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Research History

1960’s: Richard Stoughton, Dermatology Chief, develops the topical penetration vehicles for topical steroids that are still in use to this day. Syntex – Synalar; Squibb – Kenalog. Tested vasoconstriction on the residents.

1976: Dermatology Chief Dr. Beno Michel discovers a method for preserving skin tissues to take advantage of the emerging field of clinical immunology, and to this day, Michel’s Transport Solution for Immunofluorescent Testing of Tissues in human and veterinarian medicine continues as the gold standard.

1979: Division of Dermatology attains Department status, with the appointment of Dr. David Bickers as the first Department Chairman.

1993: Department of Dermatology is awarded the first of the newly-created NIH Skin Disease Research Centers in the US; currently the longest running of the six that are now awarded in the US.

Dr. Gary Wood is the first in NE Ohio to translate into clinical practice molecular techniques for identifying T cell clonality in cutaneous T Cell lymphomas.

Dr. Boni Elewski founds the UH Center for Medical Mycology, which rose to international pre-eminence under the leadership of Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum.

1995: Dr. Kevin Cooper, as new Chair of Dermatology, establishes UH multidisciplinary programs in cutaneous lymphoma and melanoma, which have grown more than 20-fold and are now regionally prominent for cancer care.

The Department enters the top ten list of NIH funding for Departments of Dermatology—and remains there for 20+ years.

1996: The newly formed UH Dermatology/Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Oncology Program introduces the Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Melanoma to NE Ohio.

The UH, VA, and Metro dermatology residency programs merge into a single residency.

1997: Dr. Anita Gilliam develops a new animal model of sclerodermatous graft vs host disease.

1999: Drs. Kevin Cooper, Neil Korman and Tom McCormick, working with regulatory T cells and patients treated with Alefacept, the first biologic FDA-approved for psoriasis (co-invented by Dr. Cooper) develop the concept of immune rebalancing for durable remissions in psoriasis.

Dr. Anita Gilliam, head of Dermatopathology, discovers a new test for diagnosing early forms of cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma—the CD45RO staining test

2000: Drs. Kevin Cooper, Gary Wood and Stanley Gerson obtain National Cancer Institute awards to develop a new therapeutic strategy for Cutaneous Lymphomas—O6BG potentiated topical BCNU—and by 2014 have optimized it into therapy with >80 % efficacy and excellent tolerability.

Dr. Pratima Karnik patents a new method for treating a severe form of inflammatory hair loss–the AHR pathway.

Collaborating with the Department of Opthalmology, Dermatology’s UH Center for Medical Mycology identifies Fusarium biofilms as the cause of an epidemic of fungal infections from a line of contact lenses.

2001: Drs. Craig Elmets and Hasan Mukhtar discover that polyphenolic extracts of green tea are effective chemopreventive agents for many of the adverse effects of sunlight on human health and may thus serve as natural alternatives for photoprotection; these are now incorporated into many commercial products.

2005: The UH Center for Medical Mycology, under Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum, develops the concept of fungal biofilms and ‘omics approaches to the problem of fungal infections, ultimately establishing the field of Mycobiome medicine, and spinning off new therapeutic technologies that were commercialized for patient care.

2006: Tom and Joy Murdough establish the Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis and the Murdough Psoriasis research Fellowship with a landmark $5M gift.

2007: Margaret Bobonich, NP is the founding member of the newly formed Dermatology Nurse Practitioner Residency Program, and performs PhD thesis that establishes the now-current national Dermatology NP residency curriculum.

2010: The Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis investigative team, led by Dr. Nicole Ward in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Simon in Cardiology, proves for the first time that psoriasis-like skin diseases can lead to cardiovascular disease and increased thrombosis, and develops now highly sought-after preclinical models for therapeutics testing in psoriasis.

The Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis investigators, led by Drs. Tom McCormick and Kevin Cooper, patent a new immune therapy for psoriasis using regulatory T Cell adoptive immunotherapy.

Dermatology’s Murdough Family Center of Psoriasis investigators invent and commercialize a new antibody marker of an important immune cell that controls inflammation in the body—the Regulatory T Cell.

2011: The UH Center for Medical Medical Mycology’s Drs. Pranab Mukherjee and Mahmoud Ghannoum translate candida biofilm research into a commercial lock therapy to prevent candida sepsis from biofilm formation in indwelling catheters.

2012: Dr. Kurt Lu is awarded a major grant from the Federal CounterAct Program to translate his recent discoveries on macrophage mediated skin and bone marrow destruction into countermeasures using Vitamin D to reverse the toxic and lethal effects of Mustard Gas WMDs.

2013: Dr. Elma Baron demonstrates that poor sleep contributes to increased appearance of facial aging—intense media exposure follows.

Dr. Margaret Mann collaborates with Biomedical Engineer Dr. Basilion to develop a new fluorescent molecule that enables the visualization of tumor cells during Mohs Surgery

2014: Drs. Mahmoud Ghannoum, Michael Lederman and Pranab Mukherjee discover Piccia, an oral component of the oral mycobiome is a predictor of clinical outcomes in HIV/AIDS patients.

Dermatology’s Murdough Family Center of Psoriasis investigators invent and commercialize a biomarker panel to identify and study myeloid derived suppressor cells—a type of cell that is important in blocking cancer rejection by the immune system.

The Department of Dermatology’s Dr. Elma Baron, funded by an FDA-NIH award, successfully translates their bench-to-bedside photodynamic therapy (Pc4 PDT) into a Phase 1 trial for Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma—and achieves the primary clinical outcome.

2015: UH Murdough Family Center for Psoriasis members find that certain patients with psoriasis have elevated levels of hyper-adhesive monocytes, a new biomarker for those with high risk of cardiovascular events.

Working with twin pairs attending the Twinsburg Twin Days Festival, Drs. Daniel Popkin and Meg Gerstenblith identify that Rosacea development is at least 50% due to genetics.

2016: Dr. Jeremy Bordeaux pioneers frozen section Mohs for fresh tissue microscopically controlled excision of lentigo maligna melanoma in Ohio.

2020: Dr. Kevin Cooper is named the Henri Pell Junod Jr Chair in Dermatology; the first endowed chair for the department.

Dr. Mahmoud Ghannoum is appointed to the Marti D. and Jeffrey S. Davis Family Master Clinician in Cancer Innovation, which supports advancing immunotherapy.