National Rosacea Society Awards 2023 Grants for Rosacea Research

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) has awarded funding for one new study, in addition to continuing support for two ongoing studies, as part of its research grants program to increase knowledge and understanding of the potential causes and other key aspects of rosacea that may lead to improvements in its treatment, prevention or potential cure. “Ongoing research into the pathologic processes of rosacea has enabled ever more therapies that can combat rosacea’s signs and symptoms,” says Dr. Julie Harper, president and owner of the Dermatology and Skin Care Center of Birmingham. “This year’s study will investigate whether common skin-care practices may prevent these sophisticated treatments from reaching their intended targets.”

Dr. Matthew Draelos, dermatology resident, and Dr. John C. Murphy, professor of dermatology, Duke University, were awarded $15,000 to determine whether the presence any of four widely used moisturizers on the skin may change the effectiveness of two different topical medications. They noted that clinicians often recommend applying moisturizers to rosacea’s extremely sensitive and easily irritated skin before topical therapy, and hypothesize that the chemical compatibility of the two agents may result in unpredictable treatment response. In ongoing studies, Dr. Samantha Herbert, research fellow, and Dr. Emanual Maverakis, professor of dermatology, University of California-Davis, are using single-cell RNA sequencing to help researchers better understand the role each type of cell may play in rosacea and how they interact with each other as a whole, which may aid in the development of better therapies for the disorder.

Dr. Arisa Ortiz, associate professor of dermatology and director of laser and cosmetic surgery at the University of California-San Diego, are studying whether laser therapy has an effect on the skin microbiome. The study will also further understanding of how blood vessels, often targeted in laser therapy, drive the disease process.

Funded by donations from rosacea sufferers, the NRS research grants program has awarded more than $1.6 million to support 78 studies, including scientific investigations that have connected the dots in the inflammatory process, a key underlying factor of the disorder. Other studies have investigated the genetics of rosacea, the role of other factors in rosacea inflammation, changes to aspects of the eye in ocular rosacea, and many other areas.