National Psoriasis Foundation Awards 12 Psoriasis Research Fellowships

Published: Jul 01, 2011

Nearly half a million dollars given to researchers focused on curing psoriatic diseases

PORTLAND, Ore., June 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Psoriasis Foundation awarded $480,000 in research fellowships to 12 early career doctors, who each received a one-year, $40,000 fellowship to study psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The grants are intended to increase activity in psoriatic disease researchleading to better treatments and a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritisby supporting the development of additional physician researchers.

The fellowships team a young doctor with an established psoriatic disease investigator who will supervise the fellow's work. They also support eligible institutions in developing opportunities for physicians training for careers in academic research. Learn more about the National Psoriasis Foundation Research Fellowship:

The 2011 National Psoriasis Foundation Fellows and their projects are:

  • Maryam Afshar, MBBS, of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, will focus on the immune system in people with psoriasis during hepatitis C infection;
  • Shiu-chang Au, M.D., of Tufts Medical School in Boston, will examine whether children with psoriatic disease have a higher rate of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors;
  • Elizabeth Chase, M.D., of the University of California, Davis, will study psoriasis and its connection to higher rate of cardiovascular diseases;
  • Madeline Haddican, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, will focus on psoriasis clinical trials;
  • Faiyaaz A. Kalimullah, M.D., of Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., will investigate adherence to treatment, cost effectiveness of treatment and new protocols for phototherapy, a therapy which exposes the skin to ultra-violet light;
  • Douglas Kast, D.O., of Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, will research cardiovascular risk in psoriasis using the CACS score, a special X-ray test that detects early stage heart disease;
  • Peter Mattei, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, will develop a set of standardized outcome measures in clinical practice;
  • Katherine M. Mercy, M.D., of The Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., will identify the relationship between body mass index and psoriasis in children;
  • Amilcar Rizzo, M.D., of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, Calif., will try and understand the skin's immune interactions in psoriasis;
  • Bryan Sofen, M.D., of New York University in New York City, will explore the cutaneous microbiome, the population of microorganisms that live on the skin, in people with psoriasis to try and determine whether these organisms play a role in the disease;
  • Junko Takeshita, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, will examine cardiovascular risk in psoriasis and the effectiveness of therapies;
  • Daniel Zaghi, M.D., of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, will investigate if smoking affects the development of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

"The next generation holds the key to curing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. It's imperative that we urge young doctors now training to become dermatologists to focus their careers on studying and treating psoriasis and other complex skin diseases," said Mark Lebwohl, M.D., chair of the National Psoriasis Foundation Medical Board. "The National Psoriasis Foundation launched these fellowships as part of our commitment to make research our highest priority, and to guide emerging clinicians to become experts in psoriatic disease."

Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation research initiatives at

About Psoriasis
Psoriasis is the most prevalent autoimmune disease in the country, affecting as many as 7.5 million Americans. Appearing on the skin most often as red scaly patches that itch and bleed, psoriasis is chronic, painful, disfiguring and disabling. Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis, a related joint disease. There is no cure for psoriasis.

About the National Psoriasis Foundation
The National Psoriasis Foundation is the world's largest nonprofit organization serving people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our mission is to find a cure for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and to eliminate their devastating effects through research, advocacy and education.For more information, call the Psoriasis Foundation, headquartered in Portland, Ore., at 800.723.9166, or visit

SOURCE National Psoriasis Foundation

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