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La Roche-Posay Announces Grant Winners

March 8, 2017

Recipients addressing function of PSMD8 on the health of epidermal stem cells and epidermal tissue, skin health and more.

La Roche-Posay encourages residents, fellows, and new practitioners to develop innovative programs in the field of clinical, biological or pharmacological research linked to dermatology, and to that end, it awards outstanding candidates with grants for their scientific research and ground-breaking projects.
 
This year’s winners include: Bryan Sun, MD, assistant professor, University of California, San Diego; Dennis Kim, MD, Incoming Mohs Fellow at Brigham and Women's Hospital 2017; and Kyle Amber, MD, University of California Irvine, Department of Dermatology.  They recognized at the Annual American Academy of Dermatology meeting in Orlando.
 
Dr. Sun was granted the first prize of $10,000 for his project aimed at investigating the function of the proteasomal protein, PSMD8, on the health of epidermal stem cells and epidermal tissue. The goal is to identify and characterize genetic changes that contribute to decreased epidermal cell function during the aging process, in hopes of identifying key therapeutic molecular targets that can promote skin health and function.  According to Dr. Dun, the biological significance of PSMD8 has not been well-studied.
 
Dr. Amber received $5,000 to continue his research on the expression of VCAM-1 on HET1A keratinocytes and their role in the pathobiology of eosinophil mediated cutaneous diseases and eosinophilic esophagitis.
 
Dr. Kim has been awarded with $5,000 for his project to help create a new, effective, and cheap treatment for snakebites.  
 
In addition, and as part of its ongoing commitment to dermatology, La Roche-Posay has continued its Dermatologist from the Heart program, an initiative that grants money to fund community-oriented projects that make dermatology available to all and enhance the quality of life for patients. This year’s winner in the US, in partnership with La Roche-Posay North American Fondation, is John Strasswimmer, MD, PhD, and president of Dermatology Medical Missions, Inc.
 
Dr. Strasswimmer is the recipient of a $6,500 grant in support of his exceptional initiative Healthy Skin for All—the first research-validated global sun safety and skin health education program to educate "people of color" about the risks of sun exposure.
 
"Skin cancers, by the time they are diagnosed in darker skin are at a later stage," said Dr. Strasswimmer. "This makes treatment more difficult, more expensive, and less likely to be curative."
 
Healthy Skin for All is designed to work globally, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, or literacy. This multilingual program reaches underserved communities, and trains and empowers members to provide these educational sessions.
 
"To date, hundreds of people have received this important teaching on sun protection,” said the doctor.

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