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New Research Grants Awarded

Posted: 11/29/2012

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) announced that it has awarded funding to five new studies as part of its research grants program to increase knowledge and understanding of the potential causes and other key aspects of rosacea.

“We are very gratified to fund these new studies, which will both build on recent results of rosacea research and forge new paths toward improvements in its treatment, prevention and potential cure,” said Dr. Mark Dahl, chairman of the NRS Medical Advisory Board, which selects grant applications for funding. “As always, we are indebted to the many thousands of patients whose donations make these important advances possible.”

Dr. Anna Di Nardo, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego, was awarded $25,000 to study the role of mast cells as a possible link between an overabundance of the antimicrobial peptides called cathelicidins in individuals with rosacea and the inflammation that appears on rosacea skin. Dr. Di Nardo will endeavor to identify inflammation-causing enzymes that are produced by mast cells as well as the influence of neuropeptides on the formation of these key enzymes.

Drs. Meg Gerstenblith and Daniel Popkin, assistant professors of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University, were awarded $10,000 to study the incidence of rosacea in fraternal and identical twins, recruited at the annual Twins Day festival in Ohio. The study aims to document potential genetic factors by determining if there is a statistically significant difference in the correlation of rosacea between identical and fraternal twins.

Drs. Ulf Meyer-Hoffert and Thomas Schwartz of the Department of Dermatology, University Clinic Schleswig-Holstein, were awarded $20,000 to study whether and how kallikreins, enzymes that contribute to inflammation in rosacea, can activate cytokines, which might contribute to the disease activity. The investigators will also research inhibitors of this substance that could have the potential to treat the disease.

Dr. Barbara Summerer, postdoctoral research fellow in dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, was awarded $25,000 to use sophisticated analytical technology to evaluate specific microbes in rosacea patients. She will further use epifluorescence microscopy to identify possible biofilms – communities of bacteria that adhere to surfaces – that may exist in rosacea patients, as well as the differences in types of bacteria present in subtype 1 (erythematotelangiectatic) rosacea and subtype 2 (papulopustular) rosacea, so that therapy can target them.

Dr. Yoshikazu Uchida, associate research dermatologist, and Dr. Peter Elias, professor of dermatology, at the University of California-San Francisco, were awarded $20,000 to study whether and how enhancing the production of human β-defensin 2 and conversely suppressing the production of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, part of the body’s innate immune system, may help suppress the overabundance of inflammation-causing peptides found in rosacea skin.

The NRS is also continuing to fund studies by Dr. Richard Granstein at Cornell University on the potential role of Th17 cells in rosacea and Dr. Edward Wladis at Albany Medical College on identifying cytokines involved in ocular rosacea.

Researchers interested in applying for grants may obtain forms and instructions through the research grants section of the NRS website, or by contacting the National Rosacea Society, 196 James Street, Barrington, Illinois 60010, telephone 1-888-662-5874, e-mail rosaceas@aol.com.

The deadline for submitting proposals to receive a research grant in 2013 is May 1, 2013.

Because the cause of rosacea is unknown, a high priority in awarding grants is given to studies relating to its pathogenesis, progression, mechanism of action, cell biology and potential genetic factors. Proposals relating to epidemiology, predisposition, quality of life and relationships with environmental and lifestyle factors may also be considered.

Members of the NRS medical advisory board include Dr. Mark Dahl, professor emeritus of dermatology at Mayo Clinic-Scottsdale and former American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) president; Dr. Michael Detmar, professor of pharmacogenomics, Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland; Dr. Lynn Drake, Harvard Medical School and former AAD president; Dr. Richard Gallo, chief, division of dermatology, University of California-San Diego; Dr. Alexa Boer Kimball, director, Clinical Unit for Research Trials in Skin, Harvard Medical School; Dr. Marian Macsai, professor of ophthalmology, University of Chicago; Dr. David Norris, chairman of dermatology, University of Colorado, and former president of the Society for Investigative Dermatology; Dr. Richard Odom, professor of clinical dermatology, University of California-San Francisco and former president of the AAD; Dr. Frank Powell, consultant dermatologist, Regional Centre of Dermatology, Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; and Dr. Jonathan Wilkin, former director of dermatologic and dental drug products for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Email:
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National Rosacea Society
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The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace

consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.