NPF is the world’s largest, most active community for people with psoriatic disease. We are what we are today because of you – all the volunteers, health care providers, donors and researchers who have contributed to our success. Here’s a look at just a few of the highlights of our history.

Jump to a Decade: 1970 | 1980 | 1990 | 2000 | 2010

1967 – Beverly Foster Halprin takes a group of strangers who met after reading an ad in the newspaper and organizes them into the Psoriasis Society of Oregon. They change the name to the National Psoriasis Foundation in 1968.
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1968 – Richard Coffman is named chairman of NPF’s first Board of Trustees, now the Board of Directors.

1968 – Kenneth Halprin, M.D., creates the Medical Board and recruits leading dermatologists and upcoming young researchers to be its members. His legacy lives on in NPF’s Ken Halprin Research Award.
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1968 – Eugene Van Scott, M.D., who led the Dermatology Branch of the National Cancer Institute for 15 years, is one of the Medical Board’s first recruits.

1968 – Laurence Miller, M.D., joins the Medical Board and serves until 1991. He helps to direct government funding toward psoriasis research as the Dermatology Program Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

1969 – Gerald Weinstein, M.D., joins the Medical Board and serves until 1992. He was the board’s chairman for nine years. He made major contributions to developing more effective treatments for psoriasis.

1971 – Lars Ettarp of Sweden co-founds the International Federation of Psoriasis Associations, or IFPA ( NPF continues to be a leading member of IFPA to this day.


1971 – Eugene “Gene” Farber, M.D., a leading psoriasis researcher of the 1960s, founds the International Symposium on Psoriasis and the Psoriasis Research Institute, both at Stanford University.

1972 – John Voorhees, M.D., begins a 20-year run on the Medical Board. One of the pioneers of research into the genetic basis of psoriasis, he also trains physicians in dermatology as the longtime chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Michigan.

1972 – NPF successfully lobbies the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for approval of methotrexate for the treatment of severe psoriasis. It was originally introduced in the 1940s as a cancer treatment.

1973 – John M. Moll, B.Sc., D.M. and Verna Wright, M.D., develop criteria for diagnosing psoriatic arthritis (PsA). It remains a widely-used diagnostic guide for PsA.

1974 – Jon Hanifin, M.D., joins the Medical Board. He later serves on the Board of Directors. In the 1980s, he helps NPF Executive Director Gail Zimmerman win increased funding for psoriasis research from NIH.

1975Sherith “Sheri” Decker starts out as a volunteer with NPF, then becomes an employee. Among her many projects: She edits the Bulletin (forerunner of Psoriasis Advance), develops our first patient education program and helps launch

1975 – Oral retinoids, a synthetic form of vitamin A, are introduced to treat psoriasis.

1975 – NPF awards its first fellowship to Dr. Roberta Simon of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

1976 – With the help of Congressman Wendell Wyatt (R-Oregon), NPF secures the first line-item funding in a federal budget for skin disease research.

1978 – Robert L. Becker begins volunteering for NPF. He starts a psoriasis patients network, organizes education and fundraising events, and leads workshops at NPF meetings and conferences. In 1990 he joins the Board of Directors.

1979 – Gail Zimmerman becomes NPF’s executive director, succeeding founder Beverly Foster Halprin. In her 28 years at the helm, Zimmerman builds a national organization with a professional staff and an army of volunteers.

Late 1970s – The Social Security Administration extends disability coverage to people with psoriasis.

1979 – Cyclosporine is introduced to treat psoriasis.

1981 – Barbara Butler, lupus patient and advocate for lupus patients, introduces Executive Director Gail Zimmerman to members of Congress. Butler helps NPF win NIH support for the first psoriasis research workshop (1989).
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1981 – Edward A. Lozick was one of NPF’s earliest, most generous donors. His primary interest was genetics research. He established NPF’s Lozick Discovery Grant.

1981 – PUVA (phototherapy treatment that uses ultraviolet light A plus the drug psoralen) is approved for the treatment of psoriasis.

1983 – NPF publishes Guide to Understanding Psoriasis, the first comprehensive booklet on psoriasis for the general public.

1984 – Gerald Krueger, M.D., joins the Medical Board. He goes on to chair the board for 12 years and in 1994 serves as the dermatology advisor in the creation of the National Psoriasis Tissue Bank.

1984 – Edward Lewis, a generous donor and volunteer, begins his association with NPF. Lewis, a retired real estate investor and broker, serves on the Board of Directors (2004-2005).

1986 – The work of NPF-funded researcher Michael Holick, M.D., Ph.D., helps lead to the development of vitamin D3 as a treatment for psoriasis. Vitamin D3 is used in Dovonex (calcipotriene), a topical psoriasis treatment.

1986 – NPF founds the Coalition of Patient Advocates for Skin Disease Research to raise the profile of skin diseases on Capitol Hill and with the NIH.

