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Press Release

May 13, 2024

Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association

American Skin Association
Honors SPOTS Program with Inaugural
2024 Research Achievement Award
in Community Education/Outreach

May 13, 2024, New York, NY – American Skin Association (ASA) is thrilled to announce that the SPOTS (Sun Protection Outreach Teaching by Students) program will receive the inaugural 2024 Research Achievement Award in Community Education/Outreach at the 2024 Society for Investigative Dermatology (SID) Annual Meeting. The 81st SID Annual Meeting will be held in Dallas, Texas from May 15th – 18th, 2024 and will serve as a platform where a varied group of dermatologic experts will gather to share insights into the most recent advancements. This event attracts a diverse range of seasoned researchers, medical practitioners, and numerous clinical trainees, including residents specializing in dermatology, all eager to exchange information and knowledge.

The 2024 Research Achievement Award in Community Education/Outreach will be accepted by two members of the SPOTS leadership team, Dr. Sofia Chaudhry of Saint Louis University School of Medicine, and Dr. M. Laurin Council of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

“I am honored to present this award to Drs. Chaudhry and Council on behalf of American Skin Association,” said David A. Norris, MD, President of ASA. “Their program provides necessary understanding about the importance of sun safety to children across the country.”

This sentiment was echoed by ASA Chairman, Howard P. Milstein, “Adequate awareness of sun safety & skin health is crucial for reducing the incidence of skin cancer, and the SPOTS team is spearheading efforts for successful prevention.” “ASA takes great pride in its six-year partnership with the SPOTS program and is honored to extend this well-deserved recognition.”

The SPOTS program is overseen by Dr. Lynn Cornelius from Washington University in St. Louis, President of SID, and her exceptional team which includes the award recipients, Drs. Chaudhry and Council. SPOTS is a community educational outreach initiative which targets students from preschool through high school to promote awareness about skin cancer prevention and early detection. Led by medical students, the program employs innovative methods such as interactive activities, personal narratives, and includes a specific emphasis on skin of color. Now, over sixty medical schools have adopted the SPOTS program which has yielded positive outcomes, enriching the knowledge of medical students in prevention and detection while empowering children and teenagers to safeguard themselves against sun exposure.

“The SPOTS team diligently strives to educate school-aged children on sun protection and skin cancer prevention, and stands as a deserving recipient of this honor,” added Humberto C. Antunes, Co-Chair of ASA’s Education Council. “Our six-year partnership emphasizes the alignment between SPOTS' mission and the core values of American Skin Association, which prioritize raising awareness and educating individuals about the impacts of sun exposure.”

Through the presentation of the inaugural 2024 Research Achievement Award in Community Education/Outreach, ASA takes pride in recognizing SPOTS' achievements, and acknowledges their commitment to enhancing medical students' capabilities as healthcare providers and their dedication to community educational outreach efforts. SPOTS’ particular focus on distinctions in how melanoma and skin cancer present on light and dark skin helps to close a critical gap in societal knowledge.

"The SPOTS program is a public health campaign dedicated to teaching youth across the country about the importance of skin cancer prevention and early detection,” added award recipient, Sofia Chaudhry, MD. “Given that early intervention is key, SPOTS educates school children about the need for sun protection. Students learn how skin cancer can present differently on different skin colors, increasing awareness of what to look out for. Through our partnership with American Skin Association, SPOTS has been able to expand and reach more students. We are honored to receive this award."

To learn more about American Skin Association or contribute, please visit

To learn more about the SPOTS program, please visit


A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, ASA has evolved over nearly four decades as a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and other skin diseases. Established as a 501(c)(3) organization 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


SPOTS started as a collaboration between Saint Louis University and Washington University Medical Schools in Saint Louis, Missouri, but has expanded to programs across the country, and with your help, will continue to do so. Download teaching materials to start your own SPOTS chapter today. For more information, visit

American Skin Association has earned Candid’s 2024 Seal of Platinum Transparency and the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator.