The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2021 cycle requested a total of over $3.3 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 106 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling more than $755,000 to support 25 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.

Terminal Schwann cell contributions to muscle reinnervation after nerve injury

Principal Investigator
Alison Snyder-Warwick MD


Washington University in St.Louis

Funding Mechanism
ASPN/PSF Research Grant

Focus Area
Peripheral Nerve

Peripheral nerve injuries are devastating and can result in functional loss, deformity, and paralysis. Clinical outcome is related to the period of target muscle denervation, with poor functional results after prolonged denervation. After a period of 12-18 months of denervation, integration between nerve and muscle is no longer possible. Strategies to protect the muscle target during the denervation period would improve outcomes after motor nerve injury and may allow integration between nerve and muscle beyond the 18 month window following nerve injury.

Terminal Schwann cells (tSCs) are the glial cells located at the neuromuscular junction, or at the muscle target. These cells have been relatively understudied compared to other Schwann cells. In this proposal we will utilize genetic and morphologic techniques in multiple in vivo models to identify molecular signaling of tSCs following motor nerve injury, and we will further determine the contributions of these cells to NMJ reinnervation. The data generated from this proposal will fuel an innovative area of tSC investigation that may provide novel information for translational application to peripheral motor nerve injuries.

Dr. Alison Snyder-Warwick is an Assistant Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, and the director of the Facial Nerve Institute at Washington University in St. Louis. She specializes in management of facial paralysis in children and adults, obstetrical brachial plexus reconstruction and pediatric plastic surgery. Her clinical interests inspire innovative basic science research involving terminal Schwann cells, unique cells present at the nerve-muscle interface, which may have an important role in recovery after nerve injury. Dr. Snyder-Warwick completed her medical school and general surgery residency training at Washington University in St. Louis. She completed a research fellowship in Developmental Biology in the laboratory of Dr. David Ornitz before finishing her plastic surgery residency training at Washington University. Dr. Snyder-Warwick then traveled to Toronto, Canada for specialized training in pediatric plastic surgery and microsurgery at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Snyder-Warwick specializes in pediatric plastic surgery and microsurgery. Her research interests focus on the significance of terminal Schwann cells in differing environments. She is Secretary of the Sir Charles Bell Society, an international, multidisciplinary group dedicated to the advancement of treatment for facial nerve disorders. Dr. Snyder-Warwick is committed to studying novel techniques of optimizing care for people affected by peripheral nerve injuries.