National Rosacea Society Awards New Grants for Medical Research

BARRINGTON, Illinois (October 16, 2017) — The National Rosacea Society (NRS) announced it 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.”

Dr. Benjamin Kaffenberger, assistant professor of dermatology at the 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 at 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 over a five-year period, 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 pregnancy may affect the risk of developing rosacea. 

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, 111 Lions Dr., Ste. 216, Barrington, Illinois 60010, telephone 1-888-662-5874, email The deadline for submitting proposals to receive a research grant in 2018 is June 15, 2018.

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, University College of Dublin Charles Institute.

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