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Young Investigator Awards

The AAD Young Investigator Awards are given annually by the Academy to young dermatology researchers in the United States and Canada who demonstrate the potential to become established, independently funded investigators in the field. The purpose of the award is to recognize significant research advances in the science and practice of dermatology.


The award has three tracks, one for basic/translational research, another for clinical research, and a third for applicants underrepresented in medicine (URiM) or research focused on underserved populations. One recipient from each track will receive a $6,000 prize and an engraved plaque during the Academy’s Annual Meeting.


  • The applicants must have a DO, MD, or MD/PhD degree, and have completed or be participating in a dermatology residency program in the U.S. or Canada accredited by:

    • The ACGME,

    • The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; or

    • The Professional Corporation of Physicians of Quebec.

  • MD and DO applicants must have initiated the research after medical school, and applicants with a PhD must have initiated the research after their PhD thesis work.

  • The research submitted must be completed; proposals or research in progress are not eligible.

  • Applicants must complete their research by age 40 and within eight years of completing a terminal degree.

  • An extension of up to two years may be granted for personal or family medical issues or the birth, adoption, or rearing of a child or children.

  • The submitted research must also be submitted for publication, in press, or published.

  • For the URiM track, the research should be conducted by a researcher who is a member of a URiM population or by an individual whose research concerns health issues that notably affect an underserved community. Underrepresented in medicine (URiM) means those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.

The application period runs from June 17 to Sept. 1. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply, as are individuals whose submitted research examines underrepresented minority and diverse populations.

Apply for the award

Fill out our online application form for the award.

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  • Application materials
  • Selection process
  • Past recipients
    • The applicant must personally complete all sections of the application except the letter of recommendation

    • Narrative description of the applicant's major contribution to science as designated for this application. The description should include the following as they relate to the major contribution to science theme: background and significance of the scientific question(s); objectives, methods, results, conclusions, and benefits to dermatology of each study (if multiple studies) comprising the body of research; overall value of the research contributions to dermatology; future directions of research; and appropriate reference list.

    • CV should include publication history, scientific presentations, research achievements, and prior recognition of work (awards and funding)

    • One additional letter of recommendation may be submitted as a supplemental attachment

    • Additional material related to the submitted research may be submitted as a supplemental attachment, including (if applicable) a letter from the applicant attesting to the reason(s) for a time extension for submitted research

    The awards selection panel includes representatives from the Council on Science and Research, the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Association of Professors of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, an AAD member-at-large, and a resident in dermatology or past winner.

    Nominees will be judged on the following criteria:

    1. Originality of research concept 

    2. Soundness of research design 

    3. Quality/clarity of the narrative research description

    4. Perceived value of the research to dermatology 

    5. Quality and strength of publications

    6. Overall assessment of applicant 

      a. Likelihood of becoming an established, independently-funded investigator in dermatology

      b. Quality and strength of research achievements

      c. Prior recognition of work (awards and funding)

    Recent awardees have a track record of scholarship reflected by publications in clinical and research-focused journals, presentations at academic meetings, and application for research grants. Most have received independent or mentored research funding in the form of career development or other awards. Successful applicants have developed research programs which poise the investigator to become an independent leader in the field. In addition, they have pursued ongoing investigations in the same or related/complementary areas of dermatology.

    If external collaborators or sources of external funding represent any perceived or actual conflict of interest with the AAD and its mission, the AAD reserves the right to exclude the applicant from consideration.

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    Alicia J. Little, MD, PhD, FAAD

    Clinical Research Award
    Mackenzie Wehner, MD, FAAD

    URiM/Underserved Population Research Award
    Roxana Daneshjou, MD, PhD, FAAD

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    Andrew Ji, MD, FAAD

    Clinical Research Award
    Aileen Chang, MD, FAAD

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    Sherrie Divito, MD, PhD, FAAD
    Shawn Kwatra, MD, FAAD

    Clinical Research Award
    John Barbieri, MD, MBA, FAAD

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    Allison Billi, MD, PhD

    Clinical Research Award
    Joy Wan, MD, MSCE

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    William Damsky, MD, PhD

    Clinical Research Award
    Aaron Drucker, MD, ScM

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    Tamia Harris-Tryon, MD, PhD

    Clinical Research Award
    Katrina Abuabara, MD, MA, MSCE

    Basic/Translational Research Award
    Brian Capell, MD, PhD
    Sarina Elmariah, MD, PhD

    Clinical Research Award
    Junko Takeshita, MD, PhD

    Christopher Bunick, MD, PhD
    Oscar Colegio, MD, PhD

    Tiffany Scharschmidt, MD
    Jaehyak Choi, MD, PhD 

    John Harris, MD, PhD
    Ali Jabbari, MD, PhD

    Thomas Leung, MD, PhD
    Brian Kim, MD

    Shadmehr "Shawn" Demehri, MD, PhD
    Richard Wang, MD, PhD

    Raymond Cho, MD, PhD
    Niroshana Anandasabapathy, MD, PhD

    Keith Choate, MD, PhD
    Emma Guttman, MD, PhD

    Kevin Wang, MD, PhD

    Emanual Maverakis, MD

    David Wong, MD, PhD
    Lu Le, M.D., PhD
    Kurt Lu, MD

    Johann Eli Gudjonsson, MD, PhD
    Julie V. Schaffer, MD, FAAD

    Aimee S. Payne, MD
    David H. Chu, MD, PhD

    Luis A. Garza, MD, PhD
    David J. Kouba, MD

    Rochelle Mandelcorn-Monson, MD
    Jennifer T. Trent, MD