1987 – Kirk Wuepper, M.D., makes a large cash donation to start a tissue bank. Wuepper, a pioneer in psoriasis genetics research, was on the dermatology faculty at Oregon Health & Science University. His collection of DNA samples were eventually added to the National Psoriasis Tissue Bank (now the Victor Henschel BioBank).
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1987 – NPF awards its first research grant.

1987 – NPF-funded researcher Dr. Hans-Jurgen Ristow identifies Interleukin-1 (IL-1) as a cause of skin proliferation, or rapid growth of skin cells, in inflammatory skin diseases.

1988 – The first National Volunteer Conference is held in New York City. About 250 people attend.

1989 – Gerald Krueger, M.D. (left), John Voorhees, M.D. (second from left), and Gerald Weinstein, M.D. (right), photographed with Gail Zimmerman, NPF Executive Director, co-chair the first multidisciplinary research workshop to explore the best opportunities for psoriasis research. In 1993, NPF honors them for their “pioneering work in the field of psoriasis research.”

1990 – Mark Lebwohl, M.D., FAAD, begins his long volunteer career at NPF by joining the Medical Board, where he still serves. He receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from NPF in 2012.


1990Alice Gottlieb, M.D., Ph.D., joins the Medical Board. She’s still a member, 27 years later. She was one of the first scientists to prove that psoriasis involved the immune system. Her research provided the foundation for biologic drug development in psoriatic disease.

1991 – Mike and Carol Laub, longtime volunteers and generous donors, get involved with NPF. Mike Laub has served on the Board of Directors since 2008. The Laubs found their daughter’s dermatologist, Dr. Mark Lebwohl, through NPF.

1992 – Pam Morgan, R.N., and Joan Shelk, R.N., develop and teach NPF’s phototherapy training course for nurses and technicians, the first such course to be offered in the U.S. In the next decade they train more than 1,000 people in phototherapy.

1993 – John Koo, M.D., is a psychiatrist and a dermatologist and a pioneer in the field of psychodermatology. He serves twice on the Medical Board, beginning in 1993. In 2015 he receives NPF’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

1993 – Alan Menter, M.D., a member of NPF’s Medical Board (1993-1998) and the clinical director of the National Psoriasis Tissue Bank (1996-2002), co-publishes insights into the genetic basis of psoriasis. In 2013 he receives NPF’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

1993 – Carmen Chevres de Mummey of Thousand Oaks, California, leads an NPF network group in the LA area. She also provides individual counseling and support to many of the group’s members, organizes fundraisers, serves on NPF committees and participates in NPF conferences. She joins the Board of Trustees in 1993.

1994 – William and Jodi Felton are generous donors with a commitment to education, advocacy and research. In 1994, William Felton becomes part of the first group to donate genetic samples to the National Psoriasis Tissue Bank.

1995 – Dr. Mark Lebwohl and Dr. John Koo co-found the Psoriasis Forum (now the Journal of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis).

1996 – NPF joins the World Wide Web:

1996 – Lyle and Dorothy Jones, volunteers in the Portland, Oregon, office in the 1970s and ’80s, make a lasting impact on NPF beyond typing and filing. In the will she wrote in 1996, Dorothy left NPF a bequest, and when she died in 2003, this gift was large enough to enable NPF to set up its first cash reserve.

1997 – William and Mary Udseth give $200,000 to support the National Psoriasis Tissue Bank. William Udseth later serves on the Board of Directors.

1998 – NPF-funded researcher Dr. Christopher Ritchlin analyzes a type of protein called cytokines that are found in the joint tissue of people with psoriatic arthritis, identifying key differences between psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

1999 – Steven Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., begins his tenure on the Medical Board, where he serves until 2005. In 2003, he takes over the directorship of the Chief Residents Meeting on Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis from Mark Lebwohl, M.D., FAAD, which also began in 1999

2000 – Dale White is elected to the Board of Directors. He ends his tenure in 2011 as chairman. His focus on building the development capacity of the organization resulted in the first Capital Campaign, which raised nearly $5 million to accelerate NPF’s investment in research and advocacy. He also sought to involve the broader psoriatic disease community in supporting NPF. For his many good works on behalf of NPF, he earns an award in 2017 for Most Influential Volunteer


2001 – NPF-funded researchers Charles Ellis, M.D., and Gerald Krueger, M.D., publish clinical trial results on alefacept, which would become an early biologic treatment for psoriasis.

2001 – Jerry Bagel, M.D., joins the Medical Board, where he still serves. In 2016, he’s voted Outstanding Physician-Clinician by his patients and colleagues in the inaugural NPF Medical Professionals Awards.

2002 – Richard “Rick” Seiden is elected to the Board of Directors. He serves a two-year term as chair beginning in 2009. He has advocated for psoriatic disease patients before Congress and the NIH.

2003Anne Bowcock, M.D, Ph.D., Alan Menter, M.D., and colleagues, with NPF funding and using samples from the National Psoriasis Tissue Bank, identify three genes linked to psoriasis susceptibility.

2004 – The biologic Enbrel (etanercept) is approved for the treatment of psoriasis.

