Plastic Surgery Research Council (PSRC)
PSRC News: Summer 2019
Facebook  Instagram  Twitter
Message From The PSRC Chair

Gregory Borschel, MD, PSRC Chair
Gregory Borschel, MD
PSRC Chair
It was great seeing everyone in Baltimore. Congratulations again to Justin Sacks, MD for hosting an absolutely fantastic meeting, with the highest attendance ever in the history of PSRC. In other news, we will be launching a new member service in which members may submit their grant proposals for critical feedback from other members in order to improve their chances of getting funded. Thank you Eric Liao and your committee members for taking this on. And, as you've noticed, our Newsletter is getting a reboot, thanks to Derrick Wan and his team. Also, thanks to Justine Lee for redesigning our website-launching soon. Justine is also carrying on past Technology Chair Alex Wong's work with social media takeovers. Let us know if you are interest in joining this group or hosting a takeover at your institution. Of note, we had over 95 new applications for membership recently, an all-time high! This unprecedented jump reflects your example and hard work in making our society appealing to young surgeons. Meanwhile, Program Chair Brian Gastman and I are eagerly making preparations for next year’s meeting in Toronto. Looking forward to seeing everyone there. More updates to follow. Enjoy your summer!


European Plastic Surgery Research Council

Dominik Duscher, EPSRC 2019 Captain
Dominik Duscher
EPSRC 2019 Captain
EPSRC 2019 will be held in the heart of the beautiful city of Munich, Germany from 22.25 August 2019. Thee scientific program will cover all aspects of Plastic Surgery with a focus on basic science, breast surgery and regenerative medicine. Accepted abstracts for the long oral presentations are published as a supplement in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Global Open. The early registration deadline is Sunday, June 30, 2019. Please spread the word among your colleagues and plan to attend the EPSRC meeting in Munich in August 2019!

EPSRC Cruise Fellowship
The EPSRC Cruise Fellowship aims at promoting clinical and scientific inter-european exchange of ideas and promotes and encourages training in plastic surgery. It is a three-months fellowship that has to be spent in three different units. Please visit the EPSRC website for further details.


PSRC 2020 Annual Meeting: May 28-31, 2020 Toronto, Canada

The Plastic Surgery Research Council's 65th Annual Meeting will take place May 28-31, 2020 at the Omni King Edwards Hotel in Toronto, Canada. The abstract submission site will in early August. Please prepare to submit your best work for consideration! As the PSRC 2020 Annual Meeting will take place outside of the United States, entry requirements into Canada will apply. United States citizens must obtain a passport and/or should ensure their passport is valid through anticipated travel dates. Please visit the Annual Meeting website for 2020 meeting details as they become available.


Resident Reflection - PSRC 2019 Meeting

Thanapoom Boonipat, MD - PGY2 Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

What makes PSRC standout from other plastic surgery conferences?

The PSRC is an open gathering of those who interested themselves in ongoing research. It was established in 1955, and the symbol interestingly is a drawing of Baronio’s sheep. Dr. Baronio performed a series of successful skin autografts in 1804. It is in this spirit of innovative and cutting edge research that have defined the focus of the PSRC meeting each year. My own research interests are well aligned with this focus. The council meeting this year allowed me to both share my own research and also learn about many interesting innovative advances in the plastic surgery field. What differentiates the PSRC from other plastic meeting is the focus on basic science research that will form the basis of future advances in the field.

Many research projects are still ongoing. Being able to follow the progression of research projects over years is one of the many benefits of attending the meeting each year. For example, I will be interested in following the results from a project looking into new bioactive suture materials that might improve wound healing.

Lastly, the opportunity to meet and reconnect with colleagues and mentor in the field gave me another reason to attend the meeting each year. The caliber of the people and their dedication to research deserve my highest admiration, and give me new ideas and aspirations.


Committee Update - Technology

Alex Wong, PSRC Technology Committee Chair
Alex Wong
PSRC Technology Committee Chair

It has been a sincere pleasure to serve a second year as PSRC Technology Committee Chair. The importance of this committee’s work is underscored by the rise and evolution of social media technology platforms over the past few years. It is estimated that there are 3.2 billion users of social media on a daily basis (42% of the world population) and these individuals spend over 2 hours each day on messaging and social networking related activity. Thus, significant efforts have been expended by the Technology Committee to develop content and increase awareness for PSRC.
Technology Committee
view full size image

We have focused on the major social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Our Instagram page (@psrc1955) was started in 2018 and in just over one year, we created nearly 200 posts and went from zero to over 1100 followers. One week #PSRCTAKEOVER's highlighted the educational, clinical, and research activities of multiple pilot programs including: UCLA, USC, MD Anderson, Duke, Harvard, U. Chicago, Rutgers, U. Pittsburgh, Johns Hopkins, Stanford. We would welcome other programs to join the #PSRCTAKEOVER as well! Our Facebook page was created in 2016, has over 1150 "likes" and mirrors the Instagram content. Our Twitter account was created in 2017 and has nearly 500 followers however, interest in this platform (as well as Facebook) has tapered off with fewer tweets and impressions secondary to the pre-eminence of Instagram as the preferred social medial platform for the PSRC demographic.

