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2021 Research Achievement Awards

  • Amy S. Paller, MD

    Amy S. Paller, MD
    Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University
    2021 David Martin Carter Mentor Award

    Dr. Paller is Chair of Dermatology and Walter J. Hamlin Professor of Dermatology. As both a scientist and an active clinician, she is dedicated to translating new discoveries about skin disease from bench to bedside.

    Her NIH-funded basic science and clinical research — which ranges from immune-mediated inflammatory diseases in children to diabetic wound healing and topical gene therapy for skin disorders — is frequently published in top journals, including JAMA, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of Clinical Investigation and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Paller, a faculty member since 1988, also serves as director of the Northwestern University Skin Disease Research Center (SDRC), one of six SDRCs in the country.

    "I am so lucky to have a career that encourages collaborative activities, focuses on training the next generation, and transitions research success towards better care of my patients," says Paller, also a professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

  • Rachael A. Clark, MD, PhD

    Rachael A. Clark, MD, PhD
    Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital
    2021 Research Achievement Award in Autoimmunity and Inflammation

    Dr. Clark is a physician scientist, a dermatologist and a human immunologist. She carried out her undergraduate training at the California Institute of Technology where she was advised to avoid a career in medicine. Despite this excellent advice, she completed her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard and now serves as the Shing-Yiu Yip and Cecilia M. Hepp Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School, Director of the NIAMS P30 funded Human Skin Disease Resource Center, and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    Dr. Clark divides her time between patient care, teaching, translational research and taking care of two Maine coon cats, two parrots, a horse, and quite a few children. Dr. Clark’s research focuses on the study of human T cell responses in skin and other peripheral tissues, including T cell function in healthy skin, impaired T cell responses in skin cancers, and maladaptive T cell activation in inflammatory skin diseases and cutaneous lymphomas. Her studies, driven by observations in patients and carried out on human tissues, have the goals of developing novel therapies for skin disease and advancing our understanding of human immunology.

  • Johann E. Gudjonsson, MD, PhD

    Johann E. Gudjonsson, MD, PhD
    University of Michigan
    2021 Research Achievement Award in Psoriasis

    Dr. Gudjonsson, MD, PhD. Is the Arthur C. Curtis Professor of Skin Molecular Immunology and Associate Professor Dermatology, and Taubman Medical Research Institute Scholar, at the University of Michigan. Dr. Gudjonsson completed his internship and dermatology residency training at the University of Michigan. In 2008, Dr. Gudjonsson joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Department of Dermatology. Dr. Gudjonsson clinical focus is on complex medical dermatology, particularly patients with severe inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis.

    Dr. Gudjonsson's primary research focus is basic immunological and genetic research on psoriasis, with projects directed at improving the diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis. He received the Young Investigator Award from the American Academy of Dermatology in 2007, and a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). He has published over 180 peer reviewed papers in top tier journals including Nature Immunology, Nature Genetics, Immunity, JCI and Science Translational medicine, and his work has earned several research awards, including awards from the American Skin Association, the Dermatology Foundation, Doris Duke Foundation, and selected as the Society for Investigative Dermatology Rising Star Lecture in 2018. He has received several NIH R01 awards and is the director of an NIH sponsored P30 Research Core Center at University of Michigan. Dr. Gudjonsson is on the Board of Directors of the International Psoriasis Council and a member of the National Psoriasis Foundation's Scientific Advisory Committee and Medical Board. He is currently a standing member of the NIH ACTS Study Section and on the Board of Scientific Counselors to NIAMS.

  • Mark Lebwohl, MD

    Mark Lebwohl, MD
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    2021 Research Achievement Award in Public Policy and Medical Education

    Dr. Lebwohl is chairman emeritus of the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. He is the founding editor of Psoriasis Forum as well as medical editor of the bulletin of the National Psoriasis Foundation, Psoriasis Advance. He has been on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and the Journal of Skin Cancer. He is editor of the Dermatology Section of Scientific American Medicine and co-Editor-in-Chief of Skin, the Journal of Cutaneous Medicine. Dr. Lebwohl has chaired numerous symposia and has written or edited several books including the first atlas devoted entirely to cutaneous manifestations of systemic disease, and the leading book on dermatologic therapy, Treatment of Skin Disease, now in its fifth edition. His books have been translated into numerous foreign languages, including French, Portuguese, Chinese and Polish. Other books include Difficult Diagnoses in Dermatology and Psoriasis. He has authored or co-authored over 500 publications including articles, chapters and abstracts. Dr. Lebwohl is actively involved in clinical trials of many new dermatologic treatments.

