Life Science Company News

American Skin Association Announces 2021 Research Grants for Skin Cancer and Diseases

NEW YORK, May 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- American Skin Association has announced the awarding of two coveted research grants under the ASA Milstein Research Scholar Awards program. Andrew Ji, MD of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai received the ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer and Ester Del Duca, MD of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai received the ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award in Atopic Dermatitis.  

This year of grants includes the ASA Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award in Melanoma Research awarded to Elena Piskonouva, PhD of Weill Cornell Medicine. The Stiefel Family, longtime supporters of ASA, generously contributed $300,000 to support grants for melanoma research. The purpose of this funding is to identify and support emerging leaders in dermatology focused on melanoma research. Specifically catering to mid-career investigators poised to become leaders in key areas of melanoma research. 

In addition, 8 other research grants, made possible through the generosity of individuals, foundations, and corporations, were also announced.

For over thirty years, in advancement of its vital mission to serve the more than 100 million Americans afflicted with skin disorders, ASA and its affiliates have funded over $50 million in grants to enhance treatments and continue working towards cures for melanoma, vitiligo, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other skin diseases.

"These crucial grants in support of cutting-edge dermatological research will improve the chances of finding long sought-after cures and bring hope to those suffering from these devastating illnesses," said ASA Chairman, Howard P. Milstein.

ASA's grant program is run by its Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), comprised of leading scientists and physicians who volunteer their time to administer the annual grant process. Through their leadership, ASA's grant program has supported the work of over 300 investigators, ranging from talented researchers in the early phases of their careers to recognized leaders in the field of dermatology.

"ASA's Medical Advisory Committee is excited for the potential discoveries these funded projects may bring. This year's group of awardees provide hope for new breakthroughs", said ASA President and Co-Chair of its MAC, Dr. David A. Norris.

ASA provides significant research awards to established investigators and medical students studying melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and skin diseases. Through these grants, ASA has promoted the early careers of many gifted young investigators and has had a profound impact both on dermatology research and clinical care of dermatologic disease. In particular, ASA-funded researchers have had a broad impact on melanoma research, improving our understanding of its diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. With an exclusive focus on skin disease research, ASA has helped open new frontiers in skin science, producing results that can change how we understand and treat skin disease.

The following are the recipients of the 2021 Investigative Scientist Award, Research Scholar Awards, Research Grants, and Medical Student Grants:

ASA Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award for Melanoma Research

Elena Piskounova, PhD

Weill Cornell Medicine

Project Title: The Role and Regulation of Nucleotide Metabolism in Metastatic Melanoma

ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer

Andrew Ji, MD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Project Title: Tumor Subpopulation-Driven Stromal Remodeling in SCC

ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award Atopic Dermatitis

Ester Del Duca, MD

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Project Title: Skin and Blood Characterization of the African and African American AD Molecular Phenotype

ASA Calder Research Scholar Award Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders

Nuria Martinez Gutierrez, PhD

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Project Title: Targeting the Arginine Pathway in Cytotoxic CD8+ T Cells to Treat Vitiligo

ASA Novartis Research Scholar Award Psoriasis/Inflammatory Skin Disease

Ivan Jozic, PhD

University of Miami

Project Title: Elucidating the Role of Caveolin-1 in Pathophysiology of Psoriasis

ASA Pfizer Research Scholar Award Atopic Dermatitis

Raj Chovatiya, MD, PhD

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Project Title: Uncovering Cerebral Biomarkers of Itch in Atopic Dermatitis Towards Drug Discovery

ASA Mulvaney Family Foundation Research Grant Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders

Nicholas Theodosakis, MD, PhD

Massachusetts General Hospital

Project Title: Exploring Neurodegenerative Synucleinopathies as a Model for Chronic Hyperpigmentation

ASA Castle Biosciences Research Grant Melanoma

Joel Sunshine, MD, PhD

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

Project Title: mRNA Nanoparticle Vaccination for Melanoma Immunotherapy

ASA David Lyons Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Ms. Vivian Hua

Stanford University School of Medicine

Project Title: Characterizing Novel Variants in Individuals with Frequent Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC)

ASA Milstein Medical Student Grant for Research in Inflammatory Skin Diseases at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Ms. Sabrina Ghalili

Downstate School of Medicine

Project Title: COVID-19 and Inflammatory Skin Diseases

ASA Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Mr. Michael Chang

Harvard University

Project Title: Tumoral and Clinical Risk Factors for Cutaneous Adverse Events in Melanoma Patients on Immunotherapy

ASA Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer

Ms. Amanda Zhou

Yale University

Project Title: Discovery and Application of Natural Products for the Prevention of Skin Cancer  


A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians, and scientists, ASA has evolved over three decades as a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer, and other skin diseases. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans – one-third of the U.S. population – afflicted with skin disorders, the organization's mission remains to: advance research, champion skin health particularly among children, and drive public awareness about skin disease. For more information, visit

Cision View original content to download multimedia:

SOURCE American Skin Association

By: PR Newswire Association LLC. - 13 May 2021
Back to overview

Enhance your business development with Biotechgate