National Psoriasis Foundation awards 12 psoriasis research fellowships

Nearly half a million dollars given to researchers focused on curing psoriatic diseases

PORTLAND, Ore. (June 30, 2011)—The National Psoriasis Foundation awarded $480,000 in research fellowships to 12 early career doctors, who each received a one-year, $40,000 fellowship to study psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The grants are intended to increase activity in psoriatic disease research—leading to better treatments and a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis—by supporting the development of additional physician researchers.

The fellowships team a young doctor with an established psoriatic disease investigator who will supervise the fellow's work. They also support eligible institutions in developing opportunities for physicians training for careers in academic research. Learn more about the National Psoriasis Foundation Research Fellowship »

The 2011 National Psoriasis Foundation Fellows and their projects are:

  • Maryam Afshar, MBBS, of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, will focus on the immune system in people with psoriasis during hepatitis C infection;
  • Shiu-Chung Au, M.D., of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, will examine whether children with psoriatic disease have a higher rate of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors;
  • Elizabeth Chase, M.D., of the University of California, Davis, will study psoriasis and its connection to higher rate of cardiovascular diseases;
  • Madelaine Haddican, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, will focus on psoriasis clinical trials;
  • Faiyaaz A. Kalimullah, M.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., will investigate adherence to treatment, cost effectiveness of treatment and new protocols for phototherapy, a therapy which exposes the skin to ultra-violet light;
  • Douglas Kast, D.O., of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, will research cardiovascular risk in psoriasis using the CACS score, a special X-ray test that detects early stage heart disease;
  • Peter Mattei, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, will develop a set of standardized outcome measures in clinical practice;
  • Katherine M. Mercy, M.D., of The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., will identify the relationship between body mass index and psoriasis in children;
  • Amilcar Rizzo, M.D., of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., will try and understand the skin's immune interactions in psoriasis;
  • Bryan Sofen, M.D., of NYU School of Medicine in New York City, will explore the cutaneous microbiome, the population of microorganisms that live on the skin, in people with psoriasis to try and determine whether these organisms play a role in the disease;
  • Junko Takeshita, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will examine cardiovascular risk in psoriasis and the effectiveness of therapies;
  • Daniel Zaghi, M.D., of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, will investigate if smoking affects the development of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

"The next generation holds the key to curing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It's imperative that we urge young doctors now training to become dermatologists to focus their careers on studying and treating psoriasis and other complex skin diseases," said Mark Lebwohl, M.D., chair of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board. "The National Psoriasis Foundation launched these fellowships as part of our commitment to make research our highest priority, and to guide emerging clinicians to become experts in psoriatic disease." The NPF fellowship research initiative is funded in part by an unrestricted, educational grant from Amgen Pfizer.

Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation research initiatives »

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research funding, and education, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million Americans affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $21 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at