    Dr. Lebwohl has been practicing dermatology since 1983. He is the Dean of Clinical Therapeutics at the Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Lebwohl has served as president of the New York Dermatological Society, the Manhattan Dermatologic Society, and the New York State Society of Dermatology, and as chairman of the Dermatology Section of the New York Academy of Medicine. Dr. Lebwohl is a past chairman of the Psoriasis Task Force of the American Academy of Dermatology, and has directed the AAD's annual Psoriasis Symposium, Diagnostic Update Symposium and Therapeutics Symposium. In 2015-16 he served as President of the American Academy of Dermatology.

  • I. Caroline Le Poole, PhD

    I. Caroline Le Poole, PhD
    Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University
    2021 Research Achievement Award in Vitiligo and Pigment Cell Biology

    Dr. LePoole is a Professor of Dermatology, Microbiology and Immunology at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine with decades of experience in Investigative Dermatology and Immunology research. Her laboratory is focused on the etiology and treatment of vitiligo, melanoma, and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) as well as tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). Specifically, the objective is to design immunotherapeutics to treat these conditions. Professor Le Poole earned her PhD at the University of Amsterdam. She has held numerous federally funded grants focusing on various aspects of immunotherapy.

  • Brian Kim, MD, MTR

    Brian Kim, MD, MTR
    Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
    2021 Research Achievement Award in Discovery

    Dr. Kim is Associate Professor of Medicine, Anesthesiology, and Pathology and Immunology; Co-Director, Center for the Study of Itch and Sensory Disorders at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

    Dr. Brian S. Kim's laboratory focuses on neuroimmune mechanisms that underlie skin inflammation and the sensation of itch. He discovered the presence of group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in the skin, and along with basophils, and their contribution to the pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis (AD) in both mice and humans. These cells have emerged as critical sources of the type 2 cytokines IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, which are now among the most important targets for biologic therapy in AD and other allergic disorders. In 2017, the Kim Lab was the first to identify functionality of IL-4/13 and Janus kinases (JAKs) in sensory neurons as master regulators of chronic itch. This led to Dr. Kim leading the design of the pivotal phase 2 clinical trial for topical ruxolitinib cream by Incyte Corporation for AD which in turn led to highly successful phase 3 clinical trials, paving the way for FDA approval. These studies have immediate clinical implications as type 2 cytokine and JAK blockade have emerged as some of the most efficacious therapeutics in AD. More recently, the Kim Lab has identified how natural killer (NK) cells can be harnessed to suppress skin inflammation. Additionally, they have identified a new form of itch within AD mediated by IgE and basophils, revealing a novel neuroimmune circuit. His research on neuroimmune regulation of AD and itch has led to awards and funding from the NIH, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, American Skin Association, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Clinical Investigation, American Dermatological Association, and International League of Dermatological Societies.

  • Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD

    Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD
    University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
    2021 Inaugural Research Achievement Award in Translational Research

    Dr. Robert Kirsner is Chairman and the endowed Harvey Blank tenured Professor in the Dr. Phillip Frost Dermatology in the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is Chief of Dermatology at the University of Miami Hospital and Clinics and Jackson Memorial Hospital and directs the University of Miami Hospital Wound Center. Dr. Kirsner received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University, his medical degree from the University of Miami and a PhD in epidemiology from the University of Miami, the later which he completed after his clinical training. His clinical training included internal medicine, a clinical and research fellowship in wound healing and dermatology at the University of Miami. His research interests include Wound Healing and Skin Cancer Epidemiology. Dr. Kirsner serves in national leadership positions in both Wound Healing and Dermatology, including recently elected as Vice President Elect for the American Academy of Dermatology and serving on the Wound Healing Society Board of Directors. In addition to career development awards, foundation, industry sponsored funding and CDC funding, he currently leads or is part of a number of NIH funded grants. Independent of books, book chapters and abstracts, he has published over 550 articles.

  • Martin A. Weinstock, MD, PhD

    Martin A. Weinstock, MD, PhD
    Brown University
    2021 Research Achievement Award in Skin Cancer and Melanoma

    Martin A. Weinstock received his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude with highest honors in mathematics from Williams College and his MD and PhD degrees from Columbia University. He completed his dermatology residency and post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard, and then joined the faculty at Brown University, where he is Professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology. He started the teledermatology program in the VA (U S Department of Veterans Affairs) in 1997 and is now co-director of the national V A teledermatology program; his research has focused on the epidemiology of cutaneous malignancies and dysplasias, with foci on melanoma early detecton, keratinocyte carcinoma chemoprevention,and other areas, and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, and nonprofit foundations. He has over 600 publications, over 300 invited presentations in the United States and internationally in 5 continents.

Recipients list by year: 2023 | 2022 | 2021 | 2020