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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2021 cycle requested a total of over $3.3 million dollars. The PSF Study Section subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated 106 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling more than $755,000 to support 25 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.

Antioxidant Carbon Nanoparticles for T cell modulation in vascularized composite

Principal Investigator
David Mathes MD


University of Colorado Denver, AMC and DC

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Composite Tissue Allotransplantation, Hand or Upper Extremity

Transplant immunosuppression requires a number of medications in order to prolong survival of the transplanted tissue. These immunosuppressive medications expose patients to opportunistic infections, side effects, and carcinogenic potential.(1) Current vascularized composite allograft immunosuppression regimens include IL-2 receptor antagonists, antithymocyte globulins, anti-CD52 antibodies, and tacrolimus maintenance therapy. These medications have effects T-lymphocytes (T-cells) for immunomodulation, as cell-mediated immunity has been found to be the cause of transplant rejection.(2, 3) Thus far, immunosuppressive drugs and treatments have been shown to decrease acute rejection in solid organ transplant, however chronic reject remains a challenge.(1) Specifically, Tacrolimus (FK506) is a common maintenance therapy drug used in transplant medicine, but a recent study of composite facial allografts in nonhuman primates showed continued use of the drug lead to a high frequency of donor-derived posttransplant lymphoproliferative disorder.(4) This is only one example of malignancies related to long term immunosuppressive use. This proposal presents an alternative, nontoxic way to modulate T cells with decreased immunosuppressant medications with the use of antioxidant carbon nanoparticles in order to decrease chronic rejection in VCA. Early studies of transplant immunology described that failure of the host's immunological response can induce tolerance to a foreign tissue. (5) This has become the bases of immunosuppressant treatment after transplantation, understanding the specifics of VCA rejection can provide specific targets for novel or alternative transplant treatments. VCAs are composed of a number of different tissue types, skin, bone, lymph, vascular, muscle and tendon. Of these, skin has proved to be the most challenging tissue to prevent rejection. (1, 6) The diverse population of T cells present in the skin lead to its susceptibility to rejection. In skin allografts recipient CD4 and CD8 T cells have been found to destroy micro vessel endothelial cells after transplant. Conversely, donor T cells are responsible for face allograft rejection and are associated with vascular, pilosebaceous, and epidermal sites of rejection. (1) These findings enforce the concept of targeting T cells to decrease rejection and many studies have been completed in order to accomplish T cells suppression. Autoimmune disease parallels transplant immunology as both are ch

Dr. Mathes is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, and the Chief of Plastic Surgery Service at the Veteran’s Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System. He is also an Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in the Department of Transplantation Biology, where he conducts research on composite tissue transplantation. Dr. Mathes is certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and is a member of several national professional societies. He received his medical education from Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, LA and completed his general surgery residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill-Cornell Medical Center, followed by specialized training in plastic surgery at University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. He has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Transplantation, and Microsurgery. His clinical interests include plastic and reconstructive surgery, reconstructive microsurgery, and cosmetic surgery. His primary research interests include the field of composite tissue transplantation and methods of inducing tolerance to foreign tissues. He has received several grants from such sponsors as the American Association of Plastic Surgery, American Society of Transplant Surgeons, Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation, and the American Society of Hand Surgery Research, and is currently pursuing Institutional Review Board approval for clinical research in face and hand transplantation.