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2023 Award and Grant Recipients

Below are brief biographies for American Skin Association's 2023 grantees. Among the information included is the title of the grant, the name of the sponsoring institution and the focus of the grant recipient's research.

  • Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD

    Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD
    2023 ASA Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award for Melanoma Research
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Topic: Use of Topical Diphencyprone to Improve Efficacy of Checkpoint Inhibition in Melanoma Patients

    Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he directs the Oncodermatology and Early Detection of Skin Cancer Clinics. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, he was a transitional year intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a dermatology resident at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. While at NYU, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the institution's Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group headed by Dr. Iman Osman. He received his BA in biology from Columbia University, his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College, and his PhD from The Rockefeller University. He completed his PhD thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. James Krueger, where he led a clinical trial treating metastatic melanoma patients with a topical immunomodulator and performed translational studies on resultant skin biopsies. Dr. Gulati’s laboratory focuses on understanding how the immune system can best be used to treat melanoma and other skin cancers.

  • Clinton Enos, MD

    Clinton Enos, MD
    2023 ASA Arcutis Biotherapeutics Research Scholar Award for Psoriasis
    Eastern Virginia Medical School
    Topic: Assessment of Statin and Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events Among Patients with Psoriasis

    Clinton Enos, MD, MS is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA. Dr. Enos received his MS from George Mason University and completed his MD and dermatology residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School. He then completed a dermatopathology fellowship at the University of Florida. Dr. Enos’ research interests have focused on psoriasis and comorbid disease. His research studies have contributed to the identification of potential geographic differences in disease severity, comorbid disease burden, and treatment outcomes among patients with psoriasis in the United States. His research has also focused on associations between metabolic comorbid conditions and treatment outcomes for psoriasis patients treated with biologic therapies. His work utilizes real-world data to further understand the nature of psoriatic disease with hopes of improving the care for all patients living with psoriasis.

  • Joy Wan, MD

    Joy Wan, MD
    2023 ASA Research Scholar Award for Atopic Dermatitis
    The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Topic: Integrating Patient-reported Outcomes into Pediatric Atopic Dermatitis Care

    Joy Wan, MD, MSCE is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania, where she also completed dermatology residency and obtained a Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology. She completed her pediatric dermatology fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia followed by postdoctoral research training in epidemiology at UPenn. Her clinical and research interests focus on chronic pediatric skin diseases, particularly atopic dermatitis.

  • Patrick Brunner, MD

    Patrick Brunner, MD
    2023 ASA Calder Research Scholar Award in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Topic: Molecular Mapping of Vitiligo vs. HMF to Better Understand T-cell Mediated Depigmentation

    Dr. Brunner obtained his MD degree from the Medical University of Vienna, Austria. He completed his residency in Dermatology at the Department of Dermatology at the Medical University of Vienna (General Hospital Vienna), under the mentorship of Dr. Georg Stingl. Afterwards, Dr. Brunner joined the Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology at The Rockefeller University in New York, obtaining a master’s degree in clinical and Translational Sciences, and performed research on atopic dermatitis under the mentorship of Drs. Emma Guttman and James G. Krueger. In 2018, he started to build his own research group at the Medical University of Vienna, focusing on cutaneous immunobiology of chronic inflammatory skin diseases and primary cutaneous lymphomas, to better understand how individual immune cells orchestrate skin inflammation in benign and malignant conditions. In 2021, he moved back to New York to join the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as Associate Professor of Dermatology and Director of the Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic at the The Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology. As a clinician scientist with a strong interest in skin immunology, he is seeing patients suffering from primary cutaneous immune cell malignancies and has a general interest in chronic inflammatory skin diseases such as vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata and scarring alopecia. He is also heading a translational research group aiming at a better understanding of the tumor immunobiology in cutaneous lymphomas, and to develop better treatment modalities for this patient population.

