Dermatology: Research Update - Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
At Sunnybrook dermatology, we run an efficient and thrifty research program. Building on our expertise, we conduct clinical epidemiological studies in the area of medical dermatology. The unique clinical expertise among the group provides large cohorts of patients with various diseases including hidradenitis suppurativa (HS), cutaneous lymphomas, autoimmune bullous diseases. A major focus is investigating effectiveness of interventions and systemic associations with these disorders. We also through collaboration utilize large population level databases. Notable examples of the outcomes of this research include: refuting the association between isotretinoin and inflammatory bowel disease, establishing the role of low dose systemic steroids in HS, measuring the burden of HS, studying strategies in the management of refractory HS, demonstrating the association between chronic urticaria and lymphomas, challenging the role of extensive work up in early stage CTCL, and comparing the effectiveness of phototherapy modalities in CTCL.
We are actively collaborating with researchers from Sunnybrook and UofT including colleagues from hematology oncology, anatomical pathology, rheumatology, health outcomes & pharmacoeconomics (HOPE) and ICES. We are also participating in international research initiatives including the North American Contact Dermatitis Group, the Cutaneous Lymphoma International Consortium (CLIC) and the North American HS Management Guidelines Group.
Another priority for us is teaching research skills to our trainees. In addition to supervising research projects, we run a longitudinal clinical epidemiology training program as part of the advanced medical dermatology fellowship. Through monthly seminars we discuss with the fellows the basic principles of conducting dermatoepidemiological research and provide guidance to them as they apply these principles to their research projects. We encourage adopting a similar program at the residency training level.