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University of Rochester spin-off company Adarza BioSystems raises $6.8 million

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

University of Rochester spin-off company Adarza BioSystems has some big news this quarter – $6.8 million dollars big. Benjamin Miller, Professor of Dermatology, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Biomedical Engineering, helped found Adarza in 2008. BME graduate students Joe Bucukovski, Mark Lifson, and Rashmi Sriram have also been working with Adarza on research and development.

New Medication Shows Promise in Treating Common Skin Disease

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An investigational medication shows promise in treating the most common skin disorder, often referred to as eczema or atopic dermatitis, according to a study published July 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The findings could eventually bring significant relief for many who suffer intense itching and other troubling features of atopic dermatitis, according to the study’s lead author Lisa A. Beck, M.D., professor of Dermatology and Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

The drug, dupilumab, blocks the action of two proteins involved in inflammation, interleukin-4 and interleukin-13, which play a key role in atopic dermatitis (AD). AD is a common skin disease with troubling signs that include severely dry skin, red lesions that may crust or ooze, skin thickening, and symptoms of intense itching that may lead to skin wounds, infections and sleep disturbance.

Read More: New Medication Shows Promise in Treating Common Skin Disease

Rochester Dermatologist Elected to American Academy Board

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

UR Medicine dermatologist Marc Brown, M.D., professor of Dermatology and Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, was elected to the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Brown joined the Department of Dermatology faculty in 1989, developing its Division of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology. An expert in the Mohs technique to treat various forms of skin cancer, he performs about 2,000 cases annually and has completed more than 30,000 in his career. He also coordinates the Wilmot Cancer Institute Melanoma Group Practice.

After earning his medical degree at Georgetown University, Brown completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester. He served two years in the Public Health Service followed by a dermatology residency at the University of Michigan. Board-certified in dermatology, he completed a two-year fellowship in Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at the University of Michigan.

Read More: Rochester Dermatologist Elected to American Academy Board

Exploring New Treatments for Eczema

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In yesterday’s New York Times, Personal Health columnist Jane Brody wrote about eczema, which causes dry, red, itchy skin in 15 to 30 percent of children and two to 10 percent of adults. Although the disease is often more manageable in the summer when the skin is exposed to lots of sunlight, patients have limited options to keep the condition at bay.  

Brody highlighted research conducted by Lisa Beck, M.D., professor, and Anna De Benedetto, M.D., instructor (as of August 1), in the Department of Dermatology. They’ve identified a protein called claudin-1 that is significantly weakened in the skin of eczema patients, but not in healthy individuals or individuals with other skin diseases like psoriasis.  They demonstrated that reducing claudin-1 expression in skin cells from healthy donors made the skin leaky and more permeable – the hallmark of eczema.Lisa Beck and Anna De Benedetto

If their work stands up in future research, increasing claudin-1 to combat eczema could be a new treatment approach worth exploring, notes Brody, whose identical twin sons had eczema as young children, and one still has it in his 40s. The University of Rochester has applied for patent protection for increasing claudin-1 with drug compounds to treat eczema.

Read the full New York Times article here and more about Beck and De Benedetto’s research here.

Read More: Exploring New Treatments for Eczema

Ritchlin to Lead Allergy, Immunology, Rheumatology Division

Monday, July 15, 2013

Effective immediately, Christopher T. Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H, assumes his new role as chief of Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

A leader in field of bone-destroying psoriatic arthritis (an oft-forgotten cousin to its better known counterparts, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), Ritchlin was first recruited to URMC in 1991, beginning a colorful, two-decade tenure of innovative patient care and research.

In 2008 Ritchlin led GRAPPA, the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, in their pioneering effort to codify the first-ever international guidelines for the treatment of the disease. In 2011, he was invited to be the rheumatologist face and voice behind world class pro-golfer and psoriatic arthritis patient Phil Mickelson’s “On Course with Phil” campaign, a disease education program for people with chronic inflammatory joint and skin conditions.

