National Rosacea Society Awards Research Grants

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) awarded funding for three new studies, in addition to continuing its support for two ongoing studies, as part of its research grants program created to increase knowledge and understanding of rosacea.

Gideon Smith, MD, assistant physician in the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and instructor at Harvard University, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 to investigate whether individuals with rosacea may be at higher risk for other disorders involving the vascular system such as heart disease and high cholesterol. They will use a large clinical database to identify cases of rosacea and examine the prevalence of markers of cardiovascular inflammation.

Lori Lee Stohl, MD, research associate in the department of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical School, was awarded $25,000 to examine how norepinephrine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP), released during stress, may increase the number of mast cells, which have been linked to dysfunction of the innate immune system and the appearance of the signs and symptoms of rosacea. She will also study whether these chemicals induce cathelicidins, a peptide involved in the immune system that is also linked to rosacea, to determine whether there is a potentially significant link between the two pathways.

Daniel Popkin, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 earlier in 2015 to study the facial microbiomes of identical twins in whom only one has rosacea. In previous NRS-funded work, the researchers studied the contribution of genetics versus the environment to rosacea in identical and fraternal twins.

The NRS also continues to fund studies by Anne Chang, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University, on identifying rosacea genes using a genome-wide association study, and Anna Di Nardo, MD, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Diego, on mast cells and redness.

“Since the grants program began in 2000, research supported by donations from many thousands of rosacea patients has dramatically increased understanding of rosacea’s pathophysiology and potential causes,” said Mark Dahl, MD, professor emeritus at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and chairman of the NRS Medical Advisory Board. “In addition, important studies are now beginning to uncover possible links between rosacea and increased risk of other serious disorders.”

Researchers interested in applying for grants may obtain forms and instructions through the research grants section of www.rosacea.org or contact: 888.662.5874, rosaceas@aol.com. High priority is given to studies relating to the pathogenesis, progression, mechanism of action, cell biology and potential genetic factors related to rosacea. Proposals relating to epidemiology, predisposition, quality of life and relationships with environmental and lifestyle factors may also be considered.

The deadline for submitting proposals to receive a research grant in 2016 is June 17, 2016.

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