The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

In 2019, The Plastic Surgery Foundation (The PSF) awarded 33 investigator-initiated projects and allocated $891,274 to support the newest, clinically relevant research in plastic surgery.

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.

The effects of FK506 on Schwann cell populations during nerve regeneration

Principal Investigator
Alison Snyder-Warwick MD


Washington University in St.Louis

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Peripheral Nerve, Peripheral Nerve

This project investigates Schwann cell (SC) contributions to nerve recovery, both within the regenerating nerve and at the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) within the end target muscle. In Aim 1, we will first determine SC-specific models for investigative study. Multiple transgenic murine models will be evaluated for effects in specific SC subpopulations, including myelinating SCs and non-myelinating SCs at the NMJ. Once these transgenic models are characterized, FK506, an immunosuppressant drug, will be utilized therapeutically following sciatic nerve injury in two experimental models in Aim 2. The SC-specific transgenic lines will be crossed with FK506 binding protein-12 (FKBP-12) floxed mice to create conditional FKBP-12 deletion in SCs. Sciatic nerves will be repaired primarily or with an acellular nerve allograft. FK506-mediated effects will be evaluated in SC subpopulations to determine the involved signaling pathways and the contributions of each cell type to nerve recovery after injury. The overall goals of this proposal are to: 1) identify appropriate mouse models that provide the ability to target and monitor either discrete or general SC populations within nerve and NMJs through a Cre-recombinase driven promoter and 2) assess the effect of FK506 and its FKBP-12 signaling pathway on different SC populations in vivo. The results of this proposal may have important implications for SC biology and innovative targets for therapeutic development and translation.

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.