The Road to a Cure
More money for research means a faster route to a cure
Recognizing the advances as well as the need for more research, the National Psoriasis Foundation is significantly increasing its commitment to research, elevating it to a top priority and boosting the amount of money it awards for research each year. The Psoriasis Foundation's five-year goal is to increase its research investment to $3 million a year by 2014. By comparison, the Foundation awarded $250,000 in research grants in 2009.
"We are at the cusp of even more discoveries, and the Foundation's mission of finding a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis will in large part be achieved through research," says board member Chip Newton, who belongs to the board's research committee and the Foundation's Scientific Advisory Committee. Both groups help decide who will receive the Foundation's research grants.
Psoriasis Foundation funds psoriasis immunology research
Dr. Andrew Blauvelt is hot on the trail of the culprits that cause psoriasis. In his research lab at the Portland, Ore., VA Medical Center, Blauvelt and his team are studying the role of cells called IL-23 and Th17 in the development of this chronic, incurable skin disease. Research into the action of these cells is one of the most promising areas in the study of psoriasis.
Blauvelt says a $30,000 grant in 2006 from the National Psoriasis Foundation helped kick-start his research. "The Foundation grant came at a critical point in my career when I was switching from one scientific field into psoriasis immunology research," he says. "It allowed me to successfully make this switch and begin working on the complex problem of understanding the types of immune cells that drive psoriasis.
Dr. Blauvelt is one of more than two dozen researchers who have received Psoriasis Foundation research grants since 1998. From the start, the program's goal has been to fund innovative research into the cause and cure of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.