Department of Dermatology

Department of Dermatology Research

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 this research is recognized by funding awarded from four 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; and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

The Department of Dermatology Research laboratories at Brigham and Women's Hospital are located in the Harvard Institutes of Medicine and Eugene Braunwald Research Center buildings near Harvard Medical School and a short walk from the Countway Library of Medicine, the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 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 by two large multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional NIH Program Grants led by Drs. Robert Sackstein and Rachael A. Clark and the Department of Dermatology. The NIH Program of Excellence in Glycosciences under the direction of Dr. Robert Sackstein is one of six centers around the country that seeks to build investigative capacity in glycosciences and translate glycomic discoveries into new diagnostic and therapeutic applications. This research effort is sponsored by NHLBI and is designed to support new partnerships that promote multidisciplinary research, provide skills development in glycosciences and generate glyco-analytical tools. To this end, the overarching mission of the Sackstein lab is to develop investigators fluent and skilled in glycan chemistry and biology applicable to the continuously emerging field of translational glycobiology, altogether focused on driving forward innovative treatment(s) of human disease. The other major programmatic effort is the NIH/NIAMS-sponsored Human Skin Disease Research Center under the direction of Dr. Rachael A. Clark. This Center seeks to support translational studies on human skin disease with the goal to accelerating research by providing researchers at any institution access to human specimens and cutting-edge analytical techniques. The Center enables access to cutting-edge biobanks and technologies to any scientists, worldwide, who wish to carry out human skin disease research.

Our Departmental Research enterprise continues to be modeled after the former The Harvard Skin Disease Research Center, established in 1994. 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. Through faculty leadership and administrative team, our Research structure is supportive of a high level Research Training Program and Scholar Oversight and Development Program and provides our investigators with access to state-of-the-art enabling technologies that encourage innovation and accelerated scientific discovery.


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