Dermatology Foundation Awards support Penn Derm Researchers

The Dermatology Foundation (DF) is committed to advancing the understanding of the skin with the goal of improving patient care. The DF has been supporting innovative skin research for more than 50 years. The DF sponsors a basic science and clinical research through both research grants and coveted Career Development Awards (CDA). These CDAs often provide a springboard for junior investigators to successfully secure NIH funding and faculty positions. “The DF awards program has been spectacularly successful at identifying and supporting junior investigators and academicians at a critical point in their career so they may grow professionally and make their own critical contributions to the science and practice of dermatology,” according to Joel Gelfand, MD, MSCE and Vice Chair of Clinical Research.

Penn Derm is committed to training the next generation of skin researchers and supporting our trainees on their path to independence is part of our mission. Dr. Gelfand notes, “we have fostered exactly the type of dynamic, collaborative, and supportive environment that advances the success of our junior faculty and trainees allowing them to compete successfully for grants from the DF, as well as other vital sources of support.” The effectives of these programs are evident by the success of our researchers in securing DF support, with many Penn Derm investigators receiving DF over the years.

Emily Baurmin, MD, also a T32 Fellow, notes “[Penn] Dermatology has afforded me the time, mentorship, and resources to establish a clinical research program in graft-versus-host disease.” This year she was awarded The Dermatology Foundation Medical Dermatology Career Development Award, which she recognizes will “be instrumental in launching independent investigations and integrating a network of clinicians and scientists focused on improving care for patients with graft-versus-host disease.”

Allen Oak, MD, recently began a postdoctoral fellowship under George Cotsarelis, MD, in which he investigates hair follicle regeneration in wounds. Dr. Oak agree on the impact the DF awards program on early-stage investigators, “I am. grateful and honored for the generous support from the Derm Foundation. I hope to generate impactful data from this study and continue my path to becoming an independent investigator with an ultimate goal to give back to our specialty.”

This year the Dermatology Foundation awarded five Penn Derm early investigators and four Penn Derm Alumni with research funding.  Congratulations to all the 2022 DF grant recipients!  We are excited to see the advances you will make to the field.