Portland, Ore., July 2, 2021 – The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is proud to announce awards of $2.82 million in research grants and fellowships in 2021. With the inclusion of these 2021 awards, NPF has now invested over $28 million in psoriatic disease research grants and fellowships in recent years.
This year, NPF will fund 32 grant and fellowship projects that focus on psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and related comorbidities. Each project aligns with the mission of NPF to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected.
PsA Diagnostic Test Grant
The PsA Diagnostic Test Grant funds research focused on the development of a diagnostic test for PsA that may reduce diagnostic delays and instances of misdiagnoses to lessen the irreversible joint damage seen without appropriate and timely treatment. This grant is funded in multiple phases. The first year of support was awarded in 2019, to establish proof-of-concept data to 6 unique projects. Renewal for a second year of funding was awarded upon validation of the approach and feasibility of the project and was then followed by a competitive renewal process between the 6 projects for up to 3 additional years of funding to confirm the initial findings followed by development and validation of a diagnostic test.
Grant recipients funded for the third year of the program in 2021 include: Vinod Chandran MBBS, M.D., DM, Ph.D., University Health Network, University of Toronto; Jose Scher M.D., New York University School of Medicine
This grant was made possible with significant support provided by William “Bill” and Jodi Felton, Ron Grau, Michael Graff and Carol Ostrow, James and Toni Turner, and Lacy H. Williams, M.D. Additional support was provided by AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly & Co., Janssen Biotech, and Pfizer.
Milestones to a Cure Grant
The Milestones to a Cure Grant funds research projects aimed at getting us to the next stop on the road to a cure for psoriasis and PsA. The grant focuses on treatment durability, remission/relapse, prevention, and personalized medicine.
Grant recipient: Asolina Braun, Ph.D., Monash University
More Than Skin Deep Mental Health Grant
The More Than Skin Deep Mental Health Grant funds projects focused on investigation of the impact of psoriatic disease on mental health, as well as interventions for addressing this comorbidity.
Grant recipients include: Tina Bhutani M.D., The Regents of the University of California, San Francisco; Rebecca Haberman M.D., MSCI, New York University Langone School of Medicine; Elaine Husni M.D., MPH, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
This grant was made possible by substantial contributions from the Speaker Family through the Thomas Andrew Speaker Memorial Fund.
Translational Research Grant
Translational Research Grants fund research plans that focus on the rapid translation of basic scientific discoveries into clinical applications with a direct benefit for patients with psoriatic disease. This is often referred to as “bench to bedside” research.
The Dr. M. Alan Menter Translational Research Grant was awarded to Mrinal Sarkar Ph.D., The Regents of the University of Michigan.
Additional grant recipient is: Daniella Schwartz M.D., NIH, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Discovery Grants fund researchers while they explore preliminary ideas and conduct proof-of-concept experiments. These grants may lead to new avenues of investigation in psoriatic disease research.
Grant recipients include: Vinod Chandran MBBS, M.D., DM, Ph.D., University Health Network, University of Toronto; Jeffrey Cheng M.D., Ph.D., University of California San Francisco; Maria de la Luz Garcia-Hernandez Ph.D., University of Rochester; Emanual Maverakis M.D., University of California Davis; Denis Mogilenko, PhD., Washington University School of Medicine; Enikö Sonkoly M.D., Ph.D., Karolinska Institute
Bridge Grants support researchers who have submitted meritorious, near-miss K-type (career development) and R-type applications to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or similar funding body, with a focus on psoriatic disease or related comorbidities. These Bridge Grants provide one year of funding while researchers improve their application for resubmission to the NIH.
Grant recipients include: Samuel Hwang M.D., Ph.D., University of California Davis; Junko Takeshita M.D., Ph.D., MSCE, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Early Career Research Grant
Early Career Research Grants support scientists at the challenging early career stage and welcome them into the collaborative community of scientists, clinicians, and patients involved with NPF research.
The Sue Shoenberg Endowment for Early Career Research Grant was awarded to Joseph Kamel D.O., University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Additional grant recipients include: Inna Afonina Ph.D., University of Ghent; Stephanie Annett Ph.D., Mpharm, Ph.D., Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; Jonathan Cohen B.A., M.D./Ph.D. candidate, University of Pittsburgh; Alvaro Gonzalez-Cantero M.D., Ph.D., Research Foundation of the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital
Summer Student Research Grant
Through Summer Student Research Grants, NPF supports undergraduate and medical students conducting a summer of research focused on psoriatic disease or related comorbidities often introducing them to this research area and provides an opportunity for them to work with established mentors in the community.
The Don and Nancy Alpert Family Fund Summer Student Research Grant was awarded to Samuel Yeroushalmi B.S. mentored by Wilson Liao M.D., University of California San Francisco.
Additional Grant recipients include: Fahad Ahmed B.A. mentored by Joel Gelfand M.D., MSCE, FAAD, University of Pennsylvania Medical School; Andreea Damian M.S., mentored by Lihi Eder M.D., Ph.D., Women's College Hospital; Sarah Geahchan, biochemistry student mentored by Dafna Gladman M.D., FRCPC, University Health Network
Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowship
Fellowship awards provide support to eligible institutions to develop and enhance the opportunities for physicians training for research careers in dermatology, rheumatology, pediatric dermatology, and pediatric rheumatology.
The Dr. Mark G. Lebwohl Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowship was awarded to Julissa Jimenez M.D., Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, mentored by Amy Paller M.D.
Six additional Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowships made possible by AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Janssen Biotech, and Novartis include: Ruby Gibson M.D., Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, mentored by Martina Porter M.D.; Marwa Hakimi M.D., University of California San Francisco, mentored by Wilson Liao M.D.; Emma Larson M.D., University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, mentored by Kevin Cooper M.D.; Anjelica Peacock M.D., University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, mentored by Neil Korman M.D., Ph.D.; Maha N. Syed MBBS, University of Pennsylvania, mentored by Joel Gelfand M.D., MSCE, FAAD; Danielle Yee M.D., University of Southern California, mentored by April Armstrong M.D., MPH
Unrestricted Research Donations
Significant donations made to NPF research efforts that were not designated to a specific grant were made by: The Florence Petrlik Family Foundation; Donald A. Grilli; Sara Lee Larner; Michael and Carol Laub; Virginia Morris Kincaid Charitable Trust; Walton Family Foundation; Carol A. Yermal.
The 2022 NPF grants and fellowships application process will begin in the fall of 2021. To learn more about future opportunities and deadlines visit psoriasis.org/available-funding-opportunities/.
About the National Psoriasis Foundation
Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research, education and funding, the National Psoriasis Foundation, NPF, is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and PsA. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States 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 PsA. In recent years, NPF has funded more than $28 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 psoriasis.org.