The UW SDRC funds four new awards under Pilot and Feasibility Studies (PFS) Program

The Skin Diseases Research Center at the University of Wisconsin (UW SDRC) would like to announce that four awards totaling $95,000 have been granted through the second round of Requests for Applications (RFA) released in April 2015 through the Pilot and Feasibility Studies (PFS) program. The PFS program received several strong proposals, with total requests for almost $200,000 in support. The response received during this second round RFA has shown the increased interest in the newly created UW SDRC. Proposals were received from researchers across campus departments, highlighting the breadth of investigators interested in skin disease related research.

The four projects selected for funding are:

  • Caitlin Pepperell, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Medical Microbiology & Immunology: “Investigating the evolution and diffusion of leprosy using ancient M. leprae genomes.” Dr. Pepperell hopes to reconstruct ancient M. leprae genomes from human remains dated to the 9th and 10th century Anatolia to compare with modern M. leprae genomes to gain insight into the biology of this disease and better understand the transmission of leprosy.
  • Emery Bresnick, Ph.D., Professor of Cell & Regenerative Biology: “New Mode of Controlling Stem Cell Factor-c-Kit Signaling.” Dr. Bresnick will begin studies to determine if Samd14 broadly controls c-Kit signaling and define the mechanism by which this occurs.
  • Katrin Salva, M.D., Assistant Scientist, Department of Dermatology: “Epigenetically enhanced photodynamic therapy (ePDT): a novel therapy for T-cell mediated dermatoses based on cell death and differentiation.” Dr. Salva will study how ePDT may be used as an effective treatment option for patients with chronic T-cell mediated dermatoses, such as chronic dermatitis, psoriasis and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
  • Paul Lambert, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Oncology: “Role of UV Radiation in Papillomavirus-associated Skin Disease.” Dr. Lambert will investigate whether UV radiation is inducing systemic immunosuppression, leading to susceptibility to papillomavirus induced skin disease, and seeks to identify the potential mechanism underlying this immunosuppression.

Dr. Nihal Ahmad, PFS Program Director and Professor of Dermatology, was pleased with the proposals received. For more information regarding the PFS program and to check for future RFAs, please visit the website at:

Support for the PFS program funding is provided by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases through the Skin Diseases Research Center Grant (P30AR066524), as part of the UW SDRC.