data demonstrate SenSCs accumulate in grafts and directly limit axonal regenerative capacity. We propose evaluating autografts for SenSCs and directly assessing their causal role in reduced axonal regeneration across autografts. Determining the relative impact of SenSCs on nerve autografts will be a crucial step to understanding why nerve autografts yield only adequate clinical outcomes.

Peripheral nerve injury requiring surgical repair is a common procedure in the United States, and the frequency of these repairs has increased with ongoing military operations. Many instances of nerve injury require nerve graft surgical reconstruction to allow regeneration and restore function. In this research project, we determine the impact of a novel type of cell that accumulates in nerve grafts on axonal regeneration across nerve grafts.

Matthew D. Wood, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He completed his graduate studies at Washington University and then completed his post-doctoral fellowship in the labs of Gregory Borschel, MD and Tessa Gordon, PhD in the areas of neural tissue engineering and peripheral nerve injury and reconstruction. Wood’s broad research interest is nerve injury and regeneration, collaborating closely with surgeons for their insights on the clinical problems encountered. This broad interest includes understanding fundamental aspects and limitations in nerve reconstruction, the development of therapeutics to augment surgeons, and generation of diagnostics to identify peripheral nerve injuries.