|Since its inception in 1992, the Dermatology research group at Brigham and Women’s Hospital has achieved a national and international reputation for excellence in research. With approximately seven million dollars in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding annually, the BWH Department of Dermatology currently receives more NIH funding than any other medical school based Department of Dermatology in the U.S.
The Research Faculty of the Department of Dermatology are a multi-disciplinary mix of basic scientists, dermatologists, rheumatologists, and hematologists focused on a variety of research issues both within and beyond the confines of traditional outpatient Dermatology, including cutaneous immunology and immunotherapy, epithelial and adult stem cell biology, bone marrow transplantation and graft vs. host disease, cancer biology and pathogenesis, and biodefense. The breadth of research in this department is recognized by funding awarded from five different NIH Institutes, including the National Cancer Institute; the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases; the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases; the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; and the National Dental Institute.
The Department of Dermatology Research laboratories at Brigham and Women's Hospital are located in the Harvard Institutes of Medicine building near Harvard Medical School and a short walk from the Countway Library of Medicine, the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Harvard School of Public Health, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Boston's Children's Hospital.
The role of Dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as a leader in research activities is reflected in two large multidisciplinary, and multi –institutional NIH Center Grants that are led by Dr. Kupper and the Department of Dermatology.
The Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Skin Cancer is a five-year, $14.25 million research initiative funded by the National Cancer Institute of the NIH to promote interdisciplinary research and to facilitate the bi-directional exchange of information between the scientists who study skin cancer and the physicians who treat it. It is designed to accelerate the rate at which laboratory findings can be translated into therapies for skin cancer. The SPORE is comprised of translational research projects, core facilities, a career development award program, and a developmental project program. The SPORE incorporates translational and basic researchers from Children's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard School of Public Health, and Massachusetts General Hospital. These researchers are leading dermatologic oncologists, medical oncologists, dermatologists, basic scientists, pathologists, and surgeons.
The Harvard Skin Disease Research Center (HSDRC), established in 1994, is one of six such centers in the nation funded by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH. In 1998, the Provost of Harvard University and the Dean of Harvard Medical School formally designated the Skin Disease Research Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an official Harvard Medical School Center. The HSDRC is comprised of core facilities that support the research activities of HSDRC investigators, and a program to fund pilot and feasibility projects involving skin. The six Cores currently supported by the HSDRC include: Administrative, Transgenic Models of Skin Disease, Morphology and Cell Analysis, Cell Culture, and Leukocyte Migration, and siRNA. The Pilot and Feasibility program has provided preliminary funds for a number of projects that have expanded into larger studies or transitioned into independent, NIH funded grants. Over $1 million (direct costs) have been distributed throughout the Harvard medical community via this mechanism. The calculated “return on investment” of these grants, in terms of the extramural funding arising from these preliminary projects, has been estimated at more than 20-fold.
Members of the Skin Disease Research Center hold positions at institutions throughout the Longwood Medical Area, including Harvard Medical School, Children's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, and the Harvard School of Public Health.