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Current Award and Grant Recipients

Below are brief biographies for American Skin Association's 2014 grantees. Among the information included is the title of the grant, the name of the sponsoring institution and the focus of the grant recipient's research.

  • Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD
    Abby S. & Howard P. Milstein 2010 Innovation Award for Melanoma and Skin Cancer Research
    Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
    Topic: p53 rescue as a therapeutic strategy in melanoma

    Hensin Tsao is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Center, the oldest multi-disciplinary melanoma unit in the country.

    Dr. Tsao graduated from Brown University with a degree in biochemistry and English. In 1993, he received an MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and a PhD in Biophysics/Biochemistry from Columbia University Graduate School of Arts of Sciences. He trained both in internal medicine and dermatology, including a melanoma fellowship at the Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital.

  • Daniel Popkin, MD, PhD

    Daniel Popkin, MD, PhD
    2014 Carson Research Scholar Award in Psoriasis
    Case Western Reserve University
    Topic: Role of pDC in Psoriasiform Skin Inflammation

    Daniel Popkin is a practicing physician scientist on faculty as Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Department of Dermatology. Dr. Popkin completed his MD, PhD and dermatology residency training at Washington University in St. Louis. He was on staff as a dermatology attending for Scripps Clinic and post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Sciences at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

  • Anne Lynn Chang

    Anne Lynn Chang, MD
    2014 ASA Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
    Stanford University School of Medicine
    Topic: Chemoresistance After Smoothened Inhibitor Treatment

    Anne Lynn S. Chang, MD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine. She is founding Director of the Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma Clinic, which accepts referrals from around the world. Dr. Chang graduated from Harvard Medical School and completed her residency training in dermatology at Stanford. Her goal is to improve treatments for patients with difficult-to-treat or life-threatening basal cell carcinomas by using molecular information from patient tumor samples to inform future clinical trials.

  • Brian Capell, MD, PhD

    Brian Capell, MD, PhD
    2014 ASA Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
    University of Pennsylvania
    Topic: The Role of Epigenomic Changes in Skin Senescence and Transformation

    Brian Capell is an Instructor of Dermatology and Postdoctoral Fellow in the Epigenetics Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also completed his residency in dermatology in 2013. He received both his MD and PhD from New York University, during which time he completed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.

  • Stanca Birlea, MD, PhD

    Stanca Birlea, MD, PhD
    2014 Research Scholar Award in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    University of Colorado Denver
    Topic: Harnessing the Power of Regenerative Medicine for Vitiligo Treatment

    Stanca Birlea is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Director of the Translational Program "Vitiligo: Regenerative Medicine / Stem Cell Approach to Repigmentation", developed in collaboration with the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology at University of Colorado. In 1995, she received her MD from University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca, Romania, where she completed the internship (1997) and residency in dermatology (2001), and then her PhD (2004). She completed her five years of post-doctoral training on vitiligo genetics and immunology in the Department of Dermatology with Professor David Norris and Human Medical Genetics Program with Professor Richard Spritz at the University of Colorado (2011), before joining the faculty in the Department of Dermatology.

  • Hubing Shi, PhD

    Hubing Shi, PhD
    2014 ASA Research Scholar Award
    University of California
    Topic: Dissecting the Roles of miRNAs and Histone Modifications During the Early Evolution of BRAF Inhibitor

    Hubing Shi received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Tsinghua University in China. Dr. Shi's cancer research experience began with melanoma angiogenesis and microenvironment study during his PhD thesis work. This experience provided Dr. Shi the opportunity to comprehensively understand melanoma oncogenesis, development, and metastasis as part of his postdoctoral work. Dr. Shi's plan is to develop a career aimed at identifying how to strangle tumor cells before they acquire resistant capability rather than struggle against the relapsed tumors.

  • Botond Igyarto, PhD

    Botond Igyártó, PhD
    2014 ASA Research Scholar Award
    University of Minnesota Medical School
    Topic: Humoral Responses Initiated by Skin Dendritic Cells

    Botond Igyártó is an Assistant Professor at University of Minnesota, Department of Dermatology. A native of Transylvania, Dr. Igyártó completed his biology training at Babes-Bolyai University (Kolozsvár), and received his PhD from Semmelweis University (Budapest). He completed his post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel H. Kaplan.

  • Dawn Siegel, MD

    Dawn Siegel, MD
    2014 ASA Research Scholar Award
    Medical College of Wisconsin
    Topic: Gene Discovery and Functional Analysis of Candidate Genes in PHACE Syndrome

    Dawn Siegel, MD is a Pediatric Dermatologist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Dr. Siegel also is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and a member of Children's Specialty Group. She received her medical degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. She did pediatric residency training at Children's Hospital and Research Center, Oakland, California, and a residency in dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. She also completed both a fellowship in pediatric dermatology and a research fellowship in dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

  • Jillian Richmond, PhD

    Jillian Richmond, PhD
    2014 ASA Research Grant for Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    University of Massachusetts Medical School
    Topic: Examining the Role of Non-Immune Cells in CD8+ T Cell Recruitment and Activation in Vitiligo

    Jillian Richmond is a postdoctoral research associate in the Harris Lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Richmond earned her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University, and her doctoral degree in Pathology and Immunology from the Boston University School of Medicine. She performed a postdoctoral fellowship in chemokine biology at the Massachusetts General Hospital prior to her current position.

