The Skin Cancer Foundation Announces 2012 Research Grant Recipients

$155,000 Awarded to Eight Groundbreaking Projects 

Awards will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology 

San Diego, Calif. (March 18, 2012) – The Skin Cancer Foundation will award $155,000 in research grants for 2012, the most money ever distributed by the Foundation in one year. Eight grants will be awarded to fund pilot research projects related to skin cancer. The awards will be presented at the Foundation’s annual reception during the 68th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology on March 18th in San Diego, Calif. Since 1981, the Foundation has awarded more than one million dollars to fund projects that foster improvements in disease management.

“With more than 3.5 million skin cancers in over two million people diagnosed annually in the US, the Research Grant Awards program continues to play a critical role in The Skin Cancer Foundation’s mission,” said Bijan Safai, MD, Chairman of The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Research Grants Committee. “For the second year in a row, the Foundation has increased funding for this program as these innovative studies may lead to further advances in the field of skin cancer detection, prevention and treatment.”

Proposals are evaluated by members of the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee, which includes Jeffrey Dover, MD, Leonard Goldberg, MD, David Leffell, MD, David Polsky, MD and Committee Chairman Bijan Safai, MD. All projects are selected on the basis of their applicability to the Foundation’s mission of combating the skin cancer epidemic. 

Grants to be Awarded:

The Joseph A. Stirrup Memorial Award: A $25,000 grant awarded to Rachael Clark, MD PhD, Assistant Professor, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA for the research project, “Characterizing human T cell immunity to merkel cell polyomavirus in Merkel cell carcinoma.” 

The Paul Silberberg Memorial Award: A $25,000 grant awarded to Lisa M. Godsel, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, for the research project, “The role of the desmosome protein, plakophilin 2, in cancer.”   

The Dr. Alfred W. Kopf Research Grant Award: A $25,000 grant awarded to Bryan K. Sun, MD, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA for the research project, “Characterization of genetic mutations in primary dermal melanoma.”  

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award: A $25,000 grant awarded to Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, Dermatology Resident, The Rockefeller University, New York, NY for the research project, Cutaneous vaccination to Basal Cell Carcinoma-harnessing Dendritic Cells of the Skin and Skin Draining LN to improve immunity.” 

The Dr. Marcia Robbins-Wilf Research Award: A $15,000 grant awarded to Jennifer Powers, MD, Chief Resident, Dermatology, Vanderbilt School of Medicine, Nashville, TN  for the research project, “Incidence of skin cancer risk factors experienced by veterans involved in Operation Enduring Freedom /Operation Iraqi Freedom/Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND) and subsequent skin health behavioral modifications post – combat.”  

The Todd Nagel Memorial Award: A $15,000 grant awarded to Michelle W. Ma, MD, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY for the research project, “A study of the association of BRAF mutations and brain metastases in melanoma.” 

The Melissa K. Bambino Memorial Award: A $15,000 grant awarded to Rahul Purwar, PhD, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA for the research project, Retinoid related orphan receptor-gamma (ROR-g): a novel therapeutic target for melanoma treatment.

The Skin Cancer Foundation Research Award: A $10,000 grant awarded to Jennifer Stein, MD, Assistant Professor, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY for the research project, “A pilot study to explore safety, tolerability and potential clearance with topical sirolimus for treatment of actinic keratoses.”

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For more information, please contact:

Carla Barry-Austin; cbarryaustin@skincancer.org; 212-725-5641

Rebecca Wiley; rwiley@skincancer.org; 646-583-7988
 

About The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. For more information, visit www.SkinCancer.org.