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

2021 Grants Awarded for Rosacea Research

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.

“This year we are pleased to extend funding for research on ocular rosacea, which affects the eyes of around half of rosacea patients and can result in loss of visual acuity,” said Dr. Mark Mannis, chairman of ophthalmology at the University of California-Davis and a member of the NRS medical advisory board. “These important research grants are made possible by donations from individuals, and we are grateful for their vital ongoing support.”

Dr. Sezen Karakus, assistant professor of ophthalmology, and Dr. Noori Kim, assistant professor of dermatology, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, were awarded $15,000 to study the role of the ocular surface microbiome in the pathogenesis of rosacea. They noted that patients with ocular rosacea may develop visionthreatening 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, Switzerland, was awarded $5,000 to investigate whether certain intracellular signals recently found to be elevated in rosacea lesions may be responsible for its skin inflammation, and may be one of the root causes of the disorder.

In ongoing studies, Dr. Michelle Trautwein, assistant curator and research scientist at the Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability at the California Academy of Sciences, is sequencing the genome of Demodex mites, as well as identifying 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, a microscopic organism that occurs at elevated levels in rosacea patients.

Dr. Tissa Hata, clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California-San Diego, is studying 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.