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.

Mechanisms regulating fibrosis in chronic lymphedema

Principal Investigator
Jamie Zampell MD

Year
2010

Institution
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Funding Mechanism
Research Fellowship

Focus Area
Wounds / Scar, General Reconstructive

Abstract
Lymphedema is a chronic painful swelling and disfigurement of the limbs that commonly occurs after the removal of lymph nodes for the treatment of cancer. Lymphedema is characterized by persistent inflammation and progressive scarring that progressively leads to obstruction of lymphatic channels. We propose that lymphedema is a progressive disorder of abnormal scarring, or fibroproliferative disorder. Among fibroproliferative disorders, the immune system acts to regulate tissue fibrosis. In fact, activation of a subtype of T-lymphocytes in the immune system called T-helper 2 (Th2) cells leads to fibrosis and scarring. We hypothesize that, similar to mechanisms regulating other fibroproliferative disorders, the pathologic effects of chronic lymph stasis are modulated by immune responses. Our objective is to determine how these immune responses regulate the development and progression of severe lymphedema. Our specific aims are: Specific Aim 1: Determine the role of Th2 immune responses in the initiation and progression of fibrosis and lymphatic dysfunction secondary to sustained lymphatic stasis and Specific Aim 2: Determine the role of the pro-fibrotic cytokine, transforming growth factor-beta 1 (TGF-B1), and adaptive immune responses in the development of chronic lymphedema. Our experiments will evaluate the effect of inhibiting the Th2 response and the pro-fibrotic cytokine TGF-B1 on the initiation and maintenance of lymphedema. We anticipate that blockade of these factors will prevent establishment and reverse the effects of severe lymphedema. We will perform our experiments using a mouse model in which sustained lymphedema is surgically induced. Outcomes of lymphatic function, tissue fibrosis, and chronic inflammation will be measured. Knowledge derived from our study will potentially lead to novel and targeted therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of chronic lymphedema and may broadly apply to the treatment of other fibrotic disorders.

Biography
Dr. Zampell graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology from Emory University and completed medical training at Ohio State University with AOA honors. Following medical school, Dr. Zampell began her residency in General Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York. At the completion of her third year, she joined Dr. Mehrara's lab at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Dr. Zampell is now beginning her second year of research in lymphatic biology. The goal of her studies is to identify mechanisms regulating the pathologic development of lymphedema as well as to determine novel methods to treat this disease process. She will return to NYU to complete her general surgery training following the completion of her research.