Newswise — PHILADELPHIA – The National Psoriasis Foundation has announced the winners of its Medical Professional Research Awards, and it’s a clean sweep for the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The NPF honored Joel M. Gelfand, MD MSCE, a professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology, with the 2017 Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award. The second award is for Outstanding New Investigator, and this year it went to Junko Takeshita, MD, PhD, MSCE, an assistant professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology. The two were honored together at this month’s 2017 NPF Research Symposium.

Gelfand received the award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement, which recognizes his work and takes into consideration independence of thought, originality, significance of discovery, and impact on the area of research. Gelfand is a national leader in research connecting psoriasis to other comorbidities. He is particularly interested in the connection between psoriasis and cardio metabolic disease. He has published hundreds of peer-reviewed papers in academic journals, many on this very topic, and it continues to be a major focus of his work. Gelfand completed his MSCE at Penn, received his MD from Harvard, and holds a B.S. from Tufts.

“It was an honor to receive this award from the National Psoriasis Foundation, and also to share the stage with my colleague Dr. Takeshita,” Gelfand said.

Takeshita received the Outstanding New Investigator award, which also recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in psoriatic disease research from a new or early-career investigator. Takeshita spent two years as an NPF fellow, during which time she trained under Gelfand. She has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to explore racial disparities in the treatment of psoriasis. She has published more than two dozen peer-reviewed papers, including one that identified psoriasis treatment disparities in the Medicare population that is often cited by advocacy groups. Takeshita completed her MSCE at Penn, received her MD and PhD from Washington University in Saint Louis, and completed her B.A. at Wellesley.      


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 $6.7 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 20 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 $392 million awarded in the 2016 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 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 2016, Penn Medicine provided $393 million to benefit our community.