The VR Foundation is deeply grateful to all those individuals who have already donated to make this research possible. Not only do these grants promise to advance the understanding and treatment of vitiligo, but they are critical to attracting and retaining the interest of top scientists. If you would like to sponsor high-impact grants which currently require funding, please contact us.
- Vitinomics: Wrapping results of a 5-year study of self-reported patient outcomes. Investigators: Yan Valle, Igor Korobko, Konstantin Lomonosov, Lipi Thurkal. Currently in progress.
- Massive collection of vitiligo patient self-reported data. Principal investigator: Prof. Yan Wu. The aim of the project is to collect primary data from vitiligo patients using a 30-question, fully anonymous, questionnaire. The latest comprehensive study of the similar scale was done in Germany in 2009, with just over 1,000 participants. Our goal is collect no less than 2,500 valid data sets, later to be shared with vitiligo researchers.
We were eager to continue support of ongoing research projects by Prof. Andrija Stanimirovic, Dr. John Harris, Prof. Konstantin Lomonosov in addition to:
- Biobank Network: Prof. Andrija Stanimirovic (Croatia), Prof. Davinder Parsad (India), Dr. Aliya Kasumkhanova (Kazakhstan). The goal is to facilitate collection of 100-200 biosamples and clinical data sets per year at each location and make them available for collaborative research studies. Results: collection in progress.
- Clinical study of ozonotherapy efficacy and Dermaroller use for vitiligo treatment. Prof. Konstantin Lomonosov (Russia). Primary goal is evaluate efficacy of a novel ozonotherapy treatment for vitiligo. Secondary goal is to independently evaluate efficiency of a combination of Dermaroller + NB-UVB to induce repigmentation of lesions in hard-to-treat locations. Results: Study completed, manuscript prepared and ready for submission.
In 2014, we received reports on three grants that were started in 2013 and completed recently. We also continued support of research project at UMass Medical School in Boston, expanded biobank collections in India, Kazakhstan and Russia and supported two new projects:
Clinical study of Dermaroller efficiency in vitiligo treatment. Study of vitiligo stability time to relapse. Prof. A. Stanimirovich, MD. Croatian Vitiligo Association. Jan 2014 - Sep 2016. One of the project goals is to evaluate the efficiency of a novel triple combination Dermaroller + latanoprost + NB-UVB to induce repigmentation of lesions in hard-to-treat locations. Another goal is to estimate parameters and factors affecting duration of vitiligo stability after successful halt of disease progression. Results: Dermaroller manuscript in preparation, relapse study is in progress.
- Independent clinical study of Neovir for stopping vitiligo progression. Prof. N. Tsiskarishvili, MD. Vitiligo Association of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia. This placebo-controlled randomized study aims to confirm the efficiency of Neovir in stopping vitiligo progression and to refine and to validate previously identified predicative parameters of the treatment efficiency. If successful, this could be a critical step towards developing a new drug to stop vitiligo progression.
- Testing inhibitors of the IFN-γ-chemokine axis as new treatments for vitiligo. Prof. J. Harris, MD. University of Massachusetts Medical School, USA. Jan 2013 - Dec 2015. The project aims to test some new substances for vitiligo treatment using a unique mouse model of vitiligo. If successful, this could be a critical step towards developing a new approach to vitiligo treatment. Publication: PMID: 24523323
- Isolation, characterization and differentiation of human dermal stem cells into functional epidermal melanocytes in vitiligo patients. Prof. D. Parsad, MD. Department of Dermatology, Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. Jan 2013 - Dec 2013. The study aims to evaluate safety of multipotent dermal stem cells in dermis of lesional vitiligo skin. Further exploration of new approaches to stimulate dermal stem cells (reservoirs of new melanocytes) can help to discover novel approaches in vitiligo treatment.
