GW Resident Elizabeth Robinson, MD Recognized by the American Academy of Dermatology for Research on Using Cannabinoids to Reduce Inflammation

March 21, 2017

Congratulations to Elizabeth Robinson, M.D., a resident in the Department of Dermatology at the George Washington (GW) University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, who placed third for the Everett C. Fox Memorial Award presented by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). The award was presented at the Resident and Fellows Symposium hosted during the AAD Annual Meeting in March 2017.

Robinson applied for the competition in the laboratory/basic science category. She was determined to be among the top 20 researchers and was invited to present her research at the symposium. Her presentation, titled, “Cannabinoid Reduces Inflammatory Cytokines in Dermatomyositis in Vitro,” looked at the use of a synthetic anti-inflammatory cannabinoid as a dermatological treatment.

“We need new therapies [in dermatology] with increased efficacy and fewer side effects,” said Robinson of the potential use of cannabinoids in dermatology. “This is an opportunity to turn the natural properties of cannabinoids into therapeutics.”

Her research comes about from the discovery that certain chemical modifications to THC—a compound found in cannabis—can maintain the anti-inflammatory properties without the central nervous system activity attributed to THC. One such modification results in the molecule, ajulemic acid, that Robinson looked at closely in her research.

“We are very proud of both Dr. Robinson’s research to identify new treatment approaches for complicated auto-immune diseases and the recognition she has earned for this work from the AAD,” said Adam Friedman, M.D., director of the residency program and translational research for the Department of Dermatology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Robinson received a cash award as well as a plaque for placing.

The AAD was founded in 1938 and strives to maintain excellence in dermatology. The academy promotes leadership in dermatology and excellence in patient care through education, research, and advocacy. The AAD has been giving out the Everett C. Fox Memorial Award since 1994. The award is named for Dr. Everett Fox who made contributions to the field of dermatology through his affiliations with the American Medical Association, Texas Dermatology Society, Dallas County Medical Society, and AAD—serving as vice president and on the board of directors for several years.

For more information about the 2017 Everett C. Fox Memorial Award visit: http://aadmeetingnews.org/2017-annual-meeting-wrap-up/fox-award-the-future-of-dermatology-recognized-2/