In summary, the creative and persistent work of the Technology Committee has increased the awareness of plastic surgery research via social media platforms and allowed all of us to get a "glimpse" of life at our peer institutions. This would not have been possible with the efforts of the entire committee including: Jared Blau, Justin Broyles, Roger Cason, Jeremy A. Goss, Jonathan Keith, Justine C. Lee, and Zeshaan N. Maan.


New PSRC Committee Announcement: Grant Feedback Workgroup

Eric C. Liao, MD, PhD, Committee Chair
Eric C. Liao, MD, PhD
Committee Chair
The PSRC has organized the Grant Feedback Workgroup to improve member grant applications by providing feedback on their proposals prior to submission to funding organizations. A key step in constructing a grant proposal is to effectively formulate a Specific Aims page. This committee will convene virtual conferences to help participating members review and refine their Specific Aims pages. At the annual PSRC meeting, we will hold in-person sessions to provide further feedback on grants and recruit new participants for the next cycle of Specific Aims review. This committee will enhance the careers of junior researchers, and may also enable future collaborative projects between like-minded investigators. We are planning 2 virtual conferences (October 2019, February 2020) and an in-person meeting at the next PSRC Annual Meeting in Toronto. Please look for PSRC announcements if you wish to participate in this committee.


PSF Grant Recipient Highlight

Matthew P. Murphy, MB, BCh BAO MRCSI, Postdoctoral Research Fellow Stanford University
Matthew P. Murphy, MB, BCh BAO MRCSI
Postdoctoral Research Fellow Stanford University
Technology Committee
view full size image
Matthew Murphy a 2017 recipient of the National Endowment for Plastic Surgery Grant from the Plastic Surgery Foundation focusing on Tissue Engineering, Hand, or Upper Extremity. With his award, he has focused on the ability to activate resident skeletal stem cells (SSC) and bone cartilage stromal progenitors (BCSP) through surgical stimulation utilizing a novel microfracture surgery (MF) model to create a conducive niche to regenerate cartilage. His research involves mouse and human SSCs, providing a clinically-relevant, translational component to his research. So far, his data have shown a baseline reduction in clonality and SSC number within articular cartilage with age (Fig1a). However, following acute MF there is a significant local amplification and activation of SSCs and BCSPs (Fig1b). By augmenting the niche with BMP2 and sVEGFR1, in vivo cartilage can be generated in both mouse (Fig1c) and a human fetal phalangeal xenograft model (Fig1d). Upon completion of his research fellowship in the laboratories of Michael Longaker and Charles Chan, Matthew Murphy will continue his scientific work and clinical training in plastic surgery as part of his Academic Clinical Fellowship Specialist Training (ACFST3) in The University of Manchester, UK.


Kia Washington, MD Kia Washington, MD
Associate Professor of Surgery, Director of Research, Vice Chair of Diversity and Inclusion, University of Colorado School of Medicine


What was your light bulb moment / turning point into research?
I don't think there was one "light bulb" moment, but rather a series of things that really led me to research. The first was spending two years dedicated to full-time basic science research during my residency and really getting exposed to the Plastic Surgery research community. I think the second turning point was when I started my position as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh and began doing research on whole eye transplantation for vision restoration. I realized that I found work that combined my interests in transplantation, neuroscience, and reconstructive microsurgery. It's been long journey, but it keeps me interested and there are always exciting twists and turns along the way.


PSRC Member Research Spotlight

Nanofiber-hydrogel composite-mediated angiogenesis for soft tissue reconstruction
Brian Cho, MD, Sashank Reddy, MD, and Justin Sacks, MD – Johns Hopkins University Department of Plastic Surgery

Novel strategies are continuously being investigated to restore soft tissue loss from tumor resection, trauma, aging, and congenital malformations, though a complete off-the-shelf approach remains elusive. Read about a novel, cutting edge approach using electrospun poly(e-caprolactone) fibers and hyaluronic acid hydrogel described by Johns Hopkins University plastic surgery resident Brian Cho, who was mentored by Sashank Reddy and Justin Sacks. In their Science Translational Medicine report published in May 2019, they demonstrate that this injectable nanofiber-hydrogel composite is capable of mimicking soft tissue microarchitecture and mechanical properties as well as secreting pro-angiogenic cytokines and growth factors leading to macrophage polarization and replacement of the composite with vascularized tissue in a rabbit model. Read the full article.

Nanofiber-hydrogel composite-mediated angiogenesis for soft tissue reconstruction Science Translational Medicine


PSRC News Staff

Derrick Wan, Editor Joseph Catapano, Assistant Editor
Paige Fox, Assistant Editor
Noopur Gangopadhyay, Assistant Editor
Giorgio Giatsidis, Assistant Editor