2020 Research Award Recipients


The Board of Trustees is pleased to present the 59 recipients of the 2020 DF research awards.

Charles and Daneen Stiefel Scholar Award in Skin Cancer

Brian C. Capell, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 2
University of Pennsylvania
Restoring Epigenomic Histone Methylation Dynamics for the Treatment of Keratinocyte Carcinomas

Todd W. Ridky, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 3
University of Pennsylvania
Inhibiting Melanoma via a Novel and Druggable GPCR Pathway

Iwei Yeh, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Novel Therapies for KIT Mutant Melanoma

Sun Pharma Research Award

Elizabeth A. Grice, Ph.D. – Year 2
University of Pennsylvania
Harnessing the Commensal Skin Mlcrobiota to Modulate Inflammation and Barrier Function

Johann E. Gudjonsson, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Mechanisms of B-cell Activation and Autoantibody Formation in SLE

Career Development Awards

Public Health Career Development Award

Adewole S. Adamson, M.D. – Year 2
University of Texas, Austin – Dell
Optimizing Care Delivery and Health Equity in Patients with Melanoma

Lynn M. Petukhova, Ph.D. – Year 2
Columbia University
Neuropsychiatric and Metabolic Comorbidities in Patients with Autoimmune Diseases of the Skin

Aaron M. Secrest, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H. – Year 3
University of Utah
Clinical Utility of Patient-Reported Outcomes in Dermatology

Joy Wan, M.D., M.S.C.E.
University of Pennsylania
Neurocognitive Functioning of Children with Atopic Dermatitis

Clinical Career Development Award in Dermatologic Surgery

Mary L. Stevenson, M.D. – Year 3
New York University
Identification of Novel Risk Factors and Biomarkers for Poor Outcomes in Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Rie Takahashi, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, Los Angeles
Cellular Diversity of Human Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Abigail Waldman, M.D., M.H.S. – Year 3
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Developing a Clinically Relevant Skin Cancer Patient Reported Outcome Measure (PROM)

Physician Scientist Career Development Award

David Y. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 3
Washington University
Epigenetic Regulation of Skin Homeostasis and Tumorigenesis

William E. Damsky, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 3
Yale University
Elucidating and Overcoming Mechanisms of Immunotherapy Resistance in Melanoma

Allen W. Ho, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 3
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Mechanisms of Immune Tolerance to Apoptotic Cells and Its Role in Cutaneous Autoimmunity

Matthew D. Vesely, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 2
Yale University
Stimulating Immune Inhibitory Receptors for the Treatment of Cutaneous Lupus

Lee E. Wheless, M.D.
Vanderbilt University
Using Machine Learning to Stratify Skin Cancer Risk in Organ Transplant Recipients

Sarah Whitley, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 2
University of Pittsburgh
IL-23 Regulates Cutaneous Resident Memory T Cell Development and Maintenance

Science of Human Appearance Career Development Award

Donna M. Brennan-Crispi, Ph.D. – Year 2
University of Pennsylania
Roles and Modulation of WNT-FZD Signaling in Hair Howa Yeung, M.D.

Howa Yeung, M.D.
Emory University
Epidemiology of Acne and Barriers to Treatment in Transgender Persons

Medical Dermatology Career Development Award

Crystal U. Aguh, M.D.
Johns Hopkins University
Exploring Gene Expression Patterns & Biomarkers of Disease Severity in CCCA

Albert Chiou, M.D. – Year 2
Stanford University
Evaluating Collagen VII Corrected Skin Grafts for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa

Benjamin H. Kaffenberger, M.D. – Year 3
Ohio State University
Prospective Categorization and Outcomes Analysis of Cutaneous Drug Eruptions

Shawn G. Kwatra, M.D. – Year 2
Johns Hopkins University
Racial Differences in Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets for Chronic Itch

Cecilia Larocca, M.D. – Year 3
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
An Implantable Microdevice for Candidate in situ Drug Sensitivity Testing in Myocosis Fungoides

Xiaolong Zhou, M.D., M.Sc. – Year 3
Northwestern University
Characterization of the Skin Microbiome in Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma

Women’s Health Career Development Award

Allison Billi, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Michigan
VGLL3 Regulation in Female-Biased Autoimmune Diseases

James Chen, Ph.D. – Year 2
Columbia University
Computational Modeling of Sexually Dimorphic Molecular Pathologies in Hair and Skin Development

Alicia Little, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 2
Yale University
Role of T Follicular Helper Cells (Tfh) in Chronic Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus

