Center for Dermatology Research

The research team at the Center for Dermatology Research (CDR) includes not only practicing dermatologists but also specialists in epidemiology, health economics, and biostatistics. Led by director Dr. Steven Feldman, the CDR researchers do a wide array of studies addressing the practical issues faced by dermatologists and our patients.

The Center for Dermatology Research of the Wake Forest University Department of Dermatology is dedicated to improving the care of patients with skin diseases.

Our mission is to:

  • Foster the efficient and effective care of people with skin disease through research and education in the delivery of dermatological health care
  • Advance the specialty of dermatology by the dissemination of information, the examination of ethical practices, and the development of responses to short-term and long-term changes in the regulatory environment

The CDR was founded in 1998 within the Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine. The Department of Dermatology at Wake Forest School of Medicine provides the high-caliber clinical care for patients, top-notch training for future practitioners and a productive setting for basic and applied research on diseases of the skin. The creation of the CDR within the Department of Dermatology allows the Center to take great advantage of the strengths of both basic and clinical researchers at the Department and promote research collaborations that enhance patient care. 

The CDR was established with the purpose of addressing economic, policy, and ethical issues critical to the practice of dermatology and fostering patient care through research and education that supports the delivery of optimal dermatological health care. The Center's research results are disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals, presentation at national and local scientific meetings and other media, which not only furthers its objectives, but also expands its visibility.

Since its creation, the Center has been enjoying remarkable productivity and receiving considerable recognitions for Its research In health care services. Led by the Center's directors and guided by its Advisory Board, which consists of leading dermatologists from academic and nonacademic practice, the CDR is dedicated to complementing activities of other organizations by providing quantitative, representative and scientifically rigorous proof of the value offered by dermatologists. 

The CDR has been at the forefront of dermatologic research using electronic monitors to assess adherence to topical medications. Our research studies into patients’ adherence to their topical treatments helped transform how dermatologists understand and manipulate patients’ use of topical medications over the course of chronic disease. Our team developed technology permitting electronic monitoring of topical treatments in their standard packaging, enabling the first studies to reliably measure patient adherence to topical therapy for chronic skin diseases. After demonstrating patients’ remarkably poor adherence to dermatologic treatment, our research has begun to focus on novel approaches to improving patients’ adherence behaviors.

Center Goals

Through its talented researchers, innovative research initiatives, strong educational endeavors, and high quality patient care, the CDR aims to excel in both clinical and research areas, to become the standard for health services in dermatology, and to serve as a leader to guide the future of dermatology.

As the leading center addressing the day-to-day needs of dermatologists as well as the long-term health of the specialty, the CDR is determined to play a major role in formulating socioeconomic policies that can influence the quality of dermatological care, to establish priorities that will facilitate research efforts in this area, and to attract corporate sponsors for specific research studies.

Our primary goal is to ensure optimal patient care and advance dermatology as a specialty by:

  • Promoting and advancing the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the skin
  • Promoting the highest possible standards in clinical practice, education and research in dermatology
  • Supporting and enhancing patient care and promoting the public interest in dermatology

Dermatology Health Services Research Fellowship

Since 1999, the Center for Dermatology Research has been training research fellows in health services and health outcome research with an emphasis on dermatologic issues. Work requires close collaboration with a multidisciplinary research team. An opportunity exists for a qualified fellow to simultaneously pursue graduate studies in epidemiology.

Our Research

Our research team’s studies on poor treatment adherence in patients with skin disease have transformed dermatological treatment paradigms. Although new drug entities are still being developed in dermatology, there has been a shift toward more development and use of novel topical drug delivery systems to promote better adherence.

Practical Ways to Improve Patients’ Treatment Outcomes