Discovery Grants

Five researchers each received a one-year, $50,000 Discovery Grant for early-stage research to advance basic understanding of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

  • Onur Boyman, M.D., of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, will explore the role of cytokines, molecules involved in inflammation, and a subset of immune cells known as T-cells for their roles in the development of psoriasis. By identifying the extent to which different molecules and immune cells contribute to psoriasis, Boyman hopes to identify promising targets for potential new psoriasis therapies.
  • Cong-Qiu Chu, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor at Oregon Health & Science University and the Portland VA Medical Center, received The A. Marilyn Sime Discovery Grant to examine a new class of therapeutic agents known as small interfering RNA, which specifically target a key cell in psoriasis lesions and can be applied topically. Chu hopes to identify potential new topical treatments for mild to moderate psoriasis.
  • Dafna Gladman, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., professor of medicine at the University of Toronto, received The Laub Family Discovery Grant to identify if psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis is passed to offspring more frequently by fathers than mothers. Specifically, Gladman will test the hypothesis that DNA in psoriatic disease patients' sperm carries markers that predispose their children to psoriatic diseases. Her study could transform our understanding of the genetic link to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and provide tools to help clinicians diagnose and manage these diseases earlier.
  • Matthew Hayden, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology and microbiology and immunology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, was awarded The Ostrow Graff Family Discovery Grant to investigate how the tumor necrosis factor-alpha and Interleukin 17 molecules, which are key to the development of inflammation, work together to promote psoriasis. Hayden hopes to identify new ways to treat or prevent psoriasis.
  • Nicole Ward, Ph.D., assistant professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and recipient of The Lozick Discovery Grant, aims to build on her earlier work revealing a possible link to an enzyme called Kallikrein 6 in early stages of psoriasis. She'll test the hypothesis that this enzyme is a key player in the development of the disease, in hopes of identifying a new target for psoriasis treatment.

Learn more about National Psoriasis Foundation research »