For the past four years, the Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation (HSF) has proudly sponsored up to $10,000 for research projects that will have a sustained, powerful influence on our understanding of hidradenitis suppurativa (HS). This competitive grants program is named after Dr. William “Bill” Danby (1943-2016), a curious and dedicated dermatologist who developed what was probably the first specialty Hidradenitis Suppurativa practice in the US. Dr. Danby was a past-president of the HSF (2014-2015) and was very involved in educating other dermatologists and health care providers about HS.

The goal of the Danby HSF Research Grants is to stimulate the development of new research programs in the field of HS capable of competing for long-term funding from the NIH or other agencies in the future. Dr. Amanda Nelson, an assistant professor and cell biologist from Penn State College of Medicine, was awarded the first 2017 Danby Grant to use a special 3D imaging technique to examine the structural architecture of HS skin and to identify stem cells in HS.

Two awards were made in 2018. Dr. Angel Byrd, the Ethnic Skin Postdoctoral Fellow at Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology, was awarded a grant to establish a tissue bank and study the cells that enter HS skin lesions. Dr. Martina Porter, a Research Fellow and dermatologist at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, is conducting a clinical trial of sclerotherapy to treat HS skin tunnels.

In 2019, three awards were made. Dr. John Frew, an investigative dermatologist at Rockefeller University, received an award for a pilot study of brodalumab in HS, a potential new treatment. Dr. Abrar Qureshi, Chair of Dermatology at Brown University, received an award to develop a new Hidradenitis Suppurativa Screening Tool (HST). Drs. Mohammadreza Nasiriavanaki and Steven Daveluy from Wayne State University, Detroit, are collaborating on a project to identify special radiomic signatures of HS lesions.

This year, Dr. Lauren Orenstein, assistant professor at Department of Dermatology in the Emory University School of Medicine, was awarded the 2020 Danby ResearchGrant for her study to determine patterns of biologic prescriptions and pain medication usage in HS patients in different racial and gender groups.

The HSF is very excited to sponsoring all these research projects and talented investigators. Applications are due December 1 each year, and more information about the Danby Research Grants program can be found here.