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National Psoriasis Foundation awards 12 psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research fellowships

PORTLAND, Ore. (July 1, 2013)Twelve residents and medical students each received a one-year, $40,000 National Psoriasis Foundation fellowship to study psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The National Psoriasis Foundation Amgen Medical Dermatology Fellowships aim to increase the number of scientists studying and treating psoriatic diseases by encouraging promising doctors to dedicate their careers to psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as physician researchers.

The fellowships connect an early-career doctor with an established psoriatic disease researcher who will oversee their work. Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation fellowship program: The 2013 fellows are:

  • Shehla Admani, M.D., of Rady Children's Hospital at University of California, San Diego, who will use previous data suggesting an increased prevalence of liver disease in adults with psoriasis to study a possible association of liver disease in children with psoriasis.
  • Sarah Churton, M.D., of University Hospitals Case Medical Center, who will use existing data to determine how diet and exercise influence psoriasis severity and a person's cardiovascular risk associated with psoriasis.
  • Jeffrey Cohen, B.A., of Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School, who will examine the risk of psoriatic diseases in people with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Nazanin Ehsani, M.D., of Stanford University, who will use genetically modified mice to explain how the immune system and the skin interact in mice with psoriasis-like skin.
  • Jessica Garelik, D.O., of New York University School of Medicine, who will study the relationship between microbes found on the skin and psoriasis, and the effects of gluten-heavy diets on psoriasis. Dr. Garelik's project may also provide insight into the association between psoriasis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Benjamin Jones, B.A., medical student at the University of Utah School of Medicine, who will investigate how microbes that inhabit the skin and throat might contribute to guttate psosiasis, and develop a tool to better measure its severity.
  • Benjamin Kaffenberger, M.D., of The Ohio State University Medical Center, who will explore the relationship between psoriasis and a naturally occurring human enzyme previously identified as a cause for the abnormal immune function of psoriasis.
  • Noori Kim, M.D., of Tufts Medical Center, who will examine the effectiveness of biologics for psoriasis compared to traditional systemic therapies and phototherapy in a real-world setting.
  • Dario Kivelevitch, M.D., of the Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, who will study the blood and skin of people with palmar-plantar psoriasis to try and understand how it develops. Current treatments are only moderately effective for palmar-plantar psoriasis so this project could identify new treatments for this rare form of psoriasis.
  • Pranathi Lingam, M.D., of Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, who will collect and analyze data for a registry examining treatment effectiveness. The data will allow Dr. Lingam to investigate the efficacy of different psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis therapies in a real-world setting.
  • Sharon Rose, M.D., of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, who will determine if treating with whipworm parasite, which has suppressed inflammation in other diseases, is safe and effective for moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. Dr. Rose will also study if the sequence in which four common topical treatments for psoriasis are used impacts their effectiveness.
  • Aimee Two, M.D., of the University of California, San Diego, who will examine proteins associated with psoriasis and skin wounds to discover if abnormally high increases in inflammation are seen in psoriasis skin after it's injured.

"These exciting projects, ranging from the impact of diet on psoriasis to the safety and performance of treatments in real life, are critical to answering questions about the causes of psoriatic diseases and how they can be stopped," said Randy Beranek, National Psoriasis Foundation president and CEO. "We launched this fellowship initiative because we know the future generation of researchers is the key to curing psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis."


Contact: Noe Baker
National Psoriasis Foundation

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