Dermatologists to Lead Skin Research Institute

A dermatologist-led institute at the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine has been established to the efficacy of skin care products and procedures in improving skin's appearance, and to discover and treat the genes that determine such factors as aging, pigmentation and acne. The institute was first launched in August 2008.

Researchers at the self-funded Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute (CMRI) are UM faculty members who are experts in cosmetic dermatology, facial plastic and oculoplastic surgery. In the lead at CMRI is Leslie Baumann, MD, director of the institute. Other staff members will include, Lisa Danielle Grunebaum, MD, a facial plastic surgeon; Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD, a dermatologist with emphasis in skin of color; Joely Kaufman, MD, the director of the institute's lasers and light devices; and Wendy W. Lee, MD, the institutes oculoplastic surgeon.

The staff at CMRI agree that collaboration is the best way to accumulate information on skin treatments. CMRI houses a skin repository, collected from surgery patients who volunteer to donate the unneeded skin. This repository will be used to accumulate data.

The researchers have also biopsied skin from the face and scalp, and have collected saliva specimens to compare RNA microarray results. The results will show whether a saliva specimen is a good predictor of what one sees on the skin biopsy. If saliva analysis can be used instead of facial skin biopsies, for example, researchers might be able to get more people to participate in some large-scale genetic studies.

The institute is funded by the procedures that the doctors administer, such as Botox, Restylane and lasers.

Woolery-Lloyd is a previous Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine author, having contributed pieces on ethnic skin.

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