ASA Awards 13 Grants for Skin Cancer and Disease Research

The American Skin Association (ASA) has awarded 13 financial grants to support research on skin cancer and skin disease. For more than 30 years, the ASA and its affiliates—including individuals, foundations and corporations—have funded in excess of $50 million in grants to enhance treatments and continue working towards cures for melanoma, vitiligo, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and other skin diseases.

“Dermatology remains one of the most underfunded areas of medicine,” said Howard P. Milstein, chair of the ASA. “We believe these important grants in support of cutting-edge dermatological research will improve the chances of finding long sought-after cures and bring hope to many suffering patients.”

The recipients of the 2020 Investigative Scientist Award, Research Scholar Awards, Research Grants and Medical Student Grants are:

ASA Daneen and Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award for Melanoma Research
Yuri Bunimovich, MD, PhD
University of Pittsburgh
“Improving Immune Checkpoint Therapy by Targeting Neurons”

ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Douglas Osborne, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
“Role of IL-37 in Regulatory T cells and Melanoma”

ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award in Atopic Dermatitis
Benjamin Ungar, MD
Icahn School of Medicine
“The Relationship Between the Skin Microbiome and Immune and Barrier Dysregulation in Moderate-to-Severe Atopic Dermatitis Patients”

ASA Calder Research Scholar Award in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
Indermeet Kohli, PhD
Henry Ford Health System
“Visible Light and Ultraviolet A1 for Vitiligo Phototherapy”

ASA Melly Family Research Grant in Psoriasis/Inflammatory Skin Disease
Prashiela Manga, PhD
New York School of Medicine
“Investigation of Post Inflammatory Hyper Pigmentation”

ASA Mulvaney Family Foundation Research Grant in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
Bassel Mahmoud, MD, PhD, FAAD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
“Melanocyte Transplantation Plus Topical JAK Inhibitor for Treatment of Vitiligo: A Randomized Study”

ASA Mulvaney Family Foundation Research Grant in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
Tamara Terzian, PhD
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
“Targeted Therapy for Vitiligo”

ASA Pfizer Research Grant for Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
Manuel Garber, PhD
University of Massachusetts Medical School
“Defining Cell Type Specific Epidermis Regulatory Elements to Enable Vitiligo Functional Genomics”

ASA Ping Y. Tai Foundation Research Grant in Skin Cancer/Melanoma
Dan Filipescu, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai
“MacroH2A as a Novel Chromatin Regulator of the Melanoma Microenvironment”

ASA J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation Medical Student Grants Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research
Samantha Guhan
Massachusetts General Hospital
“Cyclin - Dependent Kinase 9 as a Therapeutic Target in Uveal and Triple-Wild Type Melanoma”

ASA J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation Medical Student Grants Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research
Natella Maglakelidze
Pennsylvania State College of Medicine
“Defining Aire Function in UV-Induced DNA Damage Response and Early Stage Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer”

ASA J.T. Tai & Co. Foundation Medical Student Grants Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research
Catherine Wang
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health
“Role of CD200 in Modulating Immunoregulatory Macrophages in Merkel Cell Carcinoma”

ASA Cohen Family Medical Student Research Grant
Eliot Zhu
University of Iowa
“Targetable Drivers of Drug Resistance to BRAF Inhibitors in Melanoma”

ASA’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), comprised of leading scientists and physicians, administer the annual grant process. “This year’s promising new class of awardees brings hope to so many. ASA’s Medical Advisory Committee is eager for the future findings that these projects may bring,” said Dr. David A. Norris, ASA president and co-chair of the MAC.

For more information on ASA grants, visit www.americanskin.org