- Extraction of Melanin from hair for making camouflage and pigment for tattoo. Prof. C.R. Srinivas, Dept. of Dermatology, PSG Institute of Medical Science & Research, Peelamedu, Tamilnadu, India. Jan 2013 - Dec 2013. The study aims to develop a new method for vitiligo treatment: the extraction of melanin from patients' own hair, which will then be used as a camouflage cream or pigment for tattoo for vitiliginous skin.
- Triple combination treatment with fractional CO2 laser plus topical betamethasone injection and NB-UVB for stable vitiligo on extremities and/or bony prominences – a prospective, randomized half-body, comparative study. Prof. Y. Wu, MD. Department of Dermatology, No.1 Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China. Sep 2013 - Aug 2014. Based on the previous pilot study results the project aims to acknowledge the safety and efficiency of triple combination fractional CO2 laser + betamethasone + NB-UVB for stable vitiligo on heavy depigmented lesions. The project will experimentally validate new method of vitiligo treatment.
- CCR6 in the pathogenesis of vitiligo – a possible novel therapeutic target in vitiligo. Prof. Y. Hong, No. 1 Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, China. Sep 2013 - Aug 2014. Based on findings that Th17 cells are involved in the development autoimmune diseases, including vitiligo, and genetic association of CCR6 gene variations with vitiligo, the project aims to evaluate whether Th17 cells' functioning CCR6/CCL20 axis is involved in vitiligo pathogenesis with respect to vitiligo sability. The project can promote the development of new diagnostic tool for vitiligo stability.
- Benvitimod cream for the treatment of vitiligo: a clinical and experimental pilot study. Prof. J. Du, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing, China. Sep 2013 - Aug 2014. The study aims to evaluate the efficiency of newly synthesized small molecule Benvitimod for vitiligo treatment. The study may facilitate the discovery of a new method for vitiligo treatment.
- Vitiligo epidemiological and QoL studies. Fellowship to Dr. N. Teovska, Macedonia, MD. Jan 2012 - Dec 2012. The fellowship was given to create a multinational team and to conduct vitiligo epidemiological and Quality of Life studies for a better and more detailed understanding of the suffering experienced by vitiligo patients in different sociocultural and geographic contexts, as well as of the possible correlations of this disease with other dermatological and non dermatological conditions.
- Immunopathogenesis of generalized vitiligo. Prof. Q.-S. Mi, MD. Department of Dermatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Henry Ford Health System, USA. Oct 2011 - Oct 2013. Based on the novel findings that T-cells (iNKT and Th17) are involved in development of autoimmune deseases including vitiligo, the project aims to research dysregulation iNKT and Th17 cells in generalised vitiligo. The study uncovered role iNKT and Th17 cells in pathogenesis of generalised vitiligo and shed light on new diagnostic and prognostic tools for vitiligo treatment. Publications: PMID: 24401108, PMID: 23470042, PMID: 23870656 and PMID: 22591262
I support the petition to designate June 25 as Vitiligo World Day and save millions of people worldwide from social isolation and persecution.
What is coming?
The Step Up for Vitiligo Gala
Dallas-Fort Worth Vitiligo Support Group is organizing  'The Step Up for Vitiligo Gala' which will take place on April 28th in Austin, Texas at UT-Austin.  ...28 April 2018 12:00, Austin, Texas at UT-Austin
11th session of the Conference of States Parties to the CRPD
The 11th session Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) will take place at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, from 12 to 14 June 2018. Mo...12 June 2018 09:00, UN Plaza, New York
Can Scenesse be used for vitiligo treatment?
The drug Scenesse from Clinuvel has been tested in clinical trials for vitiligo, in combination with narrowband UVB. The new drug acts as an anti-oxidant and activates...
How to get insurance coverage for vitiligo treatments?
Most of health insurance companies will initially reject claims for vitiligo doctor visits or phototherapy treatments but with enough efforts you can have a substantia...
Isn't it just a cosmetic disorder?
Contrary to popular belief, vitiligo is not a cosmetic disorder but a systemic disease affecting the largest body organ and other vital systems. For more than 1.6 mi...