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.

A Comparison of the Immunomodulatory Effects of Donor, Recipient

Principal Investigator
Damon Cooney MD


Johns Hopkins University

Funding Mechanism

Focus Area

Composite tissue allotransplantation helps improve the lives of patients with mutilating injuries of the hand and face. It's use is limited due to the need for systemic immunosuppression. Currently, clinical protocols using bone marrow cell infusion have allowed a reduction in the amount of immunosuppression these patients need to take. Future advances in cell based therapies will require a deeper understanding of the immunomodulatory affects of bone marrow derived cells. The current proposal will extend our understanding by comparing the use of bone marrow derived stem cells from donor, recipient, and third-party sources. We will study their ability to delay rejection of a hind limb transplant in rats as well as study their direct effect on a mixed lymphocyte reaction essay. These results will help us design new cell-based therapies in the future, help make CTA more available to patients, and extend the donor pool of mesenchymal stem cells for these patients.

Damon Cooney, MD, PhD is a general plastic surgeon who specializes in microvascular reconstruction. He completed additional fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh to become an expert in microsurgical techniques for reconstructing the extremities, trunk, breast, and head and neck following traumatic and/or oncological defects. A particular focus of his clinical practice is improving the functional and aesthetic results of head and neck reconstruction. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, OH, Dr. Cooney earned his doctoral degree from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma Medical School, Oklahoma City, OK. He completed a combined residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, IL. He completed an additional one-year microsurgery fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Dr. Cooney’s PhD. work was conducted in signal transduction in the labs of Mark K. Coggeshall, PhD., both at The Ohio State University and at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation in Oklahoma City, OK. Dr. Cooney’s research centers on composite tissue allotransplantation (CTA) both clinically and in the laboratory. He is a member of the CTA team at Johns Hopkins and has participated in two previous hand transplant procedures. His laboratory work includes engineering human tissues for reconstructive purposes, nerve regeneration, and inducing tolerance in order to reduce or eliminate the need for systemic immunosuppression in transplantation patients. Dr. Cooney has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and is a reviewer for plastic surgery journals. He received numerous grants to conduct basic and clinical research on topics including the study of localized tolerance in a small animal model and microsurgical education. He is a member of the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, and is a Founding Member of the American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation.