Dennis Roop, PhD
June 21, 2012 ~ Denver Country Club

One hundred and fifty-five people joined FIRST in honoring Dennis R. Roop, PhD on Thursday, June 21 at the Denver Country Club. Dr. Roop and his team at the Charles C. Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Colorado are making amazing research advances in epidermolytic ichthyosis (formerly known as EHK). FIRST was privileged to honor him amongst his family, friends, and colleagues. Although he was very humbled by this honor, his selfless goal was to raise funds to support FIRST, the only patient advocacy organization in the country devoted to helping individuals and families touched by ichthyosis.

Dr. Roop is an internationally recognized leader in skin disease research. His laboratory has had a long-standing interest in studying genetic pathways required for normal skin development and in the identification of genetic alterations that occur in inherited skin diseases and in acquired skin diseases. Dr. Roop has devoted a major part of his career to studying EI and is making novel advances using stem cell therapy.

The event raised over $121,000, which included a live and silent auction for sports memorabilia, exotic trips, and handcrafted jewelry. Guests mingled to classic jazz entertainment provided by Just Friends, followed by dinner and the tribute to Dr. Roop. Dr. Moise Levy, Vice President of FIRST and a long-time friend and colleague of Dr. Roop, shared some wonderful and funny stories, and was followed by Mark K., the father of Adam, a 10-year-old boy affected with EI. Mark spoke about how Dr. Roop’s research is providing hope to his family and others affected by this skin disease. Next, Jerry Winterrowd, retired Episcopal Bishop of Colorado, paid tribute to Dr. Roop and his lab for using stem cell therapy for many medical conditions. The evening ended with an amazing serenade of “Dream the Impossible Dream” sung a capella by Dr. David Norris, the chairman of Dermatology Department at UC Denver and long time friend of Dr. Roop.

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