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World Psoriasis Day 2020

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2021 Studentships

The RFA for the 2021 Summer studentships is now open! Applications will be accepted until February 19, 2021.

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Program name:  Summer Student Research Scholarships in Psoriatic Disease

Funding organizations: Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP)   

*Additional funders will be added to this RFA as they commit to this program

Application Deadline: Friday, February 19, 2021

Anticipated Notice of Decision: March 31, 2021

Funding Start Date: May 3, 2021

Description

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to provide undergraduate and health professional students with opportunities to undertake research projects related to psoriatic diseases with established investigators in an environment that provides strong mentorship.  We encourage applications from across Canada.

Funds Available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is $20,000 (up to 5 awards). The number of awards may increase if additional funding partners participate. The maximum stipend contribution per award is $4,000 for up to three months. Timelines are flexible to accommodate school schedules. Minimum is eight weeks.

Objectives

This opportunity targets the early stage of the student’s academic training to encourage the pursuit of a career in psoriatic disease research and/or in medical dermatology.

Eligibility to Apply

For your application to be eligible:

  1. The Nominated Principal Applicant must be a trainee. The trainee must meet the following requirements:
    1. Enrollment in a medical school or health professional program at a Canadian university at the time of application.
    2. Have completed the course requirements of at least the first year of university study (or two academic terms) by the funding start date.
  1. At least one project participant must be a Primary Supervisor. The Primary Supervisor must meet the following requirements:
    1. Employed by a Canadian institution considered eligible under CIHR's guidelines. Please see CIHR's Grants and Awards Guide for more information.
    2. If a Primary Supervisor is affiliated with more than one application, each application must contain a separate and distinct research project.
  2. The application must meet the specific requirements described below.

Guidelines

Official Languages

Applicants can submit proposals in English or French and we are committed to ensuring high quality review of applications submitted in either language.

Allowable Costs

The awards consist of a stipend.

The stipend may be used for costs and activities that are considered allowable according to the Use of Grant Funds section of the Tri-Agency (CIHR, NSERC and SSHRC) Financial Administration Guide.

Conditions of Funding

Successful applicants funded through this funding opportunity and any other persons working on the project must comply fully with the CIHR Funding Policies. Policies and guidelines cover areas such as Applicant Responsibilities, Official Languages policy, Access to Information and Privacy Acts, and Acknowledgement of CIHR's Support. Successful applicants will be informed of any special financial requirements prior to the release of funds.

Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

All personal information collected about applicants is used to review applications, to recruit reviewers, to administer and monitor grants and awards, to compile statistics, and to promote and support health research in Canada. Consistent with these purposes, applicants should also expect that information collected by this application may be shared as described in the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.

While respecting the application of the Privacy Act to federal entities, all signing parties involved in a collaborative agreement will also be bound by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). All personal information (as identified by the PIPEDA) collected, used or disclosed in the course of any commercial activity under collaborative agreements related to the funding opportunity will be collected, used and disclosed in compliance with the PIPEDA.

Communication Requirements

Funding recipients are required to acknowledge the Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP) and any additional funding partners in any communication or publication related to the project. The contributing collaborators/partners will be identified on the decision letter.

CAPP also requests that funded students provide a list of publications and/or presentations related to the research project to CAPP on an annual basis.

Review Process and Evaluation

Relevance Review Process 

This award is to fund applications that are specific to psoriatic disease research. Applications that are not deemed to be relevant to psoriatic diseases will be withdrawn from the competition. Relevancy review will take place at the same time as the adjudication of the application by the review panel.

Review Committee

Applications will be peer reviewed by a Committee selected by CAPP based on expertise in this area. Members will follow the Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policy of the Federal Research Funding Organizations.

Evaluation Criteria

Eligible applications will be evaluated using the following review criteria:

  • Academic excellence and research interests of the student
  • Excellence of the research project and relevance to psoriatic diseases
  • Quality of the mentoring plan and training environment
  • Suitability of the supervisor and appropriateness of the student for the award and
  • The track record of the supervisor as a principal investigator in psoriatic disease research

Funding Decision

Upon completion of the review, CAPP will receive the ratings for the applications from the Committee. Applications will be funded from the top down in order of ranking as far as the budget will allow. When awarding the studentships, the Committee will consider the ranking and geographical representation of the top-ranked applications across Canada.

