The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant Applicants for 2020 requested more than $4.1 million. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic and Translational Research and Clinical Research Evaluated 111 applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded Research Grants totaling more than $860,000 to support 24 plastic surgery research proposals.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons/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.

Cellular and Mechanical Mechanisms Regulating Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis

Principal Investigator
Ruth Jones


Stanford University School of Medicine

Funding Mechanism
Translational Research Grant

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

Craniofacial skeletal deficiencies involving the mandible, midface, and cranial vault result in a wide range of disabilities including severe airway compromise, malocclusion, inadequate corneal protection, and neurological impairment. Secondary to trauma, tumor resection, or developmental anomalies, these deformities represent a significant reconstructive challenge and account for over $1 billion in annual health care expenditures. While surgical techniques integrating conventional osteotomies with autogenous bone and/or synthetic graft materials can be successful, limitations in donor site morbidity, biocompatibility, and osteoconductivity persist. As an alternative approach, distraction osteogenesis (DO) offers the ability to promote endogenous bone formation across a mechanically controlled environment, providing anatomical and functional replacement of deficient tissue. The application of DO to the craniofacial skeleton has revolutionized the treatment of many congenital and acquired defects. For many patients with mandibular deficiency associated with Pierre-Robin sequence, Treacher Collins syndrome, and craniofacial microsomia, distraction osteogenesis has become the treatment of choice. We have developed a novel model of mouse mandibular distraction which allows for lineage tracing of cellular contribution to the regenerate and genetic dissection of biomechanical force transduction regulating cell differentiation during guided bone formation. Findings from this proposal will deepen our knowledge of how progenitor cells localize to the regenerate and enhance our understanding of craniofacial distraction. The identification of the cellular source within the DO regenerate, the timeline for progenitor cell response, and determination of how these cells transduce physical stimuli to enact a regenerative response may all facilitate development of improved distraction protocols. Findings from this proposal may provide new and effective strategies for reconstruction of the craniofacial skeleton.

Dr. Ruth Ellen Jones is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Michael T. Longaker at Stanford University. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and earned her undergraduate degree in Honors Spanish at the University of Texas at Austin. She received her M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center at Dallas, where she went on to match as a General Surgery resident. She has a broad research background in parasitology, public health, and clinical outcomes in pediatric surgery, and has won several funding awards for these endeavors. She joined the Longaker Lab after completing three years of residency in order to pursue basic science research training. She has strong interest in tissue regeneration, stem cell biology and development, with a focus on the interplay between mechanical force and stem cell behavior. Her goal is to develop novel solutions to congenital malformations and pediatric injury states by harnessing the cellular and genetic processes that govern regenerative paradigms.