The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Grants We Funded

Grant applicants for the 2023 cycle requested a total of nearly $4 million dollars. The PSF Study Section Subcommittees of Basic & Translational Research and Clinical Research evaluated nearly 140 grant applications on the following topics:

The PSF awarded research grants totaling over $1 million dollars to support nearly 30 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.

T Cell Clonality and Lymphedema

Principal Investigator
Adana Campbell MD


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Funding Mechanism
Pilot Research Grant

Focus Area
Other, Hand or Upper Extremity


Impact Summary: Lymphedema is a common complication of cancer treatment and constitutes a significant clinical and economic burden for millions of patients. We aim to utilize immunosequencing techniques to unveil the T cell repertoire activated following lymphatic injury. Successful sequencing of the T cell population will lead to the discovery of putative antigens that play a role in disease development.

Project Summary: Lymphedema is a significant clinical problem for which there is no cure. Despite recent advances in the study of lymphedema pathophysiology, treatment options are limited by a lack of clear understanding of the mechanisms mediating T cell activation following lymphatic injury. We seek to uncover the pathogenic immune responses in lymphedema by sequencing the T cell repertoire, subsequently, enabling the identification of specific T cell-antigen interactions that promote lymphatic dysfunction. We have previously demonstrated that CD4+ T cells are necessary for the pathological changes observed in lymphedema, such as fibrosis, reduced lymphatic pumping, and impaired lymphangiogenesis. We further observed that T cell-APC interactions play a critical role in initiating these inflammatory responses. Building upon this work, this current proposal is based on the central hypothesis that T cell immune responses in lymphedema are oligoclonal in nature and that T cell clones expanding in lymphedematous tissue are generated in response to specific antigens. We have two primary aims: Aim 1 will focus on identifying the clonality of the T cell repertoire in lymphedematous tissue using T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing, while Aim 2 seeks to determine the specific antigens driving the clonal expansion of these T cell populations. Both aims seek to identify a common antigen driving the expansion of pathogenic T cell clones in lymphedema. The goal of this proposal is to identify a common clonal architecture between patients with lymphedema, allowing for early detection of at risk-patients. This discovery could pave the way for the development of novel therapies that target clones early in disease to ultimately prevent disease progression.

Dr. Adana- Christine Campbell is a research scholar in the laboratory of Dr. Babak J. Mehrara at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY. With Dr. Mehrara’s guidance, she will investigate the immunologic mechanisms implicated in the development of lymphedema, with the goal of discovering target therapies that prevent disease progression. Dr. Campbell was raised in Brooklyn, New York and later migrated to North Carolina where she completed her undergraduate studies in 2014 in Cellular and Molecular Biology at Appalachian State University. She obtained her medical degree in 2019 from St. Georges University School of Medicine in Grenada, W.I. Prior to this current research position, Dr. Campbell completed two years of general surgery residency at Metropolitan Hospital in New York. She is passionate about fostering inclusion and diversity in the field of plastic surgery and has a long-term career goal of becoming an academic reconstructive surgeon.