National Rosacea Society Awards New Grants for Rosacea Research

Posted on: Mon, 11/23/2020 - 12:12 By: ahuff

Demodex folliculorumThe National Rosacea Society has awarded funding for two new studies, in addition to continuing support for one ongoing study, as part of its research grants program to increase knowledge and understanding of the potential causes and other key aspects of rosacea that may lead to improvements in its treatment, prevention or potential cure.

“For more than 20 years, the patient-funded NRS research grants program has supported scientific investigations into how and why rosacea affects sufferers, and the resulting discoveries have become increasingly detailed and specific,” said Dr. Sewon Kang, chairman of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the NRS medical advisory board. “This advancing knowledge has led to more sophisticated avenues for developing more effective therapies as well as improvements in patient care.”

Dr. Michelle Trautwein, assistant curator and research scientist at the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences, was awarded $15,000 to sequence the genome of Demodex mites, as well as identify the associated bacteria that may play a causative role in rosacea. This will be the first study to map the complete genetic makeup of Demodex, microscopic organisms found in greater numbers in rosacea patients.

Dr. Tissa Hata, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California-San Diego, was awarded $15,000 to study the normalization of the microbiome in rosacea patients, identifying types of bacteria associated with rosacea and those that may be associated with healthy skin after successful treatment, including Cutibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

In an ongoing study, Dr. Raja Sivamani, associate professor of clinical dermatology at the University of California-Davis, is studying how the skin and eyelid oils, known as lipids, are altered in individuals with rosacea symptoms of the skin and eye, and whether any deficiencies lead to the bumps and pimples of rosacea as well as the eye dryness and irritation of ocular rosacea.

Funded by donations from rosacea sufferers, the NRS research grants program has awarded more than $1.6 million to support 73 studies, including scientific investigations that have connected the dots in the inflammatory process of the disorder. Other studies have investigated the genetics of rosacea, the role of mast cells in rosacea inflammation, changes to tear film development in ocular rosacea, and many other areas.

Researchers interested in applying for grants may obtain forms and instructions through the research grants section of the NRS website or by contacting the National Rosacea Society at 111 Lions Dr., Suite 216, Barrington, Illinois 60010, by telephone at 1-888-662-5874 or by email at info@rosacea.org. The deadline for submitting proposals to receive a research grant in 2021 is June 18, 2021.

Because the cause of rosacea is unknown, a high priority is given to studies relating to its pathogenesis, progression, mechanism of action, cell biology and potential genetic factors. Proposals relating to epidemiology, predisposition, quality of life and relationships with environmental and lifestyle factors may also be considered.