The LEO Foundation Award 2011 – Silver Award

Grantee: Dr. Charlotte Menné Bonefeld

Amount: DKK 500,000

Presented to Dr. Charlotte Menné Bonefeld, a Danish immunologist with a strong interest in dermatological research.

Despite her young age, Dr. Bonefeld has already made a significant contribution to the field of dermatology. Her research achievements include novel promising findings showing down-regulation of the immune system (a process known as tolerance) when an individual is exposed repeatedly to strong allergens such as those present in hair dyes. These results give great perspectives in finding new treatments and, equally important, give novel insight into why some people become allergic and some do not.

The LEO Foundation Award 2011 – Gold Award

Grantee: Dr. Claus Johansen

Amount: DKK 1,000,000

Presented to the Danish dermatological researcher Dr. Claus Johansen.

Over the years, Dr. Johansen’s research has been particularly focused on unravelling the complex network of intra-cellular signals controlling inflammatory skin disorders, particularly in psoriasis. Dr. Johansen’s work has significantly increased the current understanding of the inflammatory process in psoriasis. This knowledge is important for the future development of novel therapeutics which will ultimately provide better care for the psoriasis patients.

Skin cancer awareness bus

Grantee: Danish Pharmacy Association and Professor Hans Christian Wulf, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Denmark

Amount: DKK 3,042,000

The LEO Foundation funded the visit of a “Skin Cancer Awareness Bus” to 30 Danish cities and 15 campsites during the summer of 2011.

This initiative was part of a national ‘keep an eye on your skin’ awareness campaign run by the Danish Pharmacy Association with Professor Hans Christian Wulf, Bispebjerg University Hospital, Denmark.

The objective of the tour was to improve awareness in the general population of potential health consequences of sun exposure (actinic keratosis (AK) and skin cancer), and to educate on preventive measures linked to skin type as well as to improve current clinical knowledge of skin type and impact of UV radiation.

On the bus, visitors could fill out a questionnaire on previous sun exposure, sunburn, AK, skin cancers, etc., as well as receive an assessment of their skin type and a UV photo depicting sun damage in underlying skin.

Awareness of AK and skin cancer is currently limited to dermatologists and general practitioners, and patients are mostly unaware of impact and symptoms – and therefore also the notion of self-checking and importance of early diagnosis.

The lack of awareness is critical given the continuously growing prevalence of AK, and the growing consensus about perceiving AK as a precursor and an early stage of squamous cell carcinoma.
Questionnaires and skin type data have been linked to each respondent’s PNR (CPR) number, facilitating future research through registry linkage to e.g. the Danish Cancer Registry, National Patient Registry, etc.