by Paul Govern
Nicole Ward, PhD, professor and vice-chair of Basic Research in the Department of Dermatology, was one of three honorees who were the focus of attention at the National Psoriasis Foundation’s 2022 Commit to Cure Gala: Celebrating Women Who Lead, held recently in Chicago.
The National Psoriasis Foundation counts itself the largest nonproﬁt funder of psoriatic disease research in the world. Independently of each other, the three honorees lead research that’s advancing the understanding of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Ward’s research is focused on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying inflammatory skin disease and its associated co-morbidities — cardiovascular disease, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and depression.
The June 11 gala’s other honorees included April Armstrong, MD, MPH, professor of Dermatology and associate dean at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and Dafna Gladman, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and senior scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and Schroeder Arthritis Institute.
Ward, who joined Vanderbilt University Medical Center in January, was previously professor of Nutrition, Dermatology and Neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She studied biology and psychology at the University of Winnipeg and earned a master’s in neuroscience at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. After earning her doctorate in neurobiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she undertook a fellowship with the Department of Medical Biophysics and Molecular & Cell Biology at the University of Toronto.