Dermatology Researcher Earns Career Award for Medical Scientists from Burroughs Wellcome Fund

By Jan Jarvis

Dr. Richard Wang

Dr. Richard Wang, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, has received a 2012 Career Award for Medical Scientists from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

The award provides $700,000 over five years to help physician-scientists establish their laboratories and continue their research.

Dr. Wang, whose research interests include nonmelanoma skin cancer and the role of polyomaviruses in skin diseases, said he was excited to receive the award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an independent private foundation dedicated to advancing the biomedical sciences.

“I am really glad to have the opportunity to use my time to advance medical science in ways that I expect to be directly relevant to patient care,” he said.

After completing a Dermatology residency at UT Southwestern Medical Center in 2010, Dr. Wang received a Physician Scientist Training Program Award from UTSW to support a research fellowship in the laboratory of Dr. Beth Levine, Professor of Internal Medicine and Microbiology.

“Dr. Wang is a talented young investigator who came to our Dermatology residency program after a distinguished experience as an MD/PhD student at The Rockefeller University,” said Dr. Kim Yancey, Chair of Dermatology.

Separately, Dr. Wang recently received a Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award from the National Cancer Institute to study how the cell breakdown process called autophagy and intermediate filaments (a family of proteins) interact to influence the development of nonmelanoma skin cancers. This award provides $750,000 in funding over five years.

“These awards and recognitions will put him in a position of strength to launch his independent research program here,” Dr. Yancey said.

Dr. Wang is among 10 physician-scientists to receive the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award for Medical Scientists this year. Altogether, the 10 awards represent an investment of $7 million in the early careers of physician-scientists.

Dr. Wang earned his PhD from The Rockefeller University in 2005 and his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medical College in 2006.

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Dr. Levine holds the Charles Cameron Sprague Distinguished Chair in Biomedical Science.

Dr. Yancey holds the Mary Kay Inc. Distinguished Chair in Dermatology.

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