2004 – Volunteers go to Washington, D.C., to advocate for more research to find a cure in the first Capitol Hill Day.

2004 – NPF celebrates the first World Psoriasis Awareness Day.

2005 – NPF-funded researchers Dr. Dafna Gladman, Dr. Christopher Ritchlin and colleagues publish clinical trial results for adalimumab as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis. Adalimumab would become Humira, a biologic medication for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

2005 – Humira (adalimumab) is approved for the treatment of psoriatic arthritis.

2005 – NPF researcher Gerald Krueger, M.D., and colleagues publish clinical trial results on infliximab as a treatment for psoriatic arthritis. Infliximab would become Remicade, a biologic used to treat psoriatic disease.

2005 – The Koo-Menter Psoriasis Instrument (KMPI) is introduced. Developed by John Koo, M.D., and Alan Menter, M.D., KMPI assesses psoriasis severity and the impact of psoriasis on quality of life. It was designed to determine whether a patient is a good candidate for systemic treatment.

2006 – Neal and Barbara Henschel make the National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank possible with a large donation. In 2010, NPF begins releasing BioBank samples to researchers investigating the genetics of psoriatic disease. The Henschels’ son, Andy Henschel, served on the Board of Trustees (1997-2006).

2006 – NPF helps Lars Ettarp of IFPA put on the first World Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Conference in Stockholm, Sweden.

2006 – NPF-funded researcher Dr. Joel Gelfand, M.D., and colleagues identify an increased risk of heart attacks in people with psoriasis.

2006 – NPF’s first Walk for Awareness event, held in Portland, Oregon, on July 25, 2006, raises $13,000.

2007 – Gail Zimmerman retires from NPF after 28 years as Executive Director, President and CEO.

2007 – NPF-funded researcher Dr. Hyon-Kyoo Choi publishes a series of studies describing risk factors for psoriasis.

2008 – Randy Beranek takes over from Gail Zimmerman as President and CEO, becoming just the third person in 40 years to lead NPF. He continues to lead the organization’s record growth to this day.

2010 – Stephen Katz, M.D., Ph.D., has been the director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases since 1995. At the 2010 meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, NPF pays tribute to Katz for his leadership in advancing psoriasis research.


2010 – James T. “JT” Elder, M.D., Ph.D., a former member of the Medical Board and the Scientific Advisory Committee, receives the first set of DNA samples from the National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank to study genetic causes of psoriatic disease.

2010 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) develops first-ever public health agenda for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, giving federal recognition to millions of Americans living with these diseases.
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2011 – NPF launches division boards. Volunteers take leadership roles and drive efforts to build stronger awareness of NPF and psoriatic disease in their communities.

2012 – Marilyn Sime, Ph.D., R.N., a longtime, generous supporter of NPF and professor emerita at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, provides funding for the A. Marilyn Sime Discovery Grant.

2012 – NPF hosts the first Research Symposium, in Pacific Grove, California.

2014 – World Health Organization (WHO) member states adopt resolution recognizing psoriasis as “a chronic, non-communicable, painful, disfiguring, and disabling disease for which there is no cure” and sending a powerful message on the need for action by member states to address psoriasis at the country level. NPF recognizes Kathleen L. Gallant, NPF volunteer and member of the Board of Directors (2006-2015) at the 2015 NVC with the Global Health Champion Award for her work leading this effort on behalf of the NPF in the United States.

2014 – Abby Van Voorhees, MD becomes NPF’s first female Medical Board Chairperson. Dr. Van Voorhees continues to occupy this position and has overseen rapid grown in Medical Board membership, medical education programs, and research activities.

2015 – NPF and Corrona, a health research company, register the first psoriasis patient in the Corrona Psoriasis Registry. Patient data from the registry will help researchers to better understand psoriasis and improve treatments.

2015 – NPF launches Citizen Pscientist:

2015 – NPF bridges the patient/researcher gap by holding the National Volunteer Conference and the Research Symposium under the same roof.

2015 – Colby Evans, M.D., becomes the first physician to chair NPF's Board of Directors.

2016 – NPF co-hosts the first Payer Roundtable – a meeting of health insurers with psoriatic disease clinicians, researchers and patient representatives.
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2016 – The FDA hosts the first Patient Focused Drug Development Meeting for Psoriasis (the result of years of NPF lobbying).
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2016 – NPF opens the Patient Navigation Center, the world’s first, personalized support center for psoriatic disease:

2016 – NPF’s engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) leads the value framework modeler to conclude that all eight of the systemic therapies reviewed for psoriasis are of “good value” and recommend that payers “consider limiting or abolishing the use of step therapy” for psoriasis therapies. This is a significant access win for individuals with psoriasis as insurers increasingly look to ICER reviews when designing health care coverage.
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2016 – NPF’s Medical Board publishes a manuscript that sets specific targets for achieving clearer skin. The new recommendations offer patients and health care providers well-defined treatment goals to help reduce the severity of psoriasis to 1 percent or less of the body.