Overview

Penn State Hershey Dermatology, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is dedicated to expanding our knowledge about many dermatological conditions by doing research in the laboratory, as well as in the clinic. We are involved in many exciting research studies so that we can have the most up-to-date information and treatments for our patients. 

  • Dr. Diane Thiboutot, a world renowned acne specialist, is leading a study on isotretinoin (Accutane), which is a vitamin A like drug. Accutane, as many of our acne patients know, works wonders on severe acne to prevent the lifelong scarring that can occur. Dr. Thiboutot's lab is investigating the complicated mechanisms behind Accutane's effectiveness and looking for other vitamin A compounds with fewer side effects.
  • Also exploring novel treatments for acne is Dr. Andrea Zaenglein, our expert in pediatric dermatology. Dr. Zaenglein is investigating whether photodynamic therapy is a good treatment for acne in children and adolescents. Photodynamic therapy is a procedure that involves using a medicine on the affected area and exposing it to a special light. The medicine becomes activated by the light and will then attack the acne. This study is being performed in collaboration with other academic centers across the world.
  • Dr. Dave Adams, our national expert on a life long condition called hidradenitis suppurativa,which occurs in 1% of the population. He is involved in a multicenter study to treat this difficult condition. Hidradenitis suppurativa is a chronic inflammatory skin condition associated with painful bumps in the armpits, groin and other areas. This condition is often  painful and greatly affects the quality of life of those who suffer from it.
  • Dr. Bryan Anderson, spends one and a half days a week at Penn State Hershey's multidisciplinary skin oncology clinic. His main research study is looking at whether or not melanoma cells are detectable in the blood stream of patients who were recently diagnosed with melanoma. This study will have implications on how melanomas are treated and diagnosed in the future.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Miller is our hair expert and has done studies that resulted in greater insight in hair disorders, as well as the approval of Rogaine Foam for the treatment of baldness.
  • What ingredient in cosmetics, personal care products or the workplace is causing that red, itchy rash that resembles poison ivy? Dr. James Marks is a member of the North American Contact Dermatitis Group that identifies and monitors the frequency of allergic reactions to fragrances, preservatives, botanicals, and other materials in our homes and workplace.

We also have other research projects that are discovering new knowledge and investigating new treatments for psoriasis, eczema, and basal cell carcinoma.

Our department is very proud of our research endeavors. Any of our physicians would be more than happy to discuss these studies with you if you have any questions.

If you would like to have more information about our research programs, funding, or volunteering for a study, please feel free to contact our Clinical Trials Coordinators, Amy Longenecker, R.N.,C.C.R.C. or Sidone Keener, L.P.N., at 717-531-5136.