NPF Continues Funding of Novel PsA Diagnostic Grant

For Release August 17, 2023 – Alexandria Virginia – The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is pleased to announce the continuation of the innovative and successful Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) Diagnostic Test Grant with the funding of grants to Vinod Chandran, MBBS, M.D., DM, Ph.D., FRCPC, and Jose Scher, M.D. These researchers are making profound discoveries that are key to psoriatic disease diagnosis and treatment.

“Unfortunately, about 1 in 3 of the more than 8 million people in the U.S. who live with psoriasis will develop PsA,” said Guy S. Eakin, Ph.D., the Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of NPF. “In addition to causing a lot of pain, PsA can lead to permanent joint damage and extreme fatigue. No one deserves to live with that for the rest of their lives, and far too often, we hear that joint damage has been done before a diagnosis has even been made.”

  • NPF began annual funding of the PsA Diagnostic Test Grant in 2019 to:
  • Decrease the time to PsA diagnosis
  • Help those with PsA better manage the disease
  • Reduce barriers to health care and treatment
  • Improve health care provider understanding of PsA symptoms, disease management, and impact on patient quality of life

“What started years ago with six first-year, proof-of-concept proposals, is coming to fruition now,” said Leah M. Howard, J.D., the President and CEO of NPF. “Drs. Chandran and Scher are each carrying out investigations that are leading to new discoveries that can dramatically improve the lives of the people with psoriatic disease.”

Dr. Chandran’s grant of $300,000 will allow him to continue his team’s work creating a diagnostic signature for PsA using clinical parameters and multi-omic markers (genes, proteins, metabolites). His work in creating has created a biomarker that has an excellent prospect for developing into a reliable diagnostic test, owing to its ability to balance false positives and negatives.

Dr. Chandran is Associate Professor of Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine, at the University Health Network, University of Toronto.

Dr. Scher’s grant of $350,000 will allow the continuation of his team’s research that has led to data published in Science Immunology. The groundbreaking discovery showed that not only was skin that was severely affected by psoriasis lesions found to have molecular changes, but also that those molecular changes were found in distant sites on the body that were thought to be unaffected. This finding hints at a molecular pathway involved in the comorbidities of psoriasis – particularly metabolism related pathways which impact energy use and lipid levels, which are factors in cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Dr. Scher’s project was combined with an initial proof-of-concept investigation of Wilson Liao, M.D., to support a collaboration of similar project focus with a slightly increased investment.

Dr. Scher is Assistant Professor in the New York University School of Medicine Department of Medicine. He also serves as Director of the Psoriatic Arthritis Center.

Dr. Liao is Professor and Vice Chair of Research in the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Department of Dermatology. He also serves as Director of the UCSF Psoriasis and Skin Treatment Center.

The 2023 PsA Diagnostic Test Grant awards to Drs. Chandran and Scher were made possible by:

  • Karen and Dale White Research Center of Excellence
  • Michael Graff and Carol Ostrow
  • William “Bill” and Jodi Felton
  • The Bucks Creek Foundation
  • The Wood Family
  • Michael and Carol Laub
  • Ron Grau
  • The Virginia Morris Kincaid Foundation
  • Xiaotong Zhang

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

The National Psoriasis Foundation is the leading nonprofit representing individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The mission of NPF is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of more than 8 million individuals in the United States affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. Learn more at


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