On April 21, American Skin Association (ASA) celebrated 28 years of funding research and educating youth on skin health and honored three outstanding individuals for their contributions to the cause.

The event raised over $750,000 for medical research and education.

Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of ASA, said: “Tonight, we celebrate another very successful year of continuing to fulfill our vital mission by funding research, educating future generations on skin health, and furthering the goal of defeating melanoma, skin cancer, and other skin diseases. Through its work, ASA is helping Americans to better understand the often devastating impact of skin disease and the skin’s irreplaceable role in good health.”

Philanthropist and pharma icon Charlie Stiefel, Chairman of Brickell Biotech, Inc., received the Distinguished Service to Humanity Award. With more than 32 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and tremendous compassion for those suffering from devastating diseases, Stiefel has spent decades generously supporting ASA and countless others causes. His gifts have funded crucial studies and provided hope to those suffering from skin cancer and other skin diseases, while providing immense contributions to the field of dermatology and other medical fields.

Actor Hugh Jackman was given the Outstanding Public Advocate Award for his significant contributions in raising public awareness of the importance of sun safety and skin health. Jackman was unable to attend the event and the award was accepted by his physician, Dr. Michael Albom, Clinical Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center. In November 2013, Jackman announced he had basal-cell carcinoma removed from his nose and later was treated twice more. Since his diagnosis, Jackman has spoken out on the importance of using sun protection, as well as getting regular checkups. His celebrity has given him the platform to bring light to a topic which one in five Americans will likely face during the course of their lives.

ASA presented the Leadership in Melanoma Research Award to Dr. Meenhard Herlyn, Director of The Wistar Institute, Melanoma Research Center, in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Herlyn has achieved a unique status as a leader in melanoma research by pioneering research techniques, transforming the scientific understanding of stem cells as they relate to cancer, and collaborating with pharmaceutical companies, academic chemists, and structural biologists to further develop compounds for tumor inhibition. Dr. Herlyn established a laboratory that is, today, one of the largest and best known research groups on the study of melanoma biology.

The event’s Master of Ceremonies was David Ushery, Emmy award-winning reporter and co-anchor of NBC 4 New York’s. Ushery was host of the Emmy-nominated “The Debrief with David Ushery.” Ushery, an integral member of the NBC 4 New York news team, has covered many breaking news stories and as part of NBC4’s continuing team-coverage of the devastation and aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, for which he earned a National Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow award.

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