  • Kingsley Essien, PhD

    Kingsley Essien, PhD
    2023 ASA Calder Research Scholar Award in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    UMASS Chan School of Medicine
    Topic: Targeting PD1/PDL1 Signaling to Inhibit CD8+ T-cells in a Novel Autologous Ex Vivo Model of Vitiligo

    Kingsley Essien, PhD, is an Instructor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School where he received his PhD in 2019. Mentored by Dr. John Harris, Dr. Essien investigated the suppressive mechanisms that autoreactive T cells overwhelm to cause vitiligo, and identified signaling pathways that regulatory T cells use to suppress T cell mediated depigmentation in a mouse model of disease. As an instructor, Dr. Essien’s research focused on understanding the signals that promote the long-term survival of vitiligo-causing T cells in the skin. This research aims to identify immunomodulatory pathways that new or existing therapies can target to treat vitiligo and other T cell-driven autoimmune conditions.

  • Theodora Karagounis, MD

    Theodora Karagounis, MD
    2023 ASA LEO Pharma Research Grant for Atopic Dermatitis
    NYU Grossman School of Medicine
    Topic: Effect of Staphylococcus Aureus Gastrointestinal Colonization on Gut Microbiome in Atopic Dermatitis

    Theodora Karagounis, MD, MS, is an Instructor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. She obtained her medical degree and Master of Biomedical Sciences from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. She completed her intern year at Massachusetts General Hospital and her dermatology residency at NYU, where she is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Bo Shopsin in the Department of Microbiology. Dr. Karagounis’ clinical interest focuses on inflammatory skin diseases, primarily atopic dermatitis, and contact dermatitis. Her research interests center on how microbes affect skin health. She is currently working on how constituents of the gut microbiota affect atopic dermatitis with the goal of developing microbially targeted therapeutic and preventative measures.

  • Ronan Talty

    Ronan Talty
    2023 ASA La Roche-Posay Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Yale University School of Medicine
    Topic: Targeting Lipid Droplet Synthesis to Augment Melanoma Immunotherapy Responses

    Ronan Talty is an MD/PhD student at Yale School of Medicine conducting melanoma research in the laboratory of Dr. Marcus Bosenberg. Prior to medical school, he grew up in New York City and graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University with a degree in behavioral neuroscience. His current research focuses on the role of ferroptosis in endogenous and immunotherapy-induced antitumor immunity, pharmacologic strategies to enhance intratumoral ferroptosis and immunotherapy responses, and the impact of mutations in oncogenes such as BRAF, NRAS, and KRAS on ferroptosis sensitivity.

  • Katherine Awh

    Katherine Awh
    2023 ASA David Mandelbaum Medical Student Grant Targeting Skin Cancer and Melanoma
    Brigham and Women’s Hospital
    Topic: A Pilot of a Microdevice for In Situ Candidate Drug Screening in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma

    Katherine Awh is a fourth-year medical student at Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. She is pursuing a research fellowship with Dr. Cecilia Larocca at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Her current research focuses on a novel implantable microdevice for rapid in-vivo drug-screening in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Katherine is passionate about pursuing a future career focused on innovation and clinical trial development. Prior to medical school, Katherine graduated from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

  • Annika Deitermann

    Annika Deitermann
    2023 ASA David Mandelbaum Medical Student Grant Targeting Skin Cancer and Melanoma
    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
    Topic: Pleomorphic Dermal Sarcoma (PDS): A Deeper Look

    Annika Deitermann is a research fellow at the University of Pennsylvania under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Miller and the Dermatology Oncology Center team. Prior to her work at Penn, she completed a fellowship at the National Cancer Institute where she explored her interest in improving the lives of people fighting breast cancer. Annika is a rising fourth-year MD student at the University of Minnesota Medical School and graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in neurobiology. She is passionate about patient care and plans to pursue a career in Dermatology.

  • Christopher Fay

    Christopher Fay
    2023 ASA David Mandelbaum Medical Student Grant Targeting Skin Cancer and Melanoma
    UMASS Chan School of Medicine
    Topic: Nationwide Analysis of Free Sunscreen Dispenser Usage

    Christopher J. Fay is a fourth-year medical student at UMass Chan Medical School. He has a strong interest in research and recently completed a fellowship with Dr. Nicole LeBoeuf at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute focusing on cutaneous oncology and oncodermatology. After a melanoma diagnosis in his own family, he became determined to change the landscape of skin cancer prevention in Massachusetts and beyond. He has personally deployed 189 free skin sunscreen dispensers to public parks, public housing, meeting places for outdoor workers, and sports stadiums. He has partnered with IMPACT Melanoma and the Dermatology Interest Group Association to exponentially grow these efforts and is currently leading a nationwide effort involving over one hundred medical students.

