Staff at work

Dermatology Research

Dermatology Research

The Department of Dermatology is a centre of excellence in Dermatology providing clinical, surgical, research and education services. We are part of Sydney Medical School (The University of Sydney) and Research and Education Network at Westmead Hospital (WSLHD). General Dermatology and Specialty clinics are conducted for a wide range of skin conditions (including psoriasis, eczema, autoimmune diseases, lupus, scleroderma, porphyria, bullous diseases, etc) but our main focus is in Oncodermatology. In this area, we have specialized clinics for Transplant patients (solid organ and bone marrow transplant), Melanoma, High Risk Melanoma and Cutaneous Lymphoma. We have recently started a tissue bank in collaboration with The Skin Hospital (Skin and Cancer Foundation Australia) for collecting non melanoma skin cancer.

Clinical Research

Current clinical trials:

  • A Phase 3 Multicentre Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Adalimumab in Subjects with Moderate to Severe Hidradenitis-Suppurativa. 
  • A 28-Week, Phase 3, Randomized, Active Comparator and Placebo-Controlled, Parallel Design Study to Evaluate the Efficacy and Safety/Tolerability of Subcutaneous SCH 900222 / MK-3222, Followed by an Optional Long-Term Safety Extension Study, in Subjects With Moderate-to-Severe Chronic Plaque Psoriasis. 
  • A randomised controlled multicentre trial of imiquimod versus radiotherapy for lentigo maligna (LM) when staged surgical excision with 5mm margins is not possible, is refused, or fails. 
  • Open-Label, Multi-Center, Randomized Study of Anti-CCR4 Monoclonal Antibody KW-0761 (mogamulizumab) Versus Vorinostat in Subjects with Previously Treated Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma. A multicentre observation of a cohort who are at high risk for the development of primary melanoma of the skin. 
  • A Phase 3, Multicentre, Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo and Active Comparator-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy and Safety of Guselkumab for the Treatment of Subjects with Moderate to Severe Plaque-type Psoriasis with Randomized Withdrawal and Retreatment (VOYAGE 2). 

We are a supporting department for Melanoma and other oncology trials

Translational Research Projects

  • Proteomic analysis of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded non-melanoma skin cancers. 
  • Depth of action of PUVA and narrow band-UVB in cutaneous T cell lymphomas. 
  • Anti-Programmed Death 1(Anti-PD1): Cutaneous manifestations and the mechanisms leading to cutaneous adverse events in patients with malignancy. 
  • The clinical course of Cimicosis; the dermatological affects from the bite of the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius. 
  • The molecular interplay involved in the formation of cutaneous lesions seen in patients taking BRAFi. 
  • Mechanisms in Grover’s disease. 
  • Pathways in the development of UV induced SCC and keratoacanthomas in patients.


Research Staff

A/Prof Pablo Fernandez-Penas, Head of Department

Dr Marina Ali, Research Unit Manager

Dr Shelley Hwang, Research Associate

Dr Cathy Zhao, Research Associate

Mrs Rupal Patel, Admin Officer

Mr Ali Azimi, PhD student

Staff profiles on following page.


Contact Details

For further information contact Dermatology Clinical Trials Unit