National Psoriasis Foundation Awards $2.8 Million in Research Grants and Fellowships

Portland, Ore. (July 12, 2019)—The National Psoriasis Foundation, NPF, has awarded $2.8 million in research grants and fellowships in 2019. This year’s awards bring the total amount NPF has invested in psoriatic disease grants and fellowships in recent years to more than $21 million.

This year, NPF plans to fund 41 projects focused on psoriatic disease and related comorbidities. All projects align with the NPF mission of driving efforts toward a cure for psoriatic disease and improving the lives of those affected. The NPF board of directors has approved awards for the following 2019 grants and fellowships.

Discovery Grants

Discovery Grants fund researchers while they explore preliminary ideas and conduct proof-of- concept experiments. They support new areas of research important to the psoriatic disease community and stimulate the development of new research programs capable of competing for long-term funding from the National Institutes of Health, NIH, or other agencies in the future.

Recipients include: Temugin Berta, Ph.D. University of Cincinnati, Laura Coates, MBChB, MRCP, Ph.D. University of Oxford, James Elder, M.D., Ph.D. University of Michigan, Joerg Ermann, M.D. Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Daniel Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, Antonios Kolios, M.D. University Hospital Zurich, Shruti Naik, Ph.D. New York University, Remy Pollock, Ph.D. University Health Network, Anthony Purcell, Professor (Research), Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Monash University, Enikö Sonkoly, M.D., Ph.D. Karolinska Institute, and Alexander Sorokin, M.D., Ph.D. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Translational Grants

Translational Research Grants fund research initiatives that focus on the rapid translation of basic scientific discoveries into clinical applications with a clear benefit for patients with psoriatic disease.

The Dr. M. Alan Menter Translational Research Grant was awarded to Lars Iversen, M.D., DMSc Aarhus University Hospital.

Additional grant recipients include: Loredana Frasca, Ph.D. Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Iannis Adamopoulos, D.Phil University of California, Davis, Steven Ley, Ph.D. Imperial College London, and Brian Volkman, Ph.D. Medical College of Wisconsin.

Early Career Grants

Early Career Research Grants support graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and researchers at similar trainee-level positions interested in conducting projects focused on psoriatic disease. The goal is to support scientists at this challenging early career stage and to welcome them into the collaborative community of scientists, clinicians, and patients involved with NPF research.

Recipients of this award are expected to compete for future funding through NPF Discovery or Translational Research Grants and establish successful long-term careers conducting psoriatic disease research.

Five researchers were awarded Karen and Dale White Early Career Research Grants. Recipients include: Keith Colaco University of Toronto, Lynda Grine, Ph.D. Ghent University, Rebecca Haberman, M.D. New York University School of Medicine, Sara Rahmati University Health Network, and Sarah Whitley, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Bridge Grants

Bridge Grants support researchers who have submitted meritorious applications with a focus on psoriatic disease or related comorbidities but did not receive K-type (career development) or R-type funding from the NIH or similar funding bodies. This grant provides a critical year of additional support to near-miss applicants so that they can collect data that strengthens a future successful NIH or similar funding application.

Recipients include: Gerard Wong, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, and Iannis Adamopoulos, D.Phil University of California, Davis.

Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnostic Test Grant

Added in 2019, this new grant mechanism supports the development of a clinically applicable diagnostic test for psoriatic arthritis, PsA. With the goal to improve detection of PsA in a highly sensitive, specific, and non-invasive manner, this grant program is intended to fund research initiatives that have the potential to achieve this goal within five years. Funding will occur in two phases, with one year of support to establish proof-of-concept data followed by up to four additional years of competitive renewal to complete research, development, and validation.

Grant recipients include: Vinod Chandran, M.B., B.S., M.D., D.M., Ph.D. University Health Network, University of Toronto, Bingjian Feng, Ph.D. University of Utah, Wilson Liao, M.D. University of California, San Francisco, Ananta Paine, Ph.D. University of Rochester, Siba Raychaudhuri, M.D. University of California, Davis, and Jose Scher, M.D. New York University School of Medicine.

This grant is not possible without significant support provided by Dr. Lacy and Edie Williams, Michael Graff and Carol Ostrow, Michael and Carol Laub, the Bucks Creek Foundation, The Wood Family, James and Toni Turner, Xiaotong Zhang, Ron Grau, and Blaine and Marcia Beck. Support from corporate sponsors include: UCB, Novartis Pharmaceutical Corporation, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company.

Summer Student Research Grants

NPF Summer Student Research Grants support undergraduate and medical students interested in conducting research focused on psoriatic disease or related comorbidities. This grant fosters the development of promising young scientists who will go on to become bench researchers or clinician scientists focused on improving the lives of those living with psoriatic disease.

Mentored by Samuel Hwang, M.D., Ph.D., Joshua Chong of California Northstate College of Medicine received a grant from The Don and Nancy Alpert Family Fund. Mentored by Dafna Gladman, M.D., FRCPC, Kirubel Goliad of University of Toronto received a grant from The Fred and Joan Weisman Family Fund.

Other NPF Summer Student Research Grant recipients include: Sydney Lashley of Lewis and Clark College, mentored by Holly Rosenzweig, Ph.D., Elizabeth Otto of Northeast Ohio Medical University, mentored by Nicole Ward, Ph.D., Kimberley Yu of University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine, mentored by Joel Gelfand, M.D., MSCE, B.S.

Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowship
The Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowship provides support to talented, driven new investigators who demonstrate a commitment to a career in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research. These awards help to develop and enhance the opportunities for physicians and scientists training for research careers in academic dermatology, rheumatology, pediatric dermatology, and pediatric rheumatology.

The Dr. Mark G. Lebwohl Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowship was awarded to Ashish J. Mathew, M.D. Christian Medical College, who is mentored by Vinod Chandran M.B., B.S., M.D., D.M., Ph.D. University Health Network, University of Toronto.

Five additional Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowships were awarded through generous support from AbbVie, Amgen, Eli Lilly and Company, and Sun Pharma. Recipients include: Charlotte Read, M.B., B.S., BSc University of Southern California, mentored by April Armstrong, M.D., MPH Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California. Amy Elizabeth Ramser, M.D. University Hospitals, mentored by Kevin Cooper, M.D. University Hospitals. Joy Wan, M.D., MSCE University of Pennsylvania, mentored by Joel Gelfand, M.D. Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. Stephanie Le, M.D. University of California, Davis, mentored by Emanual Maverakis, M.D. University of California, Davis. Rachel Lefferdink, M.D. Northwestern University, mentored by Amy Paller, M.D. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.

The 2020 grants and fellowships application process will begin in the fall. To learn more about opportunities and deadlines, in the near future visit: https://www.psoriasis.org/grants and https://www.psoriasis.org/fellowships. For more information about past award recipients visit https://www.psoriasis.org/research/portfolio.

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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 www.psoriasis.org.