National Psoriasis Foundation Honors Research Award Recipients at Biennial Research Symposium

August 24, 2017

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) recognized two distinguished research professionals for their unique impact on psoriatic disease research during the 2017 NPF Research Symposium.

The NPF Medical Professional Research Awards consists of two awards, the Outstanding Scientific Achievement award, recognizing outstanding scientific achievement in psoriatic disease research, and the Outstanding New Investigator award, which recognizes the same in a new or early career investigator. Both awards take into consideration independence of thought, originality, significance of discovery, and impact on his/her area of research.

The recipient of the 2017 Outstanding Scientific Achievement award is Joel Gelfand, MD, MSCE. Dr. Gelfand is professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology, and Vice Chair Clinical Research and Medical Director of the Dermatology Clinical Studies Unit at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Gelfand has authored more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including some of the seminal papers on the connection between psoriasis and comorbid disease. He conducts a robust research program at Penn and has received multiple National Institute of Health (NIH) grants focused on psoriasis, including his current R01 grant exploring the effect of psoriasis treatment on cardio metabolic disease.

The recipient of the 2017 Outstanding New Investigator award is Junko Takeshita, MD, PhD, MSCE. Dr. Takeshita is an assistant professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and trained under Dr. Gelfand as an NPF research fellow in 2011 and 2012.

Prior to her time as an NPF fellow, Dr. Takeshita obtained a medical degree and doctorate in molecular cell biology from Washington University in St. Louis, and did her residency in dermatology at the University of Washington. Following her time as an NPF fellow she went on to receive a K23 award from NIH focused on exploring racial disparities in the treatment of psoriasis. She has published more than 25 peer-reviewed papers including a recent paper on psoriasis in the Medicare population that’s often cited and often used by NPF in support of its advocacy efforts. 

Despite her short time as a psoriatic disease researcher, Dr. Takeshita has already made a significant impact and is establishing herself as a future leader in the field.

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