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2022 Award and Grant Recipients

Below are brief biographies for American Skin Association's 2022 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.

  • Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD

    Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD
    2022 ASA Daneen & Charles Stiefel Investigative Scientist Award for Melanoma Research
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    Topic: Use of Topical Diphencyprone to Improve Efficacy of Checkpoint Inhibition in Melanoma Patients

    Nicholas Gulati, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he directs the Oncodermatology and Early Detection of Skin Cancer Clinics. Prior to joining Mount Sinai, he was a transitional year intern at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and a dermatology resident at NYU Grossman School of Medicine. While at NYU, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the institution's Interdisciplinary Melanoma Cooperative Group headed by Dr. Iman Osman. He received his BA in biology from Columbia University, his MD from Weill Cornell Medical College, and his PhD from The Rockefeller University. He completed his PhD thesis work in the laboratory of Dr. James Krueger, where he led a clinical trial treating metastatic melanoma patients with a topical immunomodulator and performed translational studies on resultant skin biopsies. Dr. Gulati’s laboratory focuses on understanding how the immune system can best be used to treat melanoma and other skin cancers.

  • Angel S. Byrd, MD, PhD

    Angel S. Byrd, MD, PhD
    2022 ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
    Howard University College of Medicine
    Topic: Examining Gene Expression in Mycosis Fungoides in Skin of Color

    Dr. Byrd was born and raised in Edwards and Jackson, Mississippi. She obtained her BS (’04) from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Mississippi and MD,PhD (’16) from Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. She completed an Ethnic Skin Postdoctoral Fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM) under the direction of Dr. Ginette Okoye. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at Howard University College of Medicine and Adjunct Assistant Professor at JHUSOM (Departments of Dermatology) where her work centers on the establishment of tissue biobanks to understand the immunopathological mechanisms contributing to skin of color diseases, particularly among African-American patients with Hidradenitis suppurativa. Her main research focus is elucidating the unreported roles of neutrophils and the innate immunity in the induction of local and systemic immune dysregulation. Dr. Byrd leads multidisciplinary collaborative projects with the overarching goal of establishing a scientifically-driven approach to treatment options for patients suffering from these debilitating diseases. Of much importance, she continues to pay-it-forward along her journey devoting time to training and investing in the next generations of scientists and physician scientists as well as engaging in community outreach. She is the inaugural recipient of the Skin of Color Society Career Development Award and the Society for Investigative Dermatology Freinkel Diversity Fellowship Award, has contributed to the scientific literature, given numerous lectures, national/international talks, and has been featured on the BET 33rd Annual UNCF An Evening of Stars® international program, recognizing her as one who is “changing the face of science, one mind at a time.”

  • Jennifer Gill, MD, PhD

    Jennifer Gill, MD, PhD
    2022 ASA Milstein Research Scholar Award for Melanoma/Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
    University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
    Topic: Characterizing the Role of GAPDHS As a Metastatic Suppressor in Human Melanoma

    Jennifer Gill, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center. Dr. Gill received her MD and PhD degrees from Washington University School of Medicine. She then completed dermatology residency at UTSW and a post-doctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Sean Morrison where she identified GAPDHS as a novel suppressor of melanoma metastasis. Dr. Gill’s laboratory focuses on understanding the metabolic alterations required for melanoma metastasis, with the goal of identifying novel prognostic markers and therapeutics for patients. Dr. Gill is an active member of the Melanoma Tumor Board at Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center, and she runs a subspecialty dermatology clinic for patients with high-risk and advanced melanoma.

  • Jessica Shiu, MD, PhD

    Jessica Shiu, MD, PhD
    2022 ASA Calder Research Scholar Award Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    University of California Irvine
    Topic: Investigating the Role of Keratinocyte-derived Signaling Networks in Vitiligo Initiation

    Jessica Shiu is a Dermatology trained physician scientist interested in understanding tissue homeostatic mechanisms in melanocyte-related disorders in the skin. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at University of California Irvine and works under the mentorship of Dr. Anand Ganesan. Her work combines noninvasive imaging, single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial transcriptomics to understand how cell-cell signaling and tissue spatial organization influence vitiligo initiation and persistence.

  • Ahmad Aleisa, MD, FAAD

    Ahmad Aleisa, MD, FAAD
    2022 Mulvaney Family Foundation Research Grant in Vitiligo/Pigment Cell Disorders
    Medical University of South Carolina
    Topic: Daily Topical Rapamycin (Sirolimus)Therapy for the Treatment of Vitiligo

    Dr. Ahmad Aleisa is a board-certified dermatologist and fellowship-trained dermatopathologist. He completed his residency at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) where he served as a chief resident. He subsequently completed a one-year dermatopathology fellowship at MUSC as well. Dr. Aleisa graduated from King Saud University, Riyadh College of Medicine and completed his internship in internal medicine at MUSC. Dr. Aleisa is an associated faculty in the College of Graduate Studies at the Medical University of South Carolina and faculty in the department of dermatology at King Saud Medical City. His Research interests revolve around immunodermatology, autoimmune diseases and cancer.

  • Goran Micevic, MD, PhD

    Goran Micevic, MD, PhD
    2022 ASA Castle Biosciences Research Grant for Melanoma
    Yale School of Medicine
    Topic: Epigenetic Regulation of Slamf6 as a Therapeutic Strategy in Melanoma Immunotherapy

    Goran Micevic, MD, PhD, is an Instructor in the Department of Dermatology at Yale University. He completed his MD and PhD degrees at the Yale University School of Medicine in Experimental Pathology in the lab of Dr. Marcus Bosenberg, focusing on melanoma. After completing his graduate studies, he went on to pursue an internal medicine internship and dermatology residency at Yale New Haven Hospital and is currently a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Dr. Richard Flavell in the Department of Immunobiology. Dr. Micevic’s clinical interest focuses on dermatopathology and taking care of patients with skin cancer. His research is centered on understanding the epigenetic changes that occur during the immune response to cutaneous malignancies and inflammatory skin disease, with the aim of developing improved therapies, diagnostic and prognostic markers.

  • Anngela Adams

    Anngela Adams
    2022 ASA Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix
    Topic: Novel Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Model to Investigate Tumor-specific T Cell Responses

    Anngela C. Adams is an MD/PhD student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix. Prior to medical school, Anngela graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering. Her engineering research focused on developing novel biosensors to innovate blood glucose monitoring technology, which resulted in an United States Patent. Currently, Anngela is completing her PhD in the laboratory of Dr. Karen Taraszka Hastings. Her PhD focuses on utilizing a novel cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma murine model she developed to identify tumor-specific T cells that constrain tumor growth and improve response to immune checkpoint inhibitors.

  • Victoria Mroz

    Victoria Mroz
    2022 ASA Medical Student Grant Targeting Melanoma and Skin Cancer
    Icahn School of Medicine Mount Sinai
    Topic: Role of ETS Transcription Factors in Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Subpopulation Heterogeneity

    Victoria Mroz is a rising fourth-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She is a first generation American who grew up in New York City and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from Hunter College. Victoria is pursuing scholarly year work in the laboratory of Dr. Andrew Ji, focusing on understanding intercellular communication networks in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. During her time in medical school at Mount Sinai, she served as a medical contractor to SpaceX and supported the Demo-2 mission launch of NASA astronauts flying on SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. This experience further evolved her interest in skin cancer cellular pathology as well as caring for skin cancer patients, this time expanding into the realm of space medicine and understanding the dermatologic manifestations in this environment.

Recipients list by year: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012

Complete List of Research Grant & Award Recipients