ResearchersCurrent Grants

Current Grants

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.

We are pleased to announce that the VR Foundation has awarded these grants to help start or continue promising new vitiligo research projects.

  • 2021

    Eligibility is limited to research designed to explore essential questions about the quality of life during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2020

    Eligibility is limited to recipients conducting research related to vitiligo patient care during COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2019

    Vitiligo Library Grant program is designed to provide libraries across the nation the occasion to build up a collection of books focused on the needs of people with disabilities. VRF will select up to three libraries per year to enhance their service to children and families affected by vitiligo.

    VRF awards grants only to organizations that have been designated as having tax exempt status according to the IRS Code Section 501(c)(3), or its equivalent for educational institutions, including public libraries.

    We will be accepting applications for the Library Grant Program 2020 beginning September 12, 2019. Grants requests are accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed within one month.

    To see if you qualify for the program, please contact us at

  • 2018

    An online survey "Vitiligo Quality of Life" aims to measure of patients with vitiligo in different countries within the same month. This could potentially relate to the burden of the disease in various regions. It involves individual patients and support groups, academic institutions, and small-to-medium sized clinics.

    Lead investigator: Yan Valle

  • 2017

    Vitinomics: Wrapping results of a 5-year study of self-reported patient outcomes.

    Investigators: Yan Valle, Igor Korobko, Konstantin Lomonosov, Lipi Thurkal.

  • 2016

    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.

  • 2015

    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.

  • 2014

    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.

  • 2013

    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.

  • 2012

    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.

  • 2011

    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

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