Medical College researcher to study new pathway for psoriasis

June 20, 2012

The Medical College of Wisconsin received a two-year, $200,000 grant from the National Psoriasis Foundation to study the pathogenesis of psoriasis and to identify new drugs that may benefit patients.

Sam Hwang, M.D., Ph.D., and Thomas J. Russell Family/Milwaukee Community Dermatologists Chair and professor of dermatology, is the principal investigator for the grant.

Approximately 7.5 million Americans are living with psoriasis, an autoimmune disease in which dead skin cells accumulate and cause irritation that appears as itchy scales or dry patches. Symptoms can be treated, but there is no cure, and the severity of the disease ranges from mild discomfort to complete disability. Complications include arthritis, ischemic heart disease, and depression. Dr. Hwang’s lab identified two proteins (a chemokine receptor called CCR6 and it binding protein) in prior studies of psoriasis development that appear to have significant involvement in the disease. In this study, Dr. Hwang will investigate these proteins further to better understand how they impact the pathogenesis of psoriasis. Dr. Hwang will also use computer modeling to discover drugs that may block the actions of these proteins and thus, potentially, improve therapy for patients with this disease.

This study may verify a pathway for psoriasis and provide new information about its cause. The project may also identify new treatments for psoriasis and other diseases influenced by the proteins Dr. Hwang is investigating.

This special award is called the Lutto Translational Grant in honor of Seymour and Rebecca Lutto, who made this research possible with a gift to the National Psoriasis Foundation. They sought to memorialize their son Lawrence Lutto by advancing scientific knowledge regarding the cause and treatment of psoriasis. This year, the National Psoriasis Foundation awarded to $2.06 million to 26 scientists, which is the greatest number of grants and dollars ever given by the foundation.

Community Watch

» Anodyne Coffee plans to open location in Wauwatosa Village Updated:  7/29

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Menomonee Falls baseball virtuoso Ty Weber and Big Ten Media Day Updated:  7/29

» Wauwatosa West girls basketball coach Ashley Imperiale resigns 7/26

» Store owners, police weigh in on string of protests at Mayfair mall Updated:  7/26

» Tosa police will not release squad video of officer-involved shooting Updated:  7/25

» Wauwatosa school district files lawsuit against WIAA over conference realignment Updated:  7/25

» Protest over fatal shooting forces brief closure of Mayfair Mall 7/23

» Reports into fatal Wauwatosa police shooting delivered to DA 7/22

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Business Spotlight: Cranky Al's has grown from desperation to a Wauwatosa institution Updated:  7/20

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» Michaelis leads Wauwatosa East past rival West in regional 7/20

» Milwaukee County Chargers earn overtime win over Muskego 7/20

» Activists push DA for disclosure on police killing in Wauwatosa 7/19

» Video: How a Pokémon Go newbie experienced the craze playing in Wauwatosa Updated:  7/19

» Tosa police, firefighters celebrated during First Responders Fest 7/18

» Ray's Wine & Spirits in Tosa celebrates 55 years with public party 7/15

» Wauwatosa's Relay for Life event slated for July 22 7/14

» Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley receives award for business leadership 7/14

» Video: Mayfair Collection's Bartolotta restaurants billed as 'triple threat' Updated:  7/14

» Bus rapid transit route clears two hurdles 7/13

» A look at the French restaurant Cafe Grace, opening Tuesday in Wauwatosa 7/13

» Wauwatosa West baseball team drops four of last five games 7/12

» Wauwatosa East baseball team falls to Marquette in Greater Metro semifinals 7/12

» Coalition for Justice, Black Lives Matter protest in Milwaukee, Tosa Updated:  7/12

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where our Wauwatosa reporter explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.