MIAMI (March 7, 2010) —
At its 68th Annual Meeting, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy) today presented the 2010 Young Investigators in Dermatology Award to Kevin Wang, MD, Ph.D.
Given each year to recognize outstanding research, the Young Investigators in Dermatology Award recognizes dermatologists-in-training in the United States and Canada for their contributions to research in the field of dermatology. The award criteria are: originality of research concept; soundness of research design; quality/clarity of research report; and perceived value of the research to dermatology.
Dr. Wang is currently an assistant clinical professor in the department of dermatology at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), and a post-doctoral fellow in the Stanford University Medical School Department of Dermatology’s Program in Epithelial Biology. He received his medical degree from UCSF and his PhD in neurobiology from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and subsequently completed his residency in dermatology at UCSF.
Dr. Wang is being recognized for his research in molecular genetics and the mechanisms underlying positional patterning of cells during development. His studies address a fundamental question in biology of how large groups of genes can be regulated (e.g., turned on or off) at the same time, and specifically how this occurs in the skin to specify positional identity with respect to the entire body. Dr. Wang’s research investigated the regulation of expression of the HOX family of transcription factors in dermal fibroblasts, and discovered that a new class of molecules, called long noncoding RNAs, may serve as master regulators of gene expression by coordinating the activity of neighboring genes through binding to enzymes that modify chromatin, the protein-DNA complex that makes up chromosomes. This work promises to uncover the basis of many skin diseases that show site-specific development, and has implications for the targeted treatment of these diseases as well as regenerative medicine.
Physicians currently in accredited dermatology residency programs or those who have completed their residencies within the last two years are eligible for the competition. The six-judge committee included representatives from the Academy’s Council on Science and Research, the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Association of Professors of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, a dermatology resident, as well as an at-large Academy member.
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 16,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at (888) 462-DERM (3376) or www.aad.org.