Three UCSF Scientists Receive Funding for Psoriasis Research

July 22, 2014

Three UC San Francisco researchers are among 13 scientists who received a total of $1.05 million in funding from the National Psoriasis Foundation.

Their projects aim to identify new treatments and a cure for psoriasis, an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin, affecting 7.5 million Americans, and psoriatic arthritis, an inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints and tendons, occurring in up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis.

Michael Rosenblum, MD, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Dermatology, is one of three scientists who each received a two-year, $200,000 National Psoriasis Foundation Translational Grant to “translate” their laboratory findings into improved treatments and methods for managing psoriatic disease.

Michael Rosenblum, MD, PhD

He plans to examine the role of a special class of regulatory T-cells involved in suppressing inflammation, in people with psoriasis. He aims to discover why these cells function abnormally in psoriasis to develop treatments to repair them and treat psoriasis.

Additionally, two other UCSF researchers are among 10 who each received a one-year $75,000 Discovery Grant for early-stage psoriatic disease research.

Averil Ma, MD, professor and chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, plans to examine how reducing the expression of the A20 gene, previously implicated in the genetics of psoriasis, may increase psoriasis risk. Studying how A20 functions in psoriasis could lead to treatments that are better tailored for people with variations of A20.

 Averil Ma, MD, and Jubin Ryu, MD, PhD

Jubin Ryu, MD, PhD, with the Department of Dermatology, aims to develop a new method for delivering biologic drugs, currently administered through injection or infusion, via a skin patch to allow for localized, less invasive treatment.

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s largest nonprofit serving those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Their priority is to provide the information and services for people to take control of their condition, while increasing research to find a cure. In addition to serving more than 2.1 million people annually through our education and advocacy initiatives, NPF has funded more than $10 million in research grants and fellowships.