News - 08 Jul `21Interview for The Waiting Room


Our CEO Yan Valle was interviewed by Swiss-based Karger Publishers for The Waiting Room, a collection of health information for the general public. The heart of the blog consists of the Knowledge Transfer, a section in which experienced medical writers explain various scientific findings and their possible impact on patients in plain language. Topics cover everything from vitamins to IBD, and you'll almost certainly find the stuff you're interested in among The Waiting Room posts.

Here's an excerpt from the interview. 


This year, World Vitiligo Day was held on June 25. We spoke with Yan Valle, CEO of the Vitiligo Research (VR) Foundation and author of the book “A No-Nonsense Guide To Vitiligo”, about the work of the foundation and the skin disease which causes a gradual loss of skin color on different parts of the body.

Q: Please tell us more about the Vitiligo Research (VR) Foundation as well as its inception and goals.

A: The VR Foundation is non-profit organization, aimed squarely at vitiligo. We educate, we support, we care.

The foundation was born from the determination of one man – Mr. Dmitry Aksenov, philanthropist – to help his daughter, who was diagnosed with vitiligo at an early age. After years of trying and failing to find an effective treatment for his daughter, Dmitry took this challenge personally.

In 2010, Dmitry Aksenov started the Vitiligo Research Foundation to facilitate therapy development for his daughter and millions of other people who suffer from vitiligo. I was invited to lead the company since its early days, and I’m honored to serve as its CEO for over ten years now.

While we are not alone at aiming at vitiligo, I think we are unique in the interdisciplinary approach that we have. The VR Foundation operates as a semi-virtual company, with a small internal staff managing research, clinical and educational programs in several countries. Our team members often wear several hats.

Because we are a donor-supported organization, we do not have the luxury of the behemoth R&D budgets of the Big Pharma. But we have funded an early-stage vitiligo research that laid a solid foundation for many other research projects, and attracted top talent into this obscure field of dermatology.

Perhaps, we are better known for the World Vitiligo Day campaign that we launched in 2011 and continue to coordinate at the international level.

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      FAQOther Questions

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        It's very unlikely. We have specifically looked into claims that gluten-free diet may ease symptoms of vitiligo, or completely reverse it, and found no firm scientific evidence ...

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        Vitiligo is NOT contagious. It cannot be passed on or caught from touching someone with vitiligo, shaking hands, swimming in the same pool, sharing towels, sitting next to someo...

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        Corticosteroid drugs (like hydrocortisone, and others) are often used for treating vitiligo. By mimicing the effects of hormones your body produces naturally in your adrenal gla...