The winner of the 2020 LEO Foundation Award for Region Americas – USD 100,000

Ya-Chieh Hsu - 2020 LEO Foundation Award - Region Americas

The LEO Foundation is excited to reveal the winner of the 2020 LEO Foundation Award for Region Americas: 

Dr. Ya-Chieh Hsu from Harvard University

To watch the LEO Foundation Award announcement, please click here

Ya-Chieh Hsu is the Alvin and Esta Star Associate Professor at the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. She receives USD 100,000 in recognition of her research achievements in studying cell-cell interactions and how systemic changes in the body influence these interactions in the skin.

“It is such an honor to receive this recognition,” says a happy Ya-Chieh Hsu.

“It feels particularly special and encouraging for our lab during this COVID-19 stay-at-home period, when such good news comes your way. With this LEO Foundation Award, we can now pursue important projects that I believe will be transformative, when it is safe for the lab to re-open. I can’t wait for that! Thank you, LEO Foundation, for such a special award!”

The beauty and power of skin biology

Ya-Chieh Hsu and her team have been studying the skin, which is composed of many cell types – different stem cells, nerves, fibroblasts, and immune cells. Together, they protect us from insults and infection, and endow us with a remarkable ability to sense and respond to this world.

The Hsu lab aims to understand how communication among these cell types build a functional skin, how miscommunication occurs under stress and in cancer, and how to rebuild this cellular diversity after injury.

A very special Awardee

Ya-Chieh Hsu had her B.Sc. in Life Sciences in 2002 at the National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan. In 2008 she got her PhD in Developmental Biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX, USA.

Until 2014, Ya-Chieh Hsu was Postdoctoral Fellow at The Rockefeller University in New York with Professor Elaine Fuchs as her mentor.

Elaine Fuchs says there are three words that best describe Ya-Chieh Hsu’ s work: “Creativity, innovation, and rigor.”

 Also the LEO Foundation Global Review Panel was excited about this year’s Region Americas Awardee, and said among other things:

  • Following a terrific record of accomplishment as a postdoctoral fellow, Ya-Chieh Hsu has developed into an impressive independent investigator
  • Outstanding work throughout her entire trajectory, extremely original and impactful
  • Hsu is an exceptionally creative young scientist
  • Ya-Chieh Hsu is a super-star who has published seminal papers in the highest impact journals at all phases of her career and continues to do so now.


 About the LEO Foundation Award

The LEO Foundation Awards constitute a global recognition and are given annually to outstanding young scientists whose work represent extraordinary contributions to dermatology research. There are three awards of USD 100,000, one in each of the Americas, EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) and Asia-Pacific regions.

With our LEO Foundation Awards, we want to recognize the individual young researchers and scientists around the world, whose work advance our understanding of skin diseases and have the potential to pave the way for new and improved treatments.

The 2020 LEO Foundation Award for Region Americas has just been announced on video at the SID Annual Meeting Virtual Conference.


To watch the LEO Foundation Award announcement, please click here

To learn more about the LEO Foundation Awards



Chief Grant Officer Ida Brams,

Communication Specialist Charlotte Malassé,