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VA Maryland Health Care System Research Chief Selected for the American Skin Association’s 2022 Research Achievement Award

PRESS RELEASE

May 16, 2022

Baltimore , MD — “We’re excited for the national recognition of Dr. Hornyak’s work and we’re grateful that he has been able to apply his knowledge of dermatology in service to Maryland’s Veterans.”

Dr. Thomas Hornyak, Associate Chief of Staff of Research & Development at the VA Maryland Health Care System, and Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the American Skin Association (ASA)’s 2022 Research Achievement Award in Vitiligo and Pigment Cell Disorders.

            “We’re excited for the national recognition of Dr. Hornyak’s work and we’re grateful that he has been able to apply his knowledge of dermatology in service to Maryland’s veterans,” said Jonathan R. Eckman, P.E. director of the VA Maryland Health Care System.

            Hornyak, who also specializes in melanoma and skin cancer and who has published research findings in numerous peer-reviewed journals and book chapters, has advanced our understanding of how pigment cells develop in the mammalian embryo and how pigmentary stem cells function. He served as the President of the Pan-American Society for Pigment Cell Research from 2017 through 2019. In conjunction with his colleagues and co-workers, he has developed a transgenic mouse system to isolate and characterize mature melanin-forming skin cells.

            “I am grateful to the American Skin Association for their recognition of our laboratory’s accomplishments in the field of pigment cell science. Their attention to the relatively small world of research on pigment cells provides patients with pigment cell disorders hope for better treatments” said Hornyak, also an accomplished musician and pianist with a Bachelor’s of Art in music from Princeton University in 1985.

            Hornyak earned a Doctor of Medicine degree and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Michigan and completed an internship at the New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center in 1993 before completing a residency in dermatology and a post-doctoral fellowship at NYU Medical Center. Prior to VA, he held positions at the Henry Ford Health System and the Dermatology Branch, National Cancer Institute, NIH.

            "ASA is excited to present the 2022 Research Achievement Award in Vitiligo and Pigment Cell Disorders to Dr. Hornyak. His work is crucial in finding cures and improving patients' life in the field of dermatology." said Dr. David A. Norris, president of ASA. 

The ASA is recognized as one of the leading forces in the effort to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and disease with a mission to advance research, champion skin health and raise public awareness about skin disease. Through its national program of grants and awards, the organization has committed more than $50 million to research in dermatology and serious forms of skin disease.

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