NPF-Funded Research

Variation in Disease Burden, Access, and Cost Based on Race, Ethnicity, and Fitzpatrick Skin Type in Patients With Psoriasis Seeking Phototherapy

William Song

Grantee: William Song, B.S.
Mentor: Joel Gelfand, M.D., MSCE
University of Pennsylvania

Grant Mechanism: Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowship
Funding Amount: $50,000
Project Start Date: July 1, 2023
Project End Date: June 30, 2024
Status: Active
Keywords: Psoriasis, Clinical Research, Clinical Severity Measures, Epidemiology, Patient Reported Outcomes

Project Summary:

Psoriasis is a common, chronic condition that imposes substantial physical, mental, and financial burdens for millions of people who suffer from the disease. Research shows that race, ethnicity, and skin tone impact how people experience psoriasis, and that there are racial health disparities in psoriasis severity, quality of life, and treatment. Health disparities, which are preventable differences in health between groups of people that reflect social inequities, are responsible for billions of dollars of additional spending each year in the United States. It is crucial to understand and correct health disparities in order to make healthcare more just and cost-effective for all. Using the Light Treatment Effectiveness (LITE) study, a unique, large clinical trial of home versus office phototherapy for plaque and guttate psoriasis, we seek to better understand how race, ethnicity, and skin tone are related to disparities in the burden of psoriasis, access to medical care, and cost.

Career Development Statement:

With the support of NPF, I hope to dedicate an entire year to full-time research in between my third and fourth years of medical school. During this year, I plan to continue building on experiences and skills in scientific inquiry and to take the next critical step towards becoming an independent investigator of chronic inflammatory skin diseases, including psoriasis. Under the mentorship of Dr. Joel Gelfand, a leading expert in psoriatic disease, and in collaboration with other dermatologic experts at the University of Pennsylvania, I will continue to learn how to design excellent studies, apply rigorous methodology, and communicate effectively through writing, to complement the clinical knowledge and skills I am developing in my medical education. As a future physician and scientist, I hope to continue to advance our knowledge and understanding of psoriasis and inflammatory dermatologic disease to improve the lives of those who suffer from them, while providing effective and compassionate medical care and mentoring passionate trainees. This mentored research will allow me to work towards expanding our ability to correct health disparities in psoriasis disease outcomes and my own goal of becoming an effective investigator.

This fellowship is funded through the Mark G. Lebwohl Fellowship.

Impact of NPF-Funded Research

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