How to Apply

The application must be a single PDF document, minimum 12 font, single spaced, with one-inch margins consisting of the following sections:

  1. Cover page with information about the student, supervisor and project (maximum one page). It must include: 
  • Project title 
  • Student’s name and status in current academic program
  • Supervisor’s name and current employment
  • Research activity location
  • Funding period requested.
  • Signatures of both student and supervisor.
  1. Summary of project (maximum one page):  Describe the project, hypothesis, and specific objectives that the trainee will undertake.
  1. Relevance to psoriatic diseases: (maximum ½ page):  Describe the relevance of the project to advancing our understanding of psoriatic diseases. Please note that only projects relevant to psoriatic diseases will be funded.
  1. Lay title and lay summary (maximum ½ page):  This section should be suitable for a press release and/or for use on the CAPP website to explain the research project. It may also be used by CAPP to attract funders/donors.
  1. Mentorship plan (maximum one page): Supervisor should outline the research activities of the student, detail a mentoring plan that will enable the student to achieve these objectives, and specify which funds will be used to support the research. Details should include who will directly supervise the student, how often the student will meet with the supervisor, and plans for the student to present their research. The specific funding agency, the title of the grant, and the fund number of the grant used to support this research must be detailed.
  1. CV of student (maximum 5 pages): Summarize current academic and research achievements, and list all research presentations, abstracts and publications.
  1. CV of supervisor (maximum 5 pages, limit publications and funding history to last 5 years): Summarize academic and/or employment history, list all publications and funding in the last five years, and include a section detailing significant contributions to the field of psoriatic disease.
  1. Student transcripts are required ONLY AFTER approved for funding:  Official transcripts from the University should be sent directly to Rachael Manion, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patient, 111-223 Colonnade Road, Ottawa, ON, K2E 7K3. 

Specific Conditions of Funding: Knowledge Translation

At the end of the funding period, funded students are invited to apply for an additional $1,000 travel award. This award is designed to help students present their research findings at national or international conferences. To request this funding, students must send a letter of request to the address listed below along with confirmation of acceptance at any applicable conference.

Contact Information

For questions on how to apply, and the peer review process contact:

Rachael Manion
Executive Director
Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients
111-223 Colonnade Road, Ottawa, ON K2E 7K3
1-877-505-2772

Sponsor Descriptions

Coming soon

Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients

The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients (CAPP) was formed to better serve the needs of psoriasis patients across the country. CAPP is a partner organization of the Canadian Skin Patient Alliance and strive to improve the quality of life for all Canadian psoriasis patients. Our mission is to be a resource for those who are impacted by psoriasis by providing support and education and raising awareness about the effects of psoriasis to improve patient care and quality of life.

CAPP is so grateful to the support of our sponsors, without whom these Studentships would not be possible

2019

CIHR - IMHA  cihr 
 CAPP  CappLogo
 Eli Lilly  LillyLogo RGB Red
 Janssen  janssen

 

2018

CIHR - IMHA  cihr 
 CAPP  CappLogo
 Eli Lilly  LillyLogo RGB Red
   

 

2017

 

CIHR - IMHA  cihr 
 CAPP  CappLogo
 Eli Lilly  LillyLogo RGB Red
 Janssen  janssen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s studentships in psoriatic disease. Congratulations to all of you!

Jorge Georgakopoulos, Western University
Supervisor: Dr. Jensen Yeung

Title: The revolving door of leaders in psoriatic care: Improving our understanding of Taltz, the latest treatment for patients with plaque psoriasis

Lay Abstract: 

An estimated 500,000 Canadians are living with psoriasis across our nation. Although there are many forms of psoriasis, plaque psoriasis represents an overwhelming 90% of these cases. To individuals who do not have this disease, plaque psoriasis is no more than skin changes characterized by raised, red patches with a silvery white build-up of dead skin seen on ones scalp, knees, elbows and lower back.


The Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s studentships in psoriatic disease. Congratulations to all of you!

Arvin Ighani
University of Toronto
Supervisor:  Dr. Jensen Yeung
 
Title:  “A prospective study evaluating the safety, efficacy, and impact on the quality of life of narrowband ultraviolet-B phototherapy in the treatment of psoriasis:  evidence-based data for government funding and health care policy"
 
Lay Title:  Does phototherapy for the treatment of psoriasis warrant further government funding in Canada? An evaluation of the efficacy, safety, and impact on quality of life of narrowband ultraviolet-B phototherapy to support evidence-based health care policies
Lay Summary:  Psoriasis is a skin condition which is thought to affect approximately 125 million people worldwide. Many of these individuals have moderate-to-severe psoriasis that requires treatment beyond first-line topical management. Although many effective oral and injectable therapies exist for its management, they can be associated with severe side-effects, large financial burden, inconvenient monitoring, and uncomfortable routes of delivery. Given these setbacks, physicians would ideally first consider NB-UVB phototherapy as a treatment option in suitable candidates before recommending systemic or biologic therapies because of its excellent safety profile and potentially successful clinical reduction of psoriasis. However, the lack of accessibility to phototherapy centers and long wait times for treatment often impede patients from seeking this therapy. The issues surrounding  accessibility for phototherapy are partly driven by the lack of physician compensation for prescribing these treatments and the unmet need for increased government funding to maintain phototherapy centers. Currently, there are few high-quality research studies that clearly demonstrate the efficacy and impact on quality of life of NB-UVB phototherapy for psoriasis patients in the context of specific dosing regimens with qualified nursing staff that use optimal dosing regimens to achieve successful psoriasis clearance. The goal of our research is to
conduct a high-quality prospective study that clearly demonstrates the efficacy, safety, and impact on quality of life of NB-UVB phototherapy. This data can then be used to guide government policymaking and potentially be used to justify increased funding for phototherapy centers across the country, leading to greater patient accessibility, optimal dosing regimens for patients, and ultimately better clearance of psoriasis with minimal side effects for patients who have been unsuccessful with other treatments.
 
Ryan Lewinson
University of Calgary
Supervisor:  Dr. Cheryl Barnabe
 
Title: “Biomechanics in the Pathogenesis of Psoriatic Arthritis"
 
Lay Title:  Biomechanics in the Pathogenesis of Psoriatic Arthritis
Lay Summary:  Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease where patients develop itchy scaling skin plaques. Psoriasis skin lesions are thought to sometimes form due to mechanical stress applied to the skin, a process called the “Koebner-phenomenon,” named after the German dermatologist Heinrich Koebner who discovered the process. In other words, if a person has psoriasis, new lesions can form on previously normal skin when it is traumatized by mechanical stress. This process is not well understood, but appears to be related to inflammatory signaling in the skin.
 
Interestingly, there has recently been a proposed “deep-Koebner” phenomenon as well that affects joints rather than skin. This process may be important for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) – a condition where the patient has skin psoriasis and also painful, destructive inflammation to joints and tendons. The deep-Koebner phenomenon is proposed to also occur in response to mechanical stimuli, where a joint exposed to abnormal mechanical loading may be susceptible to then developing joint inflammation in PsA.
 
There has been very little research on the topic of the deep-Koebner phenomenon in PsA, but clarifying this process could hold important clues in understanding the pathogenesis of PsA and potentially reveal new treatment targets and disease prevention strategies. Our aims in this project are to conduct a review of the literature to identify all documented laboratory and clinical studies assessing the role of biomechanics in the development of PsA, which includes human data, as well as data from tissue and animal modelling experiments. In so doing, we hope to identify the current knowledge gaps in understanding the deep-Koebner phenomenon and propose new hypotheses for focused study in the future. This study will provide an overview of what is already known about the deep-Koebner phenomenon, as well as provide an important first step in identifying future directions in basic science, engineering and clinical research for PsA.
 