Read More: Ritchlin to Lead Allergy, Immunology, Rheumatology Division

URMC Dermatologist Tapped for Two National Leadership Positions

Friday, August 3, 2012

Marc Brown, M.D., professor of Dermatology and Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), was elected president of the American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) and also named to the Board of Directors of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS).

Brown joined the URMC Department of Dermatology faculty in 1989, developing its Division of Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology. An expert in the Mohs technique to treat various forms of skin cancer, he performs about 2,000 cases annually and has completed more than 25,000 in his career.

Brown earned his medical degree at Georgetown University and completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Rochester. He served two years in the Public Health Service followed by a dermatology residency at the University of Michigan. After becoming board-certified in dermatology, he completed a two-year fellowship in Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at the University of Michigan.

Read More: URMC Dermatologist Tapped for Two National Leadership Positions

Scouring the Skin for Clues to Better Health

Friday, June 15, 2012

The skin is much more than the part of our body that gets sunburned in the summer and pasty in the winter: It is our largest organ and the barrier that separates us from the outside world, where we encounter thousands of allergens, irritants, pollutants, microbes and more on a daily basis. Persistent defects in the barrier can result in crippling conditions, but brief breaches may enable the delivery of lifesaving drugs, improve vaccine effectiveness and allow new ways to diagnose disease.

Given the skin barrier’s power to hurt and heal, researchers in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Rochester Medical Center are teaming up with specialists from across the University – experts in environmental medicine, vaccine biology, optics and engineering, to name a few – to form the Skin Barrier Research Consortium. The goal: discovering how the barrier works and ways in which we can manipulate it to improve our health.

Alice P. Pentland, M.D., James H. Sterner Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology and head of the new program, says, “The skin is where the action is. It is our first line of defense against everything we encounter in the environment and contains twice as many immune cells than any other place in the body.”

Researchers and clinicians will work to understand the factors necessary for a healthy skin barrier and characterize the skin barrier defects in the two most common inflammatory skin diseases – eczema and psoriasis – which Pentland’s team knows, firsthand, can be devastating for patients and families.

Read More: Scouring the Skin for Clues to Better Health

URMC Rheumatologist, Pro-Golfer Phil Mickelson, Shed Light on Psoriatic Arthritis

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Today, world class pro-golfer and psoriatic arthritis patient Phil Mickelson, in partnership with both Amgen and Pfizer, Inc., launched “On Course with Phil,” a disease education program for people with certain chronic inflammatory joint and skin conditions.

The program seeks to inspire people with psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or plaque psoriasis to take early action, educate themselves, and work with a medical specialist to build a disease management plan that’s right for them. The program also features the Joint Smart Coalition, a new effort by theArthritis Foundation and the National Psoriasis Foundation that aims to provide an empowering and educational resource for people with psoriatic arthritis and other related chronic inflammatory conditions.

The initiative has tapped local University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) rheumatologist and professor of Medicine Christopher Ritchlin, M.D., M.P.H., to offer his expert insights into these conditions. Ritchlin will discuss the status of current treatment options, research, and underscore the importance of early intervention in mitigating long-term joint damage.

Read More: URMC Rheumatologist, Pro-Golfer Phil Mickelson, Shed Light on Psoriatic Arthritis

Ibrahim Joins Medical Center Dermatology, Skin Cancer Team

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dermatologist Sherrif Ibrahim, M.D., Ph.D., a fellowship-trained surgeon specializing in skin cancers and cosmetic procedures, recently joined the University of Rochester Medical Center. He practices at University Dermatology Associates’ offices at 400 Red Creek Drive in Henrietta.

Ibrahim recently completed fellowship training in Moh’s micrographic surgery, a delicate procedure to remove melanoma and squamous cell cancers, at the University of California-San Francisco.

Read More: Ibrahim Joins Medical Center Dermatology, Skin Cancer Team