George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) Department of Dermatology fellow Kamaria Nelson, MD, and fourth-year MD student Chapman Wei, were awarded research grants from La Fondation La Roche-Posay.
La Fondation La Roche-Posay encourages residents, fellows, and practitioners within the first five years of practice to develop innovative research programs in the fields of clinical, biological, or pharmacological research related to dermatology.
Typically presented to three recipients, this year La Fondation La Roche-Posay recognized five outstanding projects, including two from SMHS.
Wei received $5,000 for his project targeting p38 isoforms in human cutaneous metastatic melanoma invasion, using a unique skin-equivalent 3D organotypic raft culture model designed in the lab of Tatiana Efimova, PhD, assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology at SMHS.
“Our research may unlock new potential in providing additional targeted therapies for promoting increased survival in metastatic melanoma patients,” said Wei.
Nelson received $2,500 to explore sociocultural and socioeconomic concerns in minority dermatology patterns. Through their research, Nelson and her team will evaluate the importance of race when choosing a dermatologist, perceptions of race-related disparities in care, and dermatologic misconceptions about skin color.
“Dermatologists treat and manage diverse patient populations, and having cultural competence for these populations is essential to effective dermatologic care,” she said. “Further, minority populations are more likely to have adverse dermatologic outcomes than their majority counterparts and it is important to delve into why these disparities occur.”