Rosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea SocietyRosacea Review - Newsletter of the National Rosacea Society

New NRS Grants Awarded for Rosacea Research

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has awarded funding for three new studies, in addition to continuing support for three ongoing studies, as part of its research grants program to increase knowledge and understanding of the causes and other key aspects of rosacea that may lead to improvements in its management, prevention or potential cure.

“Scientific investigations have increasingly mapped the details of rosacea’s pathophysiology, opening the way for the development of new advances in medical therapy,” said Dr. Hilary Baldwin, associate professor of dermatology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a member of the NRS medical advisory board, which selects proposals for funding. “The NRS research grants program, which is entirely funded by rosacea patients, has played a leadership role in making this important progress possible.”

The NRS research grants program has awarded more than $1.5 million to date, and readers are encouraged to donate by renewing their membership today.

Dr. Benjamin Kaffenberger, assistant professor of dermatology at Ohio State University, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 to develop a computer program for a rosacea scoring system that will identify and count rosacea lesions and measure redness to provide reliably reproducible scores for physicians and patients. Their goal is the creation of open-source, freely available software that may easily be used by scientific investigators, clinicians and patients to speed diagnosis and assessment, and to help make research easier and more consistent. 

Dr. Raja Sivamani, associate professor of clinical dermatology at the University of California-Davis, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 to study how the skin and eyelid oils, known as lipids, are altered in individuals with cutaneous and ocular rosacea, and whether any deficiencies lead to the papules (bumps) and pustules (pimples) of rosacea as well as the eye dryness and irritation of ocular rosacea. They will also study how medications might alter the lipid profile to restore both the skin barrier and tear film stability. 

Dr. Hester Lim, a postdoctoral research fellow in dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues were awarded $25,000 for a retrospective study of the association of rosacea with gastrointestinal (GI) disease, as well as the possible impact of medications in the relationship between rosacea and GI disease, including malabsorption, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Helicobacter pylori infection and others. The cases studied will include all individuals with a diagnosis of rosacea in the Johns Hopkins electronic medical record database since 2011.

The NRS also continues to fund three studies in 2017 by Dr. Anna Di Nardo, associate professor of dermatology at the University of California-San Diego, and colleagues, who are continuing their investigation of cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides and the nervous system; Dr. Luis Garza, associate professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University, who is studying the DNA of rosacea; and Dr. Wenqing Li, assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University, who is investigating how hormone use and hormone levels associated with menopause and during pregnancy may affect the risk of developing rosacea.