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Press Release

April 18, 2018

Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association


April 18, 2018 - New York, NY – On April 10, at their Annual Spring Gala at The Plaza Hotel, American Skin Association (ASA) announced the Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Awards. The Stiefel Family, longtime supporters of ASA, has generously contributed $300,000 to support grants for melanoma research. The purpose of this funding mechanism is to identify and support emerging leaders in dermatology focused on melanoma research.

Recent changes at the NIH have limited support for mid-career investigators, instead favoring on the work of senior and early-career investigators. The grants funded by the Stiefel family will offer much needed support to mid-career investigators poised to become leaders in key areas of melanoma research. Candidates must have an MD and/or PhD, with a substantial track record in their melanoma research area.

"We are so grateful to Daneen and Charles Stiefel for their overwhelming generosity," said Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of ASA. "Their tremendous compassion for those suffering from devastating diseases is an inspiration to us all. For decades, the Stiefel family has generously funded crucial studies and provided hope to those desperately awaiting cures for skin cancer and other skin diseases. ASA applauds their continuing support of our organization’s mission and our common goal."

At last night's gala, the first two Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award recipients were announced and lauded for their achievements in the field of melanoma research:

Neil Box, PhD, Associate Professor within the Departments of Dermatology and Epidemiology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, is an emerging leader in the study of melanoma risk. He has made important contributions to the understanding of melanoma risk mediated via genetic factors and environmental exposures. Dr. Box is dedicated to educating a new generation of melanoma investigators.

Deborah Lang, PhD, Associate Professor of Dermatology at Boston University, is committed to educating the next generation of melanoma researchers. Dr. Lang leads a lab focused on the molecular biology of melanoma. Her cancer research and findings related to melanocyte stem cells have had broad impact, with discoveries into the molecular mechanisms of melanoma revealing potential "Achille's heel" factors that, if targeted and inhibited therapeutically, would lead to catastrophic consequences to the cancer cells. These findings may provide next generation treatment options for cancer patients.

A philanthropist and pharma icon, Charles Stiefel is Chairman of Brickell Biotech, Inc. With more than 36 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and tremendous compassion for those suffering from devastating diseases, Stiefel has spent decades generously supporting ASA and countless others causes. Daneen and Charles Stiefel’s gifts have funded crucial studies and provided hope to those suffering from skin cancer and other skin diseases, while providing immense contributions to the field of dermatology and other medical fields.


ASA is a unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, and has evolved over thirty-one years into a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and important inflammatory and genetic skin diseases. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans — one third of the U.S. population — afflicted with skin disorders, the organization's mission remains to: advance research, champion skin health — particularly among children, and drive public awareness about skin disease. For more information, visit