$1.7 million awarded for psoriasis research

$1.7 million awarded for psoriasis research
$1.7 million awarded for psoriasis research

The National Psoriasis Foundation awarded a total of $1.7 million in research grants and fellowships to 26 scientists for research of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, according to a press release.

NPF awarded three scientists each a two-year, $200,000 Translational Grant to translate their laboratory findings into improved treatments and methods for managing psoriatic disease.

Kevin Cooper, MD, of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, received the Dr. Alan Menter Translational Grant and will study whether systemic psoriasis treatments can reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Lorena Riol Blanco, PhD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, will use her grant funds to study how pain fibers drive the production of interleukin-23 (IL-23) to find new therapies for psoriasis inflammation.

Michael Rosenblum, MD, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, will study the role of a special class of regulatory T-cells involved in suppressing inflammation in people with psoriasis, specifically to discover why these cells function abnormally in psoriasis to develop treatments to repair them and treat psoriasis.

NPF also awarded 10 researchers a one-year, $75,000 Discovery Grant for early-stage psoriatic disease research to help advance basic understanding of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Rachael Clark, MD, PhD, of Brigham & Women's Hospital also in Boston, will study T-cells that remain in healed psoriasis lesions and compare them to T-cells in the same patient's skin before treatment. Clark hopes to determine if these T-cells are the root cause of psoriasis.

Dan Illkovitch, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania received the Ostrow Graff Family Discovery Grant to study an immune cell called myeloid‐derived suppressor cells and examine the role these cells play in psoriasis, and if they are affected by psoriasis treatment.

Jaehwan Kim, MD, PhD, of Rockefeller University in New York City will develop a blood test that can predict a person's treatment response to a biologic drug for psoriasis.

Averil Ma, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, will examine how the A20 gene functions in psoriasis could lead to treatments that are better tailored for people with variations of A20.

Pranab Mukherjee, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University, received the Lozick Discovery Research Grant and will study the role of the skin microbiome and mycobiome, or microorganisms and fungi on the skin, and how it relates to psoriasis.

Haley Naik, MD, of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, will study the role of neutrophils and their relation to psoriasis severity and related health risks.

Brian Poligone, MD, PhD, of the University of Rochester School of Medicine in New York, received the Galderma Discovery Grant to study NF-kappa B, a protein that binds to DNA and regulates inflammation in the body. Poligone will investigate the role of the protein in triggering psoriasis, and ways to control its activity.

Eva Reali, PhD, of the Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi in Milan,Italy, received the A. Marilyn Sime Discovery Grant to focus on research to define distinctive characteristics of pro-inflammatory T-cells cells to identify a biomarker for the development of psoriatic arthritis.

Jubin Ryu, MD, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, plans to use the grant to develop a skin patch to allow for easier routes of administration for biologic drugs.

Eric Sundberg, PhD, of the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, will use the grant to create novel molecules that suppress interleukin-36, which drives inflammation.

The National Psoriasis Foundation also awarded 13 grants to fellows for the study of psoriasis. Each fellow received a one-year grant of up to $50,000 to conduct research on psoriasis, according to a press release.

Two of the named grants went to Dena Elkeeb, MD, and Aleksandra Florek, MD. They each received 2014 National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Dermatology Fellowships.

Elkeeb plans to develop a pediatric study group within the Utah Psoriasis Initiative to assess the impact of systemic corticosteroids on physical characteristics of psoriasis. Florek will study the epidemiology of psoriatic disease and related health risks, or comorbidities, and investigate issues related to treatment of psoriasis.

Emily Osier, MD, of Rady Children's Hospital and the University of California San Diego, received the National Psoriasis Foundation Dr. Mark G. Lebwohl Medical Dermatology Fellowship. Osier will use the one-year, $50,000 grant to develop screening guidelines for comorbidities, or associated health risks, in children with psoriasis.

The remaining 10 grants were awarded through the National Psoriasis Foundation Amgen Medical Dermatology Fellowships.

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