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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.

Head Shape Screening Tool for Early Referral and Diagnosis of Craniosynostosis

Principal Investigator
Daniel Cho MD, PhD


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Funding Mechanism
Combined Pilot Research Grants

Focus Area
Cranio / Maxillofacial / Head and Neck, Technology Based


Project Summary: The goal of our project is to develop a set of soft tissue measurements that allow for risk stratification of head shape differences to identify patients with high risk of craniosynostosis and create a smartphone application that allow for automated calculation of these measurements based on clinical photos that can be used by primary care providers at the point of care to identify patients for referral to craniofacial centers. This will be accomplished in three aims: Aim 1: Development of soft tissue measurements for detecting the most common types of craniosynostosis. This will be accomplished by evaluating standardized clinical photographs of children with and without craniosynostosis to identify specific and measurable soft tissue ratios and angles to accurately diagnosis cranioysnotosis. Aim 2: Validate the soft tissue measurements in actual clinical practice. This will be accomplished by partnering with pediatric primary care providers (PCPs). We will provide PCPs with our soft tissue measurements to be used as tools for evaluating head shape differences. If our tools identify a patient as being high risk of having craniosynostosis, we will have them referred to our craniofacial clinic for evaluation where we will use the same soft tissue measurements as well as physical exam and/or CT scan to make a diagnosis. The measurements and diagnoses will be compared between providers to confirm they are accurate, reproducible, and appropriate for screening patients in this setting. Aim 3. Development of a smartphone application using these soft tissue measurements for healthcare providers to evaluate head shape differences. This will be an application that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store of the Google Play store. It will automatically take photos of patients and perform our validated soft tissue measurements to provide a recommendation on whether a patient should be referred to a craniofacial center for further evaluation. If a referral is warranted, the app will provide a list of local American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) approved craniofacial teams that will provide comprehensive and high quality care for these patients.

Impact Statement: Our goal is to develop a set of effective screening tools for craniosynostosis based on the characteristic deformities caused by different types of craniosynostosis on standardized patient photographs and incorporate these in a smartphone app that will allow for frontline primary care providers to risk stratify patients with perceived head shape differences. This will not only improve the confidence of pediatricians and other primary care providers in assessing for craniosynostosis but also help address disparities in craniofacial care by ensuring early identification and referral of patients to craniofacial centers for the diagnosis and treatment of craniosynostosis.

Daniel Y. Cho MD PhD is currently an Assistant Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who specializes in craniofacial surgery. He attended Brown University through the Program in Liberal Medical Education then matriculated into the MD/PhD program. His graduate studies focused on the use of polymeric biomaterials for drug delivery and tissue engineering applications. His PhD dissertation on the development of oral drug delivery technology for insulin was the recipient of the Outstanding Drug Delivery Award from the Controlled Release Society in 2011. Following graduate school, he worked as a Senior Scientist in Polymer Chemistry at NuLabel Technologies prior to completing medical school. He completed his plastic surgery residency at the University of Washington followed by his craniofacial plastic surgery fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/University of Pennsylvania. His clinical interests include craniosynostosis, distraction osteogenesis, as well as orthognathic and midface surgery. His research is focused on surgical outcomes in cleft and craniofacial patients, standardized clinical care pathways, quality improvement, and improving equity in plastic surgery training and clinical care. He also enjoys applying his background in polymer science and biomaterials to develop new technologies and devices for use in craniofacial surgery.