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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 2, 2022

CONTACT:
Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association
917-538-5731
kathleen@americanskin.org

AMERICAN SKIN ASSOCIATION
ANNOUNCES 2022 RESEARCH GRANTS
FOR SKIN CANCER AND DISEASES

May 2, 2022, New York, NY – American Skin Association has announced the names of the two awardees receiving the coveted research grant under the ASA Milstein Research Scholar Awards program. This year Angel Byrd, MD, PhD of the Howard University College of Medicine, and Jennifer Gill, MD, PhD of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center were selected to receive the ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Grants.

Another sought-after grant includes the ASA Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award in Melanoma Research. Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was selected to receive the award. Over the years, the Stiefel Family — longtime supporters of ASA — has generously contributed $600,000 to support grants for melanoma research. This funding aims to support emerging leaders in dermatology, who are focused on understanding melanoma better, in hopes of finding a cure.

In addition, 5 other research grants — made possible through the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations — were also announced.

For thirty-five years, in advancement of its vital mission to serve the more than 100 million Americans afflicted with skin disorders, ASA and its affiliates have funded over $50 million in grants. ASA’s primary goal is to enhance treatments and continue working towards cures for melanoma, vitiligo, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other skin diseases.

“These grants in support of cutting-edge dermatological research are crucial in furthering ASA’s goal of defeating skin cancers like melanoma. Although the skin is our largest and perhaps most exposed organ, dermatological research remains one of the most underfunded areas of medicine. ASA's support will improve the chances of finding the long sought-after cure and bringing hope to the millions suffering from devastating skin cancer and other skin diseases.” said ASA Chairman, Howard P. Milstein.

ASA's grant program is run by its Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), comprised of leading scientists and physicians who volunteer their time to oversee the annual grant process. Through their leadership, ASA's grant program has supported the work of over 300 investigators, ranging from talented researchers in the early phases of their careers to recognized leaders in the field of dermatology.

"ASA's Medical Advisory Committee is excited to announce the 2022 awards. This year’s awardees indicate the growing power of research in basic, translational, and clinical Dermatology. Never before have advances in basic research so quickly led to new treatment approaches. New treatments for vitiligo, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, melanoma, and other types of skin cancer are just around the corner, fueled by important funding contributions by the ASA," said ASA President and MAC Co-Chair, Dr. David A. Norris.

ASA provides significant research awards to established investigators and medical students studying melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer, and other skin diseases. Through these grants, ASA has promoted the early careers of many gifted young investigators and has had a profound influence both on dermatology research and clinical care of dermatologic disease. Over the years, ASA-funded researchers have had an extensive impact on the understanding of melanoma by improving our insight into the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. With an exclusive focus on skin disease research, ASA has helped open new frontiers in skin science by producing results that will change how we understand and treat these diseases.

The following are the recipients of the 2022 Investigative Scientist Award, Research Scholar Awards, Research Grants, and Medical Student Grants:

2022 ASA Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award for Melanoma Research
Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Project Title: Use of Topical Diphencyprone to Improve Efficacy of Checkpoint Inhibition in Melanoma Patients

2022 ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Angel Byrd, MD, PhD
Howard University College of Medicine
Project Title: Examining Gene Expression in Mycosis Fungoides in Skin of Color

2022 ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
Jennifer Gill, MD, PhD
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Project Title: Characterizing the Role of GAPDHS As a Metastatic Suppressor in Human Melanoma

2022 ASA Calder Research Scholar Award in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
Jessica Shiu, MD, PhD
University of California Irvine
Project Title: Investigating the Role of Keratinocyte-derived Signaling Networks in Vitiligo Initiation

2022 ASA Mulvaney Family Foundation Research Grant in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
Ahmad Aleisa, MD, FAAD
Medical University of South Carolina
Project Title: Daily Topical Rapamycin (Sirolimus)Therapy for the Treatment of Vitiligo

2022 ASA Castle Biosciences Research Grant for Melanoma
Goran Micevic, MD, PhD
Yale School of Medicine
Project Title: Epigenetic Regulation of Slamf6 as a Therapeutic Strategy in Melanoma Immunotherapy

2022 ASA Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
Ms. Anngela Adams
University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
Project Title: Novel Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Model to Investigate Tumor-specific T Cell Responses

2022 ASA Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
Ms. Victoria Mroz
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Project Title: Role of ETS Transcription Factors in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Subpopulation Heterogeneity

ABOUT AMERICAN SKIN ASSOCIATION

A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians, and scientists, ASA has evolved over thirty-five years as a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, vitiligo, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other 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. ASA is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. For more information, visit americanskin.org.