  • Shadmehr Demehri, MD, PhD

    Shadmehr Demehri, MD, PhD
    2014 ASA Research Grant in Skin Cancer & Melanoma
    Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis
    Topic: Local and Systemic Effects of Calcipotriol on Skin Cancer

    Shadmehr Demehri earned his BS in Biology at Washington State University in 2004 and his MD and PhD degrees from the Washington University in St. Louis in 2010. Dr. Demehri has continued his research in the field of cancer immunology during his residency training in dermatology as part of the Washington University Physician Scientist Training Program (PSTP). Currently, he is investigating how the chemical inducers of TSLP can be utilized to treat skin cancer.

  • Megha Tollefson, MD

    Megha Tollefson, MD
    2014 ASA Research Grant for Childhood Skin Diseases/Disfigurement/Quality of Life
    Mayo Clinic
    Topic: Quality of Life of Parents and Caregivers of Children with Psoriasis

    Megha Tollefson is a pediatric dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Dr. Tollefson is a native of California and moved to Minnesota for her medical training, where she has remained ever since. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, medical degree from the Mayo Clinic, and has completed residencies in both pediatrics and dermatology at the Mayo Clinic, and a fellowship in pediatric dermatology and Stanford.

  • Marie Tuttle, MD

    Marie Tuttle, MD
    2014 ASA Research Grant for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Skin Diseases
    Case Western Reserve University
    Topic: The Role of Iron in the Perpetutation of Inflammation and Infection in Chronic Wounds

    Marie Tuttle is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Lois Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. She is a physician scientist with a research focus on factors that influence susceptibility to microbial invasion in non-healing cutaneous wounds, with the goal of translating knowledge from research to novel therapeutics to speed healing and avoid antimicrobial resistance.

  • Sylviane Lambert, PhD

    Sylviane Lambert, PhD
    2014 ASA Research Grant in Psoriasis
    The Regents of the University of Michigan
    Topic: Role of Psoriasis-Associated TRAF31P2 Coding Variants in IL17 and TNF Signaling

    Sylviane Lambert is a Research Associate in University of Michigan's Department of Dermatology where she also held a Post-Doctoral Fellow. She received her undergraduate degree, Master's, and PhD from the University of Namur in Belgium where she studied the localization and processing of the EGFR in cholesterol depleted keratinocytes.

  • Brandon Adler

    Brandon Adler
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    Topic: Sanguinarine Nanoparticles for Innovative Treatment of Melanoma

    Brandon Adler is a medical student at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he is currently undertaking the Einstein-Montefiore Basic Science/Translational Research Fellowship under the mentorship of Dr. Adam Friedman. His research focus is on nanotechnology and its translational applications in dermatology. Originally from Savannah, GA, he graduated with Honors in English from Oberlin College.

  • Priyanka Chablani

    Priyanka Chablani
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Ohio State University College of Medicine
    Topic: Role of Adjuvant Radiation Therapy After Lymphadenectomy in BRAF or NRAF Mutated Stage III Melanoma

    Priyanka Chablani is currently a third year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus, Ohio. Priyanka completed her undergraduate studies at Columbia University, where she studied Philosophy and Creative Writing. She received an M.S. in Physiology and Biophysics from Georgetown University. Priyanka has previously been involved in basic neuroscience research at Georgetown, research on stroke at the University of Pittsburgh, and most recently rectal cancer and melanoma research at Ohio State. She is originally from Pittsburgh, PA.

  • Chen (Amy) Chen

    Chen (Amy) Chen
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Harvard Medical School
    Topic: Extramammary Paget 's Disease: A Large Cohort Study and Systematic Review

    Amy Chen is a second year medical student in the New Pathway program at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from Harvard College in 2012 with a degree in Human Developmental and Regenerative Biology and a secondary in Psychology. She grew up in Princeton, NJ.

  • Joshua Clark

    Joshua Clark
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer University
    Topic: Community Perceptions about the Use of Black Salve

    Joshua Clark received his undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences from Weber State University. He has worked as a public health microbiologist for four years and is currently a second year medical student at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He grew up in rural Southern Idaho.

  • Jeffrey Cohen

    Jeffrey Cohen
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
    Topic: Sleep Disorders and Duration and the Risk of Melanoma Among US Women and Men

    Jeffrey Cohen is a member of the Class of 2015 at Harvard Medical School and is currently pursuing a year of research in dermatoepidemiology. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Rochester, where he studied Biology and Health and Society. He is originally from Great Neck, New York.

  • Alexander Fogel

    Alexander Fogel
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Stanford University School of Medicine
    Topic: Stanford Dermatology Personal Genomics Skin Cancer Prevention Project

    Alexander Fogel is a medical student at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Alex received his undergraduate degree at the California Institute of Technology. Alex's current work focuses on the impact of new technologies on health and healthcare delivery. In developing the Stanford Dermatology Personal Genomics Project for Skin Cancer Prevention, Alex is exploring how genomic information can be used to encourage patients to make lifestyle changes that will reduce their risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers. Alex's other research at Stanford has explored pediatric teledermatology and drug repurposing within pediatric dermatology.

