ISAD Research Fellowships recipients (2022)

The following two candidates received the third ISAD research awards:

Sheng-Pei WANG, MD

National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
University of California Berkeley, USA

May 2024

I’m very thankful for the ISAD research fellowship as it provided me with a unique and precious opportunity to establish collaboration with a multidisciplinary team, exploring the association between environmental microbiomes and allergic disease. In addition to the host PI of my fellowship, Dr. Katrina ABUABARA at the University of California (UC) San Francisco, I’ve had the privilege to work with microbiologists, ecologists, and computational biologists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the Oakridge National Lab, UC San Diego, and UC Davis. This experience opened my eyes to a large-scale study, deepened my knowledge in epidemiology, microbiology/ecology, and advanced machine learning methods, and fostered my skill in interdisciplinary collaboration. All of these are immensely helpful for an early-career dermatologist who just delved into research and academia like me. 

I also wanted to give a quick update on our research project – I continue working with the team after my 6-month fellowship. We used population-based data to assess the association between the prevalence of allergic disease and the diversity of soil microbes in the environment. We found that higher diversity in soil microbes is associated with a lower prevalence of allergic disease (combining atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis) and asthma, and soil microbial diversity may be more impactful on allergic disease than air pollution, humidity, temperature, and other climatic features. This result is verified in both fungal and bacterial databases and we are drafting a manuscript. 

In conclusion, I’m deeply grateful for the ISAD fellowship, being in an amazing team, and working on a fascinating and novel project. This fellowship opens my doors to research focusing on atopic dermatitis and One Health and is crucial for my career development. Thank you for this opportunity, and I look forward to contributing further to the international AD community!

July 2022

I am a dermatologist from Taiwan, and I am genuinely curious about how psychological stress, physical environment, and sociocultural factors impact atopic dermatitis. I believe that if we understand more about how environmental factors are shaping the development of atopic dermatitis, we can develop preventive measures to lower the rate of atopic dermatitis at the population level.

My project aims to understand the relationship of environmental microbial diversity and atopic dermatitis on a global scale by pairing large epidemiological allergy studies and global microbial sampling initiatives. It is an extension of my master thesis in which I worked with Dr. Katrina Abuabara at the University of California Berkeley and found promising preliminary results. I am very thankful to receive the support from ISAD Research Fellowship to continue working with Dr. Abuabara at the University of California San Francisco. The ISAD Research Fellowship not only enables me to return to the Bay Area and learn from leading experts in eczema and computational biology, but also provides a stepping stone to an academic career focused on atopic dermatitis.

Thank you!

Download the project proposal


Department of Dermatology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy (Guarneri Fabrizio, MD, PhD)
Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (DirkJan Hijnen, MD, PhD)

December 2022

I would like to express again my gratitude for awarding me the ISAD Society research fellowship. Thanks to this exchange period, besides having the privilege of working with such amazing people at Erasmus MC, I was able to follow patients affected by this burdensome disease treated with JAK inhibitors, with some very interesting results. Given that these molecules are relatively new in the clinical practice and are taken by the patients with good compliance, we were able to assess the efficacy, safety, and side effects, putting on the other arm of the scale the amelioration of the EASI and IGA scores’ differences before and after treatment with abrocitinib. Thanking again the AD team led by Prof. DirkJan Hijnen, I look forward to the publication of data collected during this three-month period.

July 2022

The aim of my project is to study the effectiveness of abrocitinib in daily practice. Abrocitinib is one of the latest JAK inhibitors. As a chronic dermatitis, atopic dermatitis (AD) requires often long term prescriptions for patients that are affected by it and, in severe cases, systemic medications. The monoclonal antibodies have improved effectively the quality of life of several patients worldwide, although presents several downsides like cost, way of administration and resistivity in some severe cases or specific subtypes of AD, such as the portrait dermatitis. The latest JAK inhibitors, to which abrocitinib belongs, have demonstrated efficacy, good safety profile and flexibility in dose adjustment, tailored to each patient.

At Erasmus MC, under the supervision of Prof. DirkJan Hijnen, JAK inhibitors are used for patients affected by severe forms of AD and are building a large registry that could be useful for data extraction and comparison with current and future therapies. I am very glad to carry out this project at the Erasmus MC, with the help of the generous support provided by ISAD Research Fellowship 2022.

Download the project proposal