National Psoriasis Foundation Awards $3.28 Million in Research Grants and Fellowships

Portland, Ore. (July 6, 2020) —The National Psoriasis Foundation, NPF, is proud to announce  the awarding of $3.28 million in research grants and fellowships in 2020. This year’s awards bring the total amount NPF has invested in psoriatic disease grants and fellowships in recent years to more than $24 million.

This year, NPF plans to fund a total of 39 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 grants and fellowships.

Psoriasis Prevention Initiative (PPI)

The Psoriasis Prevention Initiative supports multi-institution, multi-disciplinary, team-based research network projects that aim to identify an intervention that will prevent the onset of psoriatic disease, disease relapse, or relevant comorbidities.

Investigator recipients leading multi-institution, multi-disciplinary teams include Joel Gelfand, M.D., MSCE University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Johann Gudjonsson, M.D., Ph.D. University of Michigan, and Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., MPH University of Rochester Medical Center.

The Psoriasis Prevention Initiative is made possible through the generous support of Karen and Dale White and contributions from corporate partners Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and Company, and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.

Discovery Grants

Discovery Grants fund researchers to 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 funding agencies in the future.

Recipients include Bryan Sun, M.D., Ph.D. University of California San Diego, Alexis Ogdie-Beatty, M.D., MSCE University of Pennsylvania, Concepcio Soler, Ph.D. University of Barcelona, Lihi Eder, M.D., Ph.D. University of Toronto, David Dombrocwicz, Ph.D. Université de Lille, Yuri Bunimovich, M.D., Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh, Dror Avni, Ph.D. Sheba Medical Center, Erik Lubberts, Ph.D. Erasmus University Medical Center.

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 Paola Di Meglio, Ph.D. King's College London. Additional translation grants were awarded to Ramon Merino, M.D., Ph.D. Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria, Lars Iversen, M.D., DMSc Aarhus University Hospital, and Loredana Frasca, Ph.D. Istituto Superiore di Sanità.

Early Career Research 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.

The Sue Shoenberg Endowment for Early Career Research Grant was awarded to John Riley, B.A., M.S. Thomas Jefferson University. Additional early career research grants were awarded to Jacqueline Frost, Ph.D. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Piotr Konieczny, Ph.D. New York University School of Medicine, and Omar Cruz Correa, B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. University Health Network.

Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnostic Test Grant

Psoriatic Arthritis Diagnostic Test Grants are aimed at developing a diagnostic test for psoriatic arthritis which will dramatically reduce the delay in diagnosis and beginning treatment, decreasing the risk of permanent joint damage and other related co-morbidities. This grant is funded in multiple phases, with the first year of support awarded in 2019, to establish proof-of-concept data. Renewal for a second year of funding is awarded upon validation of the project’s feasibility, which is then followed by a competitive renewal for up to three additional years of funding to complete research, development and validation of a diagnostic test.

Grant recipients funded for a second year 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 Michael Graff and Carol Ostrow, Michael and Carol Laub, the Bucks Creek Foundation, The Wood Family, James and Toni Turner, Xiaotong Zhang, Ron Grau, William “Bill” and Jodi Felton, and Fred and Joan Weisman. Support from corporate sponsors include AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Janssen Biotech.

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., Timothy Law of the University of California Davis received a grant from The Don and Nancy Alpert Family Fund.

Other NPF Summer Student Research Grant recipients include Glen Katsnelson, M.Sc. University of Toronto and Kremibl Research Institute, mentored by Dafna Gladman, M.D., Daniel Cummins University of California San Francisco, mentored by Wilson Liao, M.D., and Nicholas Teri NYU Medical Center mentored by Shruit Naik, Ph.D.

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: Jaehwan Kim, M.D., Ph.D. Rockefeller University and Michael Garshick, M.D., M.S. NYU Langone Health.

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 Rand Nashi, M.D Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center who is mentored by Alexa Kimball, M.D., MPH Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Five additional Psoriatic Disease Research Fellowships were awarded through generous support from AbbVie, Amgen, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Janssen Biotech. 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. Joy Wan, M.D., MSCE University of Pennsylvania, mentored by Joel Gelfand, M.D. Perelman School of Medicine University of Pennsylvania. Jennifer Boles, B.S., M.D. Northwestern University, mentored by Amy Paller, M.D. Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Gerardo Russo, M.D Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, mentored by Mark Lebwohl, M.D. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Rochelle Castillo, B.S., M.D., M.S. NYU School of Medicine, mentored by Jose Scher, M.D. NYU School of Medicine.

The NIH-NPF Fellowship in Translational Medicine

The NIH-NPF Fellowship in Translational Medicine provides support for an early career clinical and translational scientist to conduct research at the NIH focusing on research and patient care in psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis or related comorbidities. The fellowship was awarded to Heather Teague, M.S., Ph.D. National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, mentored by Nehal Mehta, M.D., MSCE National Institutes of Health-National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Milestones to a Cure

The Milestones to a Cure grant supports psoriatic disease research focused on treatment durability, remission/relapse, prevention, and personalized medicine. This grant has been awarded to Andrew Blauvelt, M.D., MBA Oregon Medical Research Center.

2021 grants and fellowships application process will begin in the fall. To learn more about future opportunities and deadlines visit https://www.psoriasis.org/grants.

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