Jillian M. Richmond, Ph.D. – Year 3
University of Massachusetts
Targeting the CXCR3 Chemokine Axis in Cutaneous Lupus

Research Career Development Award

Ryan P. Hobbs, Ph.D. – Year 3
Pennsylvania State University
Cellular and Molecular Roles for Autoimmune Regulator in Early Skin Tumorigenesis

Andrew Ji, M.D.
Stanford University
Cancer Cell-Extrinsic and Intrinsic Control of Tumor Progression and Intratumoral Heterogeneity

Juan-Manuel Leyva-Castillo, Ph.D. – Year 3
Harvard University
Role of PAX5 in Skin-Derived Dendritic Cells During the Development of Allergic Skin Inflammation

Bahram Razani, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 3
University of California, San Francisco
A20 Restricts Psoriatic Inflammation

Dermatopathology Research Career Development Award

Matthew S. Goldberg, M.D. – Year 3
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Melanoma Epigenetics and the Functional Role of MacroH2A in Melanoma Progression

Randie Hee Kim, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 2
New York University
Using Artificial Intelligence to Improve Prognosis of Intermediate Thickness Melanomas

Ursula E. Lang, MD, PhD – Year 2
University of California, San Francisco
Investigating the Role of Primary Cilia in Melanocytes and Melanomagenesis

Pediatric Dermatology Career Development Award

Lisa M. Arkin, M.D.
University of Wisconsin
Towards a Precision-based Treatment for Facial Vascular Stains

Elena B. Hawryluk, M.D., Ph.D. – Year 3
Massachusetts General Hospital
Atypical Pediatric Pigmented Lesions

JiaDe Yu, M.D. – Year 2
Massachusetts General Hospital
Prospective North American Pediatric Allergic Contact Dermatitis Registry


Dermatologist Investigator Research Fellowship

Anna Eisenstein, M.D., Ph.D.
Yale University
Understanding the Role of Dermal White Adipose Tissue in Skin Homeostasis

Christoph T. Ellebrecht, M.D.
University of Pennsylania
Design and Characterization of Chimeric Antigen Receptors Targeting the  T Cell Receptor

Byron C. Knowles, M.D., Ph.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Genes Involved in Initiation and Progression of Cutaneous SCC

Leonid Shmuylovich, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University
Laser Stimulated Thermal Imaging of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Ting-Lin B. Yang, M.D., Ph.D.
Washington University
Regulation of Type 2 Inflammation by Natural Killer (NK) Cells in Atopic Dermatitis


Patient Directed Investigation Grant

Emily Cole, M.D., M.P.H.
Emory University
Neuropathic Sensory Phenotyping in Pruritus: A Mechanistic Approach to Diagnosis and Treatment

Research Grant

Manale El Kharbili, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Denver
The Role of Mutant p53 in Melanoma

Gwennaelle C. Monnot, Ph.D.
Columbia University
The Role of Bacterial Lipid Antigen Recognition by T Cells in Skin Inflammation and Homeostasis

Women’s Health Research Grant

Tara Jaleel, M.D.
Duke University
Sex Hormones in Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Diversity Research Supplement Awards

Zelma C. Chiesa-Fuxench, M.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Genetics of Atopic Dermatitis in Hispanics

Emily Y. Chu, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Investigation of Diagnostic Markers for Spitzoid Melanocytic Neoplasms

Donald A. Glass, II, M.D., Ph.D.
Southwestern Medical School University of Texas
Investigating the Roles of Midkine and Pleiotrophin in Keloid Pathogenesis

Tamia Harris-Tryon, M.D., Ph.D.
Southwestern Medical School University of Texas
Examining the Impact of Vitamin A Resistin Like Molecule Alpha and the Microbiota on Skin Immunity

Joslyn S. Kirby, M.D.
Pennsylvania State University
Cohort Study of Post-operative Complication Rates in People With & Without Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Eleni Linos, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.PH
Stanford University
Targeted Advertising for Cancer Prevention

Alina Markova, M.D.
Cornell University
Incidence and Characterization of Sweet Syndrome in Patients Receiving Novel Anticancer Therapies

Haley B. Naik, M.D.
University of California, San Francisco
Identifying Barriers to Accessing Healthcare and Treatment in Hidradenitis Suppurativa

Junko Takeshita, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
Quality-of-Life Among Adults with Atopic Dermatitis: Evaluating Sociodemographic Differences

Lam C. Tsoi, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Electronic Health Record System to Reveal Ethnic Difference in Diagnostic Accuracy

Lam C. Tsoi, Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Survey to Summarize Unique Molecular Pathophysiology Among Patients of Different Ethnicities

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