  • Alina Goldenberg

    Alina Goldenberg
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    University of San Diego School of Medicine
    Topic: Comparison of SCC with Aggressive Subclinical Extension Among Immunocompetent and Immunosuppressed

    Alina Goldenberg is a fourth-year medical student at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health at University of California, Berkeley in 2009. Alina is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Clinical Research and involved in multiple research projects within the UC San Diego Division of Dermatology focusing on squamous cell carcinoma among the immunosuppressed population. She is originally from Kiev, Ukraine and moved to San Francisco in 1999.

  • David Harker

    David Harker
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine
    Topic: The Immunosuppressive Role of DC-HIL+MDSC in Melanoma and Other Cancers

    David Harker is currently a second year medical student at the University of Texas Southwestern School of Medicine. He completed a Bachelors of Science degree in Genetics and Biotechnology at Brigham Young University. During David's time at BYU, he performed research in crop genetics and contributed to the sequencing of the cotton genome. He is originally from Alberta, Canada.

  • Yiannis Koullias

    Yiannis Koullias
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Boston University School of Medicine
    Topic: Modeling the Metastasis of Malignant Melanoma Using Microfluidic Platforms

    Yiannis Koullias is a third year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine. He is currently completing his research year in the Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine, where he is investigating melanoma metastasis. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University in 2011. He is originally from Staten Island, New York.

  • Matthew Mansh

    Matthew Mansh
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine
    Topic: Characterizing Voriconazole-Associated Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis in Human Keratinocytes

    Matthew Mansh is a fourth year medical student at Stanford University and has devoted a year to pursue basic science and clinical epidemiological research related to skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) . He graduated with High Honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from Haverford College in 2008. He is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  • Kathleen McGuinn

    Kathleen McGuinn
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Thomas Jefferson University Medical College
    Topic: Role of Fibulin-4 in the Pathogenesis of Oral Head and Neck

    Kathleen McGuinn is currently devoting a year to Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology research between her third and fourth year of medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated summa cum laude from Gettysburg College where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. Kathleen McGuinn is from York, Pennsylvania and plans to apply for residency in dermatology.

  • Ji Qi

    Ji Qi
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    Topic: Assessment of PD-L1 as a Predictive Biomarker of Response to Ipilimumab in Melanoma Patients

    Ji Qi is from Fairfax, VA. She received her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, where she majored in Molecular Biology with minors in Global Health and East Asian Studies. Currently she is a third-year medical student at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

  • Nicholas Theodosakis

    Nicholas Theodosakis
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Yale University School of Medicine
    Topic: Metabolic Reprogramming of Melanoma by BRAF Inhibitors

    Nicolas Theodosakis is a fourth year medical student in the Yale School of Medicine's MD/PhD program. Nick graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Virginia in 2008 with a distinguished BSc in Biochemistry and a BA in Psychology. At UVA, he served as a research assistant in the lab of David Jones, MD studying correlations between PET scanning and the presence of select tumor biomarkers in the setting of lung and esophageal cancer. He also spent two summers in the lab of Malcolm Brock, MD at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institute studying lung cancer epigenetics. Additionally, Nick spent 6 months in Tokyo, Japan researching the use of methylation profiling as a prognostic tool in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. At Yale, Nick conducts research into melanoma metabolomics in the lab of Marcus Bosenberg, MD, PhD. He is originally from Newport News, Virginia.

  • Shira Wieder

    Shira Wieder
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Topic: B-RAFV600E Inhibition Reprograms Mitochondrial Function Promoting Poor Prognosis and Chemoresistance

    Shira Wieder is a fourth year medical student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and is currently devoting a year to melanoma research at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She graduated summa cum laude from New York University in 2010 receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. She is originally from Westchester County, New York.

  • Tarek Yamany

    Tarek Yamany
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Columbia University
    Topic: Hairless Gene Regulation of PREX2 and COL6A1

    Tarek Yamany received his undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon University, where he studied Computer Science and Chemistry. He is currently a medical student at Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School and has devoted a year to pursue research at Columbia University. He is originally from Princeton, New Jersey.

  • Betty Yang

    Betty Yang
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    University of Texas Medical School at Houston
    Topic: The Effect of ECP on Th1/Th2/Th17/Treg Cytokines and Related Molecules in Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma

    Betty Y. Yang is a fourth year medical student at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. She has dedicated a year to conduct translational research in cutaneous oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical-biological engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Sherry Yu

    Sherry Yu
    2014 Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
    Topic: Sun Behaviors and Quality-of-Life after Cutaneous Melanoma Diagnosis

    Sherry Yu is a third year medical student at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. She graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Case Western Reserve University in 2011. She is originally from Chicago, Illinois.

Recipients list by year: 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Complete List of Research Grant & Award Recipients