  • Victoria Jimenez

    Victoria Jimenez
    2023 ASA David Mandelbaum Medical Student Grant Targeting Skin Cancer and Melanoma
    University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine
    Topic: Posttranscriptional Regulation of Melanoma

    Victoria Jiminez is a rising third-year medical student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her undergraduate degree at Auburn University with a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to pursue a career in academic dermatology and has been involved with both melanoma community outreach and skin cancer research during her time in medical school. Her clinical and research interests include cutaneous oncology in both adults and children, and dermatologic care for patients with disabilities.

  • Yue Zhang

    Yue Zhang
    2023 ASA David Mandelbaum Medical Student Grant Targeting Skin Cancer and Melanoma
    Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
    Topic: Identification of Novel Therapeutic Targets in Cutaneous Gamma Delta T-cell Lymphomas

    Yue Zhang is an MD student at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. He obtained his BSc in Chemistry and Biology (’19) from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with Phi Beta Kappa honors. He is an alumnus of the US National Chemistry Olympiad Team (’14, ’15) and Research Science Institute (’15). He received the AΩA Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship in 2020 for investigation into the genetics of Merkel cell carcinoma and its response to checkpoint blockade immunotherapy, whose results were presented at the 2023 International Society of Investigative Dermatology. He was a predoctoral fellow (2022-2023) at Northwestern CTU, where he continues to investigate Merkel cell carcinoma and the genetics of hematologic malignancies, including T cell lymphomas under the supervision of Jaehyuk Choi, MD PhD. These results have been published or in submission in multiple manuscripts. He is interested in pursuing additional training in translational research during and after residency, using multi-dimensional “omics” to understand cancer biology and identify clinically relevant biomarkers to improve patient care. His interests include immunology, genetics, and skin and hematologic malignancies.

  • Patrick McMullan

    Patrick McMullan
    2023 ASA John Ong Teh Hee Medical Student Grant in Melanoma
    University of Connecticut School of Medicine
    Topic: High-throughput, Multiplex Immunofluorescence Microscopy for the Immunophenotyping of CTCL

    Patrick McMullan is an MD/PhD student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, Patrick graduated summa cum laude from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences. He completed his PhD degree in the laboratory of Dr. Emily L. Germain-Lee in UConn’s Center for Regenerative Medicine and Skeletal Development where he focused on studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms contributing to aberrant skeletal development in the disorder Albright hereditary osteodystrophy. Patrick holds strong career aspirations of becoming a physician scientist within the fields of Dermatology and Dermatopathology, and his broad research interests are in understanding the etiologies surrounding skin cancers and inflammatory dermatoses.

  • Nicole Mastacouris

    Nicole Mastacouris
    2023 ASA Mulvaney Family Foundation Medical Student Grant in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
    Topic: Healthcare Utilization Among Vitiligo Patients in the US According to Age, Sex, and Race

    Nicole Mastacouris is a fourth-year medical student at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and is pursuing a year of research in dermatology outcome measures and epidemiology under the mentorship of Dr. Amit Garg. She completed her undergraduate degree in microbiology at the University of New Hampshire and master’s degree in biomedical science at Tufts University. Nicole is originally from southern New Hampshire.

  • Eden David

    Eden David
    2023 ASA Medical Student Grant in Vitiligo
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Topic: Elucidating Differential Immune Dysregulation and JAK/STAT Signaling in Vitiligo

    Eden David is currently a third-year medical student at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. During medical school she has participated in research, under the mentorship of Dr. Emma Guttman-Yassky, in the Laboratory of Inflammatory Skin Diseases, with a focus on the immunologic mechanisms of inflammatory skin conditions, including atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata, and vitiligo. She will continue this research during her scholarly year before her final year of medical school. She has worked at ABC News' Medical Unit and contributed to the network’s health and science news coverage, publishing articles on the ABC News Digital website and participating in the production of televised segments for Good Morning America and World News Tonight. Before medical school, she received her BA from Columbia University with a major in Neuroscience and Behavior.

Recipients list by year: 2022 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Complete List of Research Grant & Award Recipients