The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2022 cycle requested a total of over $2.9 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 115 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling almost $550,000 to support 19 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.

Evaluating long noncoding RNAs as modulators of incisional scar formation

Principal Investigator
Juan Rendon MD, PhD


The Ohio State University

Funding Mechanism
PSRC/ PSF Research Grant

Focus Area
Wounds / Scar, General Reconstructive

Worldwide, more than 200 million surgical incisions are created each year. Incisional wounds require precise progression through inflammation, formation of new blood vessels, proliferation, and collagen deposition/remodeling to form a durable and aesthetically acceptable scar. Disruption of the normal wound healing process results in poor scar formation (e.g. scar widening), increased wound breakdown, delayed wound healing, and pathologic scar formation (e.g. hypertrophic and keloid). Despite advances in non-surgical scar treatment, such as laser therapy, more than 177,000 scar revisions were performed in 2014, making scar revision the fourth most common reconstructive procedure in the U.S. Little remains known regarding the molecular regulation of incisional wound healing and normal scar formation. Large noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are RNAs ~200 nucleotides in length or greater, which are transcribed from DNA, but not translated into active proteins. They are described in cancer regulation as well as epidermal and adipocyte stromal cell differentiation, processes that parallel several aspects of normal wound healing. Thus, lncRNAs likely control incisional wound healing and scar formation through regulation of key molecules involved in inflammation, formation of new blood vessels, proliferation and collagen deposition/remolding. Our proposed studies will use excised scar tissue and normal skin from breast reconstruction patients to identify lncRNAs expressed in scar tissue. In specific aim 1, we will use transcriptome microarray technology to describe lncRNAs present in scar tissue relative to normal, unwounded skin. This technology is robust and economical. We will further confirm our findings with a second method, qRT-PCR, and link our data with gene expression related to inflammation, formation of new blood vessels, proliferation, and collagen deposition/remodeling. In specific aim 2, we will employ unbiased RNA sequencing to detect rare or new lncRNAs present in scar tissue samples. Collectively, transcriptome microarray technology, RNA sequencing, and qRT-PCR will validate our findings. Our expectation is that lncRNAs described by this proposal will aid in the development of new targets, including gene therapy, to improve incisional wound healing and treat pathologic scars. Overall, this application integrates several concepts and incorporates multiple disciplines relevant to the fields of clinical plastic surgery and regenerative medicine research.

Dr. Juan L. Rendon is an Integrated Plastic Surgery Resident at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, OH. He earned his B.S.N. from Georgetown University in 2006 and returned to his hometown of Los Angeles to work as a registered nurse on the cardiothoracic ICU at the Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles. In 2007, he matriculated into the combined MD/PhD program at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. While at Stritch, he was awarded an F30 NRSA for his graduate research focusing on the effects of alcohol on post burn production of interleukin-23 and its impact on mucosal barrier function. He presented his work at multiple national and international conferences, including the 2012 Shock Society Meeting where he won 2nd place in the New Investigator Competition. During residency, Dr. Rendon’s research has focused on using regenerative modalities to improve wound healing. He recently presented at the 2015 ASPS Meeting in Boston, MA. His current research interests include molecular regulation of wound healing, regenerative medicine, immunology and composite tissue transplantation.