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Faculty Research Interests

Faculty investigators have broad research interests, from basic science research related to dermatology and skin diseases, as well as translational research and clinical trials.

Paul Nghiem looks at a sample of Merkel cell carcinoma. Photo courtesy Fred Hutch News Service.

Dermatology Research Programs and Centers

The Division of Dermatology is home to several labs and centers that provide national stewardship on novel skin conditions, including cancer, and innovative tracking and treatment modalities. 

Featured Publication

How do we teach and talk about sun safety for children of all skin tones? Resident Dr. Anna Tappel and team have analyzed this question in a recent Pediatric Dermatology article: "Fair‐y Tales: An analysis of children’s books about sun safety". The authors found 17 children's books mentioning at least one sun safety practice. Most books featured several, but few featured all, of the AAD's sun protection guidelines, and there is much room for improvement in representing darker skin tones.

Research By the Numbers

$18.5 M

Current Grant Funding

46,000+

Total Citations

72

2020 Publications

 

UW Derm Publications 2015-2020

The UW Derm team has been actively expanding our research productivity. Over the last 5 years, dermatology faculty, trainees and lab members have doubled their number of scholarly publications from 34 in 2015 to 72 in 2020.

Publications accounted for have at least one UW Derm affiliated author at the time of publication. Many publications have multiple UW Derm co-authors as well as co-author collaborators from within the UW Medicine system, the dermatology community in Seattle and across the nation. Of the articles published between 2015-2020, almost 40% were published in “high-impact” journals in dermatology, journals that are highly cited by fellow researchers in the field.

Individual articles are also widely accepted and referenced by fellow researchers, with all articles published from the Division having been cited by over 46,000 other articles.  

UW Derm Pubs 2015-2020 plot graph

Active Research Projects

The Dermatology Division currently has 16 active industry, NIH and foundation funded research projects and clinical trials, and faculty and trainees are currently pursuing independent research and scholarly work on over 100 projects and topics. Projects focus in a number of areas related to dermatology, with some specifically including:

  • Quality improvement projects including education and process improvements in dermatology (including teledermatology, interpreter services, volunteerism, mentorship and professional stewardship);
  • Gender-equity among academic dermatologists and trainees;
  • Dermatology needs for skin of color and LGBTQ community members
  • New therapeutic and diagnosis strategies for skin conditions including hidradenitis suppurative, Liveoid vasculopathy, t-cell lymphoma, melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma.

Select Research Updates

Merkel cell carcinoma

The Nghiem laboratory is simultaneously pursuing over 40 research questions related to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Merkel cell carcinoma. Some of their recent developments include changing the practice standards related to the surgical treatment of MCC and recent updates to the suggested approach to imaging for management of MCC in newly diagnosed patients. The team is also working to develop a therapeutic vaccine to prevent recurrence of MCC in patients for which initial surgery and/or radiation removes all evident cancer.

SJS/TEN

Dr. Katie DeNiro, acting assistant professor, will lead the Harborview trials as part of a multi-site NIH grant studying the treatment of SJS/TEN (Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis), severe, blistering skin diseases that are potentially fatal. Dr. DeNiro, along with Dr. Sam Mandell, a UW Medicine burn surgeon, will lead the randomized control trial at Harborview Medical Center, as part of the multi-site study titled The North American Therapeutics in Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (NATIENS) Study: A Phase III Randomized Double Blinded Study to Determine the Mechanisms and Optimal Management of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis. The study is expected to be rolled out in 21 additional sites nationwide.