Kimberly Gokoffski will use SDRA grant to develop technology to help heal skin wounds

Kimberly Gokoffski

Kimberly Gokoffski (USC Photo/Ricardo Carrasco III)

Kimberly K. Gokoffski, MD, PhD, assistant professor of clinical ophthalmology, has received a $198,000 grant from USC’s Strategic Directions for Research Award (SDRA) program.  

The grant will allow her to pursue research related to her project titled “Novel, Large-Field Gradient, Electrical Stimulator to Accelerate Peripheral Nerve Regeneration into Split Thickness, Skin Graft Donor Sites.”

Gokoffski is a board-certified ophthalmologist at the USC Roski Eye Institute, as well as Director of Research for the Institute for Technology and Medical Systems (ITEMS). 

The SDRA grant, in collaboration with Provost Professor Gianluca Lazzi, PhD, Provost Professor of Ophthalmology, Electrical Engineering, Clinical Entrepreneurship and Biomedical Engineering, an electrical engineer, and Justin Gillenwater, MD, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery, aims to develop electric field stimulation into a technology to direct wound healing in patients undergoing split thickness skin grafts. Specifically, the goal is to provide sensory nerves with directional cues for growth. Poor nerve regeneration is thought to be responsible for the pain that patients feel at the site from which skin is harvested for grafting. This multi-disciplinary collaboration aims to decrease morbidity associated with skin harvesting.