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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.

Harnessing Heterotopic Ossification for Bone Regeneration

Principal Investigator
Anand Kumar MD


University of Pittsburgh

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Cranio / Maxillofacial / Head and Neck, Tissue Engineering

It is estimated that 50-60% of all extremity injuries in the US military are complicated by delayed heterotopic ossification (HO). Although not fatal, the considerable morbidity associated with HO includes pain, inability to fit amputation prosthesis properly, and a grotesque appearance to the extremity that prevents proper psycho/social rehabilitation. The estimated 50,000-battlefield injuries secondary to Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom has increased awareness of this entity beyond orthopedic surgeons who have traditional treated HO. There is evidence that muscle derived progenitor cells (MDC)s have osteogenic potential and are the source of the structurally sound mature endochondrial bone formed in HO. We seek to establish a murine translational HO model to harness MDC mediated osteogenesis. Although the initial goals of my research include the understanding and inhibition of the processes of HO, the information that will be gained in pursuit of these goals should be directly applicable to strategies designed to enhance or induce bone regeneration. If we understand how to stop bone from forming, we may better understand how to initiate bone formation. Our laboratory has established a technique for isolating MDCs from murine muscle. We have also fabricated 3D cell cultures and gathered preliminary data that suggests the osteogenic potential of these MDCs. In this study, we hypothesize that MDCs isolated from murine muscle will display in vitro osteoegenic differentiation in response to osteoinductive factors. We expect cyclical motion and inflammatory mediators (both being intrinsic to the HO process) to further enhance the in vitro osteogenic differentiation of MDCs. Finally, we hypothesize that osteoinduced MDCs will promote in vivo bone growth when implanted into heterotopic locations or into large orthotopic defects in syngeneic animals.

Anand R. Kumar, MD was recruited to Pittsburgh from Bethesda, MD, where he served as Director and Staff Pediatric Plastic Surgeon of the Military Craniofacial Unit at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. He previously acted as Division Chief in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda. Dr. Kumar completed a fellowship in craniofacial surgery/pediatric plastic surgery at the University of California at Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Dr. Kumar also completed a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery. He received additional training in general surgery at the Mayo Clinical Graduate School of Medicine; Rochester, MN. Dr. Kumar obtained his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. His clinical practice focuses on craniofacial surgery including the correction of pediatric and adolescent facial skeletal deformities and airway obstruction using traditional orthognathic surgery and distraction osteogenesis. His basic science research is focused on combat casualty care related to heterotrophic bone formation and harnessing its potential for structural bone regeneration.