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Scholar Award to Fund Study of Keloid Genetics

June 23, 2015

DETROIT – Lamont R Jones, M.D., vice chair of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital, received the 2015 Research Scholar Award from the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) to continue his efforts to study the pathogenesis of keloids and improve understanding of how keloid scars develop.

The Research Scholar Award provides financial support to AAFPRS members who are planning to conduct research that will make a significant contribution to the profession of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

The award is coordinated by the AAFPRS Research Center Committee of the Educational and Research Foundation for the AAFPRS and the Centralized Otolaryngology Research Efforts. Each award is for $30,000 per year.

Dr. Jones has led the study of keloids – scars that form raised, firm skin areas that may become itchy, tender, and painful, and do not subside over time – at Henry Ford for more than five years.

With little known in the medical field about keloid development, Dr. Jones’ ongoing research is unlocking some of the mystery of surround keloid development, offering new insight for more effective treatment.

Keloids most often occur on the chest, shoulders, earlobes (following ear piercing), upper arms and cheeks. The lowest rates of keloid formation have been documented in albinos and the highest seen in dark skinned individuals, especially in the African-American population.

Treatment for keloids includes cortisone injections, pressure dressings, silicone gels, surgery, cryosurgery (freezing), laser treatment, or radiation therapy. A combination of treatments may be used, depending on the individual.

In some cases, keloids return after treatment, up to 50 to 100 percent of the time.

Earlier this year, Dr. Jones and his research team were the first to report that an altered AHNAK gene may have a significant biological role in keloid development.

AHNAK is a 700 kDa protein located on the cell membrane in epithelial cells and in the nucleus and cytoplasm of other cell types such as fibroblasts. AHNAK has been suspected to contribute to cell-cell adhesion or exocytosis.

Now with the Research Scholar Award, Dr. Jones will be able to continue his work to further refine the screening process for biological significance in hopes of better understanding the pathogenesis and molecular targeted therapy for keloid disease.

The Research Scholar Award will support his proposed study entitled “Assessing the Role of AHNAK Methylation in Keloid Pathogenesis.”

Dr. Jones received his medical degree from the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed his post-graduate education in surgery and otolaryngology at U-M Hospital, and his training in facial plastic surgery at SUNY Upstate Medical Center.

He is board certified in both otolaryngology and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Learn more about the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford.