A team of researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has received a $3.8 million dollar grant from the National Institute of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), to conduct a trial to study the impact of psoriasis treatment on vascular inflammation and lipid metabolism.

Penn researchers have previously shown that psoriasis has a significant impact on inflammation and cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that severe psoriasis is linked to major adverse cardiovascular events, impaired HDL function, and that the risk of death from cardiovascular disease increased by 57 percent leading to a 5-year decrease in life expectancy.

The study will be led by Joel Gelfand, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology, and conducted in concert with investigators from a team of Penn Medicine departments including Dermatology (Abby Van Voorhees, MD, associate professor of Dermatology, Junko Takeshita, MD, PhD, post-doctoral fellow and instructor in Dermatology), Cardiovascular Medicine (Dan Rader, MD, professor of Medicine and Pharmacology; Muredach Reilly, MBBCh, associate professor of Medicine; Nehal Mehta, MD, MSCE, Director, Inflammatory Risk Clinic in Preventive Cardiology), Nuclear Medicine (Drew Torigian, MD, MA, associate professor of Radiology; Abass Alavi, MD, professor of Radiology), Biostatistics (Andrea Troxel, ScD, professor of Biostatistics). The team will bring their expertise together to address a complex and important health issue for patients with psoriasis.

Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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