Department Information

Message from the Chairman: As a Department of Dermatology, we have a unique duty to unrelentingly work for the benefit of present and future patients with abnormalities and diseases of the skin. This requires a long term commitment by each member of the department to engage in a cohesive team effort at building the patient care services, teaching programs, and skin research that are all critical for the long term benefit of patients with skin disease. The complexity of attaining success in such an enterprise makes us proud to be a stimulating department with a tradition of high standards of team excellence in patient-centered care, teaching and research. Generating exciting new concepts for therapy through skin research, bringing these to our patients, and educating physicians in their use will hopefully result in a better life for patients with skin disorders both now and in the future.

Services: Patients with skin disorders can schedule appointments through the dermatology resident clinics based at each hospital. In addition, affiliation agreements allow our departmental full-time faculty instructors and professors who are also board certified dermatologists to see patients through their hospital-sponsored dermatology practice. The Department provides a comprehensive spectrum of dermatologic laboratory services to the community. These include a complete dermatopathology service, immunoperoxidase for cellular pheno-typing, immunofluorescence testing for autoimmune disease, mycologic culture and susceptibility, porphyrin testing, and molecular diagnostic testing for T cell clonality, melanoma antigens, and certain viral sequences.

Centers of Excellence: We currently have a critical mass in four major centers of excellence: cancer, photomedicine, immunology, and mycology. In cancer, we established inter-disciplinary care programs to complement our existing expertise in cutaneous lymphomas and melanomas, chemical carcinogenesis, and mechanisms and therapy of skin cancer. In photomedicine, the Department is renowned worldwide for its work on how UV and visible light rays affect the skin, in particular photobiology, photoimmunology, photocarcinogenesis, reversal of UV injury and photodynamic therapy. In immunology, faculty in our department are major leaders in the areas of psoriasis pathogenesis, immunodeficiency, atopic dermatitis/eczema, contact dermatitis, autoimmunity, and immuno-therapeutics. In addition, the Department sponsors an internationally recognized Center for Medical Mycology at University Hospital. This latter Center includes the Mycology Reference Laboratory, the Fungal Diseases Research Program, and Mycology Clinical Trials Unit.

Clinical Trials Unit: To bring the latest advances in science directly to our patients, we are committed to performing clinical trials of new therapeutics and to testing the performance of agents which modify the skin. Our Clinical Trials Unit is experienced in performing clinical trials of a variety of topical, oral or parenteral therapeutics. Complementing the Clinical Trials Unit is special expertise in skin disease outcome measurement. A dedicated Skin Studies Center is equipped with noninvasive advanced skin assessment methodologies such as skin ultrasound, photography, image analysis, chromometer, Transepidermal Water Loss, and skin edema micrometers, as well as facilities for routine and keratome skin biopsies. The unit also contains photoradiometric instrumentation which is used to measure a full repertoire of solar simulators having narrow waveband and broadband light sources.

Department Ranking: An important measure of the quality and national recognition of a program is the ability to obtain research grant funding from the National Institutes of Health. In both amount of funding and number of grants per Department, we are consistently ranked in the top ten nationally, clearly placing us in the very top echelon. Because NIH funding is so intensely competitive, it is very gratifying to obtain such recognition that our skin diseases research and training programs are among the premier efforts in the nation. This level of ranking recognizes the unique depth and breadth of our initiatives in advancing dermatologic health for our patients.

Skin Diseases Research Center: A Skin Diseases Research Center coordinates our research efforts and creates the interconnectedness that makes our program a premier center for anyone wishing to work or train among a critical mass of faculty involved in cutaneous biology, skin diseases research, advanced clinical dermatology and education.