 
Daniel Pau
Toronto Western University
Supervisor:  Dr. Dafna Gladman
 
Title:  “Assessing Spinal Disease in Psoriatic Arthritis"
 
Lay Title:  Can lower back x-rays be used to prognosticate psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in psoriasis patients?
Lay Summary:  Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting 0.5 to 11.4 percent of adults worldwide. There is an increasing understanding of systemic comorbid conditions in patients with psoriasis. Diseases reported to occur at a higher frequency include cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. Between 30 to 40 percent of psoriasis cases will develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA). PsA impacts the quality of life, work function, and increases mortality risk due to the strong association with many other diseases. There is a growing need to begin earlier diagnosis of PsA to prevent these downstream effects. Although back disease is recognized as a domain of PsA, patients with PsA do not complain of a lot of pain and the only way to detect the presence of back disease is by radiographs. We have previously found that the modified Stokes Ankylosing Spondylitis Score is most sensitive to change in PsA. We now plan to complete reading of radiographs of PsA patients in our clinic, determine whether the presence of degenerative disc disease affects the scores, and discern whether anti-TNF agents reduce radiographic progression of spine disease as they do for peripheral joint disease.
 
Priya Dhir
Toronto Western University
Supervisor:  Dr. Dafna Gladman
 
Title:   “Interleukin-17 as a predictive biomarker for PsA”
 
Lay Title:  Biomarkers to Predict Psoriatic Arthritis
Lay Summary:  
Psoriasis is a common immune-mediated skin condition affecting 2-3% of the population.  Almost a third of individuals with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis (PsA), a chronic inflammation of assorted joints throughout the body. The severity of the disease varies but is often associated with disability, decreased quality of life, and increased mortality risk. Studies indicate that 30-40% of patients with psoriasis have undiagnosed PsA. The lack of a definitive laboratory test for PsA may contribute to this statistic. Presently, rheumatologists mainly rely on clinical assessment and radiographic techniques to diagnose PsA. These tests detect the disease after joint damage has already taken place. Our project aims to find reliable biomarkers that can help in early detection of PsA. This study will help understand the source of these differences in the blood of PsA patients in order to strengthen their utility as markers of PsA. Early detection allows early treatment, which is promising for prevention of joint damage and improving quality of life for patients. Furthermore, the project will help shed light on the pathophysiology of PsA.
 
Ahmed Mourad
University of Alberta
Supervisor:  Dr. Robert Gniadecki
 
Title:  “How can we improve treatment outcomes in psoriasis?  A systematic review and meta-analysis of biologic drug survival in psoriasis" 
 
Lay Title:  How can we improve treatment outcomes in psoriasis? A systematic review and metaanalysis of biologic drug survival in psoriasis.
Lay Summary:  Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that has a profound negative impact on patient wellbeing and quality of life. Psoriasis is often difficult to treat, especially when it involves the majority of the body. Biologic medication has been shown to be very helpful in treating psoriasis because they interfere with the body’s immune system to decrease the cytokines (cell messengers) that are involved in psoriasis. There are multiple biologics currently approved to treat psoriasis. These biologics show varying degrees of effect according to the scientific studies, but no study to date has summarized the data in a way useful for clinicians to use. Once patients discontinue their biologic medication, their psoriasis recurs. It is therefore important for patients to remain on their biologic therapy for as long as they can safely tolerate it. Drug survival is defined as the time until discontinuation of a drug. It is a real-world substitute measure of effectiveness, safety, and improved disease control for patients with psoriasis. Biologics with better drug survivals are more effective and have better safety profiles. The purpose of this study is to summarize the current literature on the drug survival of the different biologic therapies used in psoriasis and create a numerical pooled result through a meta-analysis (statistical analysis of the currently available studies). The studied biologics will be compared against each other by calculating a summarized statistical measure called a hazard ratio. It is hypothesized that we will  identify certain biologics that consistently have longer drug survivals among the various studies. This study will be a powerful resource for clinicians to refer to when making treatment decisions for their patients with psoriasis.