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.

Prognostic value of neutrophil extracellular traps in human burn wounds

Principal Investigator
Jeremy Goverman MD


Massachusetts General Hospital

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Wounds / Scar, Other

Neutrophils are the immune system's first line of defense against infection and are rapidly recruited to wounds upon injury. Neutrophils kill pathogens by two well known mechanisms: engulfment of microbes and secretion of antimicrobial chemicals. More recently, a third mechanism was discovered – formation of a network of extracellular fibers capable of binding to, and destroying, the pathogen. These are known as neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). In addition to bacterial and fungal infections, stimulation of NET formation has been found to occur in various autoimmune diseases, thombotic disorders, sepsis, and other inflammatory states. It has also been shown that NET formation inhibits wound healing in a mouse model; and therefore it is likely that NETs play an important, yet unstudied, role in burn-induced inflammation, burn wound healing, and skin graft healing. We hypothesize that elevated levels of NET-related biomarkers will allow for early prediction of delayed wound healing or skin graft loss. In the long term, chemicals that break down NETs may represent a novel treatment strategy to improve burn wound healing, skin graft take, and potentially burn-induced systemic inflammation.

The specific aim of this study represents a preliminary analysis into the role of NETs in burn wounds. We propose to determine the levels of NET-related biomarkers found in human burn tissue and burn wounds. Excess human tissue, which is typically discarded, will be used to determine the level of NET-related biomarkers. We will evaluate tissue from partial and full thickness burn wounds at various time points, as well as from wounds that have been temporarily covered with cadaveric skin (allograft). The outcomes of wound healing and graft take will be followed, documented, and correlated to NET-related biomarker levels.

After obtaining my Medical Degree, I spent 9 years obtaining specializations that would allow me to provide the highest quality burn care to my patients - from the moment of injury, to discharge from the hospital, and then re-entry into the community. After a five year residency in General Surgery, I received additional training in burn surgery, surgical critical care, and plastic surgery. This has afforded me the unique privilege of treating patients with burns throughout their recovery. As part of the multidisciplinary team of burn care providers at the Sumner Redstone Burn Center and the Fraser Outpatient Burn Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, we treat the most complex burn injuries. In addition to my clinical responsibilities, I am the director of the Acute and Reconstructive Burn Fellowship; I have authored numerous burn-related clinical research protocols, journal publications, and book chapters; and I am the site principle investigator for two multicenter, randomized, controlled trials.