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Inaugural Dr. Mercy Alexis Research Grant awarded to Vancouver dermatologist

From left to right: Dr. Gordon Searles (former CDF President) and Dr. Tashmeeta Ahad. Photo courtesy CNW Group/CeraVe Canada

Dr. Tashmeeta Ahad has been awarded the first Dr. Mercy Alexis Research Grant in Skin of Color Dermatology for her project on “Longitudinal non-invasive optical biopsy of keratinocyte cancers to monitor efficacy and response to treatment.” The grant, issued by the Canadian Dermatology Foundation (CDF) through the support of CeraVe Canada, is made to an outstanding dermatologist investigator with a research project designed to improve dermatologic care for patients across the skin spectrum.

Dr. Ahad is a clinical instructor and director of translational photomedicine research at The University of British Columbia (UBC) Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, Vancouver.

This research grant celebrates the life and memory of Canada's first Black female dermatologist, Dr. Mercy Akuffo Alexis. Growing up in Ghana and later in the U.K. and the Netherlands, Dr. Alexis practiced dermatology in Toronto for more than four decades. Her legacy of inspiring progress and inclusivity will continue to have a profound impact on the specialty, most notably on her son, Dr. Andrew Alexis, Professor of Clinical Dermatology and Vice-Chair for Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City.

“My mother was a trailblazer and a true inspiration to me,” said Dr. Alexis in a press release. “I am deeply touched that she is being honoured in such a way and that her mission of inclusivity can live on through this research grant.”


“At CeraVe, we firmly believe in research that pushes the boundaries of science to help Canadian doctors provide care for all,” said Julie Horil, General Manager at CeraVe Canada in the release. “This landmark partnership with the CDF honours our commitment to addressing need gaps in dermatological care to improve quality of life for a diverse patient population.”


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