3 Years, 3 Investigators, $1 Million Donation

DF Bristol Myers Squibb Psoriasis Research Award

December 2022

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Three extraordinary mid-career investigators with established trajectories of excellence in basic, translational and clinical research will receive DF funding through its DF Research Award Program, now enhanced with the BMS million-dollar donation. Successful applicants will receive a unique opportunity to increase the understanding and treatment of psoriasis, an auto-immune disease which affects 7.5 million people in the United States and more than 100 million globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Each of the three recipients of a BMS psoriasis award will receive $100,000 of annual funding over three years.

Rigorous selection process

The Foundation funds meritorious research projects and will select award recipients according to a well-defined evaluation process based on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) procedure for research grants.

Applicants for the BMS psoriasis award must meet DF’s stringent eligibility requirements. 2022’s 49 award recipients represent 29 academic institutions located across the US. Awards were funded in 13 mid-career, career development, fellowship, and grant categories. These emerging and mid-career investigators will pursue novel questions that will expand the specialty’s knowledge and understanding in a broad range of dermatologic conditions and topics such as immunotherapy, melanoma, skin of color, wound healing, atopic dermatitis, and epidemiology.

The DF Medical and Scientific Committee, a team of 18 recognized experts from all branches of dermatology, reviews and identifies worthy applicants—thought leaders with the ideas and experience needed to pave the way for advancements in psoriasis research and improvements in patient care.

The DF Board of Directors reviews and approves the Committee’s recommendations. DF will announce BMS psoriasis award recipients at its Annual Meeting in the spring.

Heidi T. Jacobe, MD, MSCS

Heidi T. Jacobe, MD, MSCS

Heidi T. Jacobe, MD, MSCS, attributes her key achievements in morphea research to DF funding. “My two awards were instrumental to advancing my research in pediatric morphea. I created the MAC—Morphea Adults and Children—cohort and biorepository, which is essential for progress in a rare disease. I hired a biostatistician to help with some of the initial work.

“The second award helped support my research time I published my results, for which I received my first NIH award—a K23 CDA.”

“Bristol Myers Squibb recognizes that psoriasis substantially impacts patients’ quality of life and is associated with multiple, serious comorbidities,” says Dan Quirk, MD, Vice President, US Medical – Immunology & Fibrosis at Bristol Myers Squibb.

He is of the view DF and BMS have a common perspective: investing in talented investigators. “They are the ones who will advance research to elevate care for the millions of individuals suffering from this chronic, immune-mediated disease,” says Dr. Quirk.

Patient care

One of four basic categories of the DF Research Award Program, DF mid-career, career development awards, fellowships, and grants ultimately lead to breakthroughs in patient care, says DF Executive Director John Bournas. And patient care is the heart of the DF RAP.

The impact of DF funding is profound, says Tiffany C. Scharschmidt, MD, Associate Professor, UCSF Department of Dermatology, and she appreciates the benefits of DF support in mid-career. “It’s a  boon to dermatology to provide our pipeline of physician-scientists with the support that allows them to keep choosing to deepen our knowledge of skin disease.”

Tiffany C. Scharschmidt, MD

Tiffany C. Scharschmidt, MD

Mid-career is a critical transition period for biomedical researchers. Funding is limited; DF Mid-career Research Awards like the Bristol Myers Squibb Psoriasis Research Award address this need and reduce the growing gap in research dollars. The awards help retain outstanding people and enable them to compete for future research dollars.

DF announces BMS psoriasis award recipients at its Annual Meeting in the spring.