The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has awarded funding for two new studies in addition to continuing support for two ongoing studies 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.
“Studies this year are using innovative methods to further identify rosacea’s mechanisms,” said Dr. Yolanda Helfrich, associate professor of dermatology, University of Michigan and a member of the NRS medical advisory board. “Over the years, ongoing research has enabled more targeted therapy with an ever-more sophisticated understanding of rosacea’s disease processes, and we are grateful for the support of the many individual donors who make it possible.”
Dr. Samantha Herbert, research fellow, and Dr. Emanual Maverakis, professor of dermatology, University of California-Davis, were awarded $10,000 to characterize rosacea pathophysiology using single-cell RNA sequencing, a novel analytical technique that provides more specific information on the signals expressed by different types of cells. The new approach will help researchers better understand the role each type of cell may play in rosacea, and also how they interact with each other as a whole, which may aid in the development of better therapies for the disorder.
Dr. Arisa Ortiz, associate professor of dermatology and director of laser and cosmetic surgery at the University of California-San Diego, was awarded $5,000 to examine whether laser therapy has an effect on the skin microbiome — the ecological community of bacteria and other microorganisms present on the facial skin, which has been found to be very different in rosacea skin versus healthy skin. The study will also further understanding of how blood vessels, often targeted in laser therapy, drive the disease process.
In ongoing studies, Dr. Sezen Karakus, assistant professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, is studying the role of the microbiome on the surface of the eye in the pathogenesis of rosacea. Dr. Karakus noted that patients with ocular rosacea may develop vision-threatening corneal complications, and identification of the microorganisms present on the ocular surface may help develop specific treatment strategies.
Dr. Emmanuel Contassot, project leader in the dermatology department at the University Hospital of Basel, is investigating whether certain intracellular signals recently found to be elevated in rosacea lesions may be responsible for its skin inflammation, which may be one of the root causes of the disorder.
Funded by donations from rosacea sufferers, the NRS research grants program has awarded more than $1.6 million to support 77 studies, including scientific investigations that have connected the dots in the inflammatory process, a key underlying factor of the disorder. Other studies have investigated the genetics of rosacea, the role of other factors in rosacea inflammation, changes to aspects of the eye in ocular rosacea, and many other areas. Please donate today to help support this important mission.
Researchers interested in applying for grants may obtain forms and instructions in the research grants section of this website or by contacting the National Rosacea Society at 4619 N. Ravenswood Ave., Ste. 103, Chicago, Illinois 60640; by telephone at 1-888-662-5874 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for submitting proposals to receive a research grant next year is June 16, 2023.
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.
Members of the NRS medical advisory board include chairman Dr. Richard Granstein, chairman of dermatology, Weill Cornell Medical College; Dr. Hilary Baldwin, associate professor of dermatology, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Dr. Lynn Drake, Harvard Medical School and former AAD president; Dr. Richard Gallo, chairman of dermatology, University of California-San Diego; Dr. Julie Harper, clinical associate professor of dermatology, University of Alabama-Birmingham; Dr. Yolanda Helfrich, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Michigan; Dr. Sewon Kang, Chairman of Dermatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Dr. Mark Mannis, chairman of ophthalmology, University of California-Davis; and Dr. Martin Steinhoff, chairman of dermatology and director, Charles Institute of Dermatology, University College, Dublin.