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January-February 2007 Briefing
It's time to get excited again about research towards a cure for psoriasis. If you're already excited, good for you. I, on the other hand, have been floating more-or-less in the doldrums about it for most of 2006. When I found out in 2005 that psoriasis research had been getting short changed by the government (initially from my interview with Michael Paranzino) my smile unfroze. Then I started reading about genetics and gene therapy (Matt Ridley's Genome and Joseph Panno's Gene Therapy, respectively), and talking to a few people knowledgeable in this area and my straight face started to take on the downturns of a frown. As I was preparing for my year-end interviews with Ed Reiss and Liz Horn I did some soul-searching to assess my own bias and expectations about research toward a cure. Frankly, my assumption was that we weren't getting far and we weren't moving fast, and for the most part we weren't too worried because our attention had been redirected to the short parade of approved biologics that were making many of us feel better even withOUT a cure. Both those year-end interviews — Reiss and, this time, Liz Horn — have amended my thinking. Research toward a cure remains a deep commitment among some people well-placed to make things happen. The National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank, announced this past fall, is a big step in the right direction. I've signed up to be considered as a tissue donor and I'm hoping you will, too.
The BioBank is a capstone project for the Director of Research at the National Psoriasis Foundation, Liz Horn, this update's interviewee. She's had a busy year end and I'm lucky to have been able to interview her. In addition to the launch of the BioBank, the so-called "Gelfand Study" that associates psoriasis and heart attacks has kept her on her toes. I'm pleased that she's talked candidly with us on both these subjects. Visit the FlakeHQ Interviews home page here, or go directly to Liz Horn's interview here.
New to Flaker Creativity this update is Rodger Jacob's "Trace and the 12 Apostles." This is our fifth installment in the "Trace" series, which we introduced last March. The character, Trace, is a Los Angeles based freelance writer who lives in a hotel, has severe psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and some dispositional issues.
The Mail bag was light over the holidays and I'm going to guess this was because everyone was busy and happy to be thinking about something besides flaking. But now it's time to get to work again! -Ed