Six Investigators To Receive Grants For Eczema Research

New research will explore all key aspects of eczema from genetic components, to the science behind itch and inflammation, to new pathways for potential therapies

NOVATO, Calif., Dec. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Eczema Association (NEA) today announced the recipients for its 2020 research grants. Out of a record number of U.S.-based and international applications, the research projects of six outstanding investigators were selected, representing grants totaling $310,000.

The largest private nonprofit funder of eczema research, NEA has invested nearly $1.7 million since its first grant was awarded in 2004. Collectively, NEA-funded grants for basic science, clinical, and translational research have supported a deeper understanding of the symptoms, comorbidities and burdens of eczema, provided insights into new treatment strategies, and furthered the ability to improve care and prevention.

Most notably, for every $1 NEA has invested in eczema research, grantees have collectively gone on to obtain an additional $11.84 in subsequent National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding to support further research.

"Eczema affects over 31 million people in the U.S. alone, many with severe, even debilitating impacts to their life and yet we do not see an appropriate investment in research," says Julie Block, CEO of NEA. "We've been working hard to fill this gap, to increase the number of scientists, research projects and research dollars devoted to eczema which will lead to better therapies, better care, better outcomes – and one day, potentially a cure."

The 2020 research grants are awarded in three categories as follows:

Champion Research Grant– Proven researchers to continue research on emerging or ongoing challenges in eczema or bring their expertise to the field of eczema.

  • Anna DiNardo, MD, PhD, University of California San Diego
    • Exploring the synergy and counter regulation between the skin barrier and immune systems; targeting S1PR2 signal to improve dermatitis
  • Ethan Lerner, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
    • Exploring the basic science of what drives the itch and inflammation of atopic dermatitis and the contribution of molecules called Mrgprs

Catalyst Research Grant – Early-career scientists on the path toward becoming the next generation of eczema thought leaders by supporting hypothesis-driven research projects.

  • Jeffrey Cheng, MD, PhD, University of California San Francisco
    • Enabling atopic dermatitis personalized therapy through immune cell spatial mapping
  • Eran Cohen-Barak, MD, Emek Medical Center Afula, Israel
    • Deciphering the genetics of severe atopic dermatitis

Engagement Research Grant – Emerging investigators intending to explore a new research concept, pilot a new experiment or undertake a novel or secondary data analysis.

  • Ge Peng, MD, Juntendo University Graduate School of Medicine, Tokyo Japan:
    • Exploring the therapeutic effect of the antimicrobial peptide human ß- defensin-3 on atopic dermatitis through autophagy regulation
  • Victor Band, PhD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD:
    • Exploring metabolic alterations of skin microbiome during pharmaceutical treatment in atopic dermatitis

Learn more about NEA's ongoing support of eczema research.

About the National Eczema Association (NEA)
Founded in 1988, NEA is the largest, 501(c)(3) non-profit, US patient advocacy organization serving people affected by eczema. NEA provides people with eczema (and the people who love them) with the information they need to live their best lives, while fast-tracking research towards better treatments and – ultimately – a cure. NEA offers extensive resources including the Seal of Acceptance product directory to find suitable personal care and household products; Eczema Provider Finder to find doctors; NEA Ambassadors, for those looking to get involved in advocacy, research and outreach; EczemaWise, an app that helps patients and caregivers track symptoms and triggers and share information with their doctor; and much more. For more information, visit

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SOURCE National Eczema Association

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