Research - Advancing the Science of Dermatology

At The Skin Hospital we are dedicated to research and clinical trials that will advance the understanding and treatment of skin disease and skin cancer. We are focused on discoveries that have the power to change lives.

The Skin Hospital’s Research unit is one of Australia’s leading providers of quality dermatology clinical research. The highly skilled research team is led by Associate Professor Gayle Fisher and is dedicated to dermatology research that will make a significant contribution to the understanding and treatment of skin disease. Central to this is its vision to be a global leader in dermatology translational research, bringing together fundamental research and clinical practice.

The Skin Hospital provides a unique platform for research with extensive General Dermatology services, Specialised Dermatology Clinics and Mohs Micrographic surgery undertaken within the hospital.

The Skin Hospital provides a unique platform for research with services in General Dermatology, Specialised Dermatology Clinics and Mohs surgery. The on-going strategic partnership with Douglas Hanly Moir, which provides dermapathology services on site, provides a further valuable asset for research with it’s large catalogue of common and unique cases of skin pathology.

Previous and current research projects topics include scar outcomes after dermatologic surgery, cost-effectiveness in Mohs surgery, pain during laser procedures, proteomics of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and utilities in non melanoma skin cancer.

P2P Program in Collaboration with Janssen

Topic: Assessing the efficacy of a peer-to-peer (P2P) support program for patients with severe psoriasis (PASI > 15) on psychosocial and quality of life (QOL) indices
Principle investigator: Prof Shumack

Dermatology Bio-Specimen Bank (collaboration with Westmead Dermatology)

Collection and storage of tissue specimens (normal skin, SCC, and BCC). Proteomic assessment of tissue samples.
Researchers: Prof Pablo Penas-Fernandez and Dr Minal Dalvi

Patient Education in Mohs

Topic: Development of a patient education project, similar to the service improvement project done with nb-UVB last year

Pigmentary Disorders Clinic

Study of presentations of pigmentary disorders and associated co-morbidities
Researchers: Dr Monisha Gupta, Dr Victoria Venning and Michelle Weaich.

Acral Database

Preliminary analysis outcome: changing nail lesions correlate with malignant histopathology
Researchers: Dr Hsien Chan and Dr Victoria Venning.

Body Dysmorphia and Sun Tanning

Topic: Assessing the prevalence and associations of body dysmorphia, sun tanning dependence and stress levels in Australian adults who tan intentionally
Researchers: Dr Victoria Venning, Prof Pablo Fernandez-Penas

Research Presentations:

  1. “Mohs Micrographic Surgery under the age of 40”

World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, Aug 2018, ICC Sydney
Thomas Stewart, Research Assistant, The Skin Hospital

  1. “Mohs Surgery at the Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia: Evolution of Practice 20 years later”

World Congress on Cancers of the Skin, Aug 2018, ICC Sydney
Thomas Stewart, Research Assistant, The Skin Hospital


  1. Abbott LM, Byth K, Fernandez-Penas P. Tanning, selfies and social media. Australas J Dermatol. 2018 Sep 23. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12933. [Epub ahead of print] Pubmed PMID: 30246240 DOI: 10.1111/ajd.1293.
  2. Abbott LM, Smith SD. Smartphone apps for skin cancer diagnosis: Implications for patients and practitioners. Australas J Dermatol. 2018 Jan 2. doi:10.1111/ajd.12758. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29292506.
  3. Hair Repigmentation with Anti-PD-1 and Anti-PD-L1 Immunotherapy: A Novel Hypothesis. Sebaratnam DF, Rodríguez Bandera AI, Lowe PM.JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Jan 1;154(1):112-113. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4420. No abstract available. PMID:29167874.
  4. Cheng H, Sohal S, Lamb S, Carr S, Emanuel P. Spot diagnosis: Progressive cribriform and zosteriform hyperpigmentation. Australas J Dermatol. 2018 Feb;59(1):68-69. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12622. Epub 2017 Jul 10. PubMed PMID: 28691379.
  5. Differential proteomic analysis of actinic keratosis, Bowen’s disease and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma by label-free LC-MS/MS.Azimi A, Kaufman KL, Ali M, Arthur J, Kossard S, Fernandez-Penas P. J Dermatol Sci. 2018 Apr 10. pii: S0923-1811(18)30160-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2018.04.006. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:29665991.
  6. Neutrophilic Dermatosis of the Hands: A Review of 17 Cases. Cheng AMY, Cheng HS, Smith BJ, Stewart DA. J Hand Surg Am. 2018 Feb;43(2):185.e1-185.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2017.08.027. Epub 2017 Sep 21. PMID:28941785.
  7. Mixed Tumor, Eccrine Type: So What If it’s Vulval! Makhija M, Gorji M, Kube M. Int J Gynecol Pathol. 2018 May;37(3):239-241. doi: 10.1097/PGP.0000000000000414. No abstract available. PMID:28863064.

Research is one of the three core pillars of The Skin Hospital. We are committed to improving dermatologic treatments through collaborative research partnerships.

If you would like to partner with us to conduct research at The Skin Hospital, please fill out the Research Proposal Form and the Research Governance SSA submission checklist form and submit it online. Our Research Manager will contact you shortly to guide you through the next steps.


All research activities undertaken at The Skin Hospital are in accordance with the guidelines set out in the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)e  and the Australia Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research

For research projects undertaken at The Skin Hospital we use Bellberry for obtaining ethics approval . You can also provide documentation of ethics approval from other external Human Research Ethics Committees. Your ethics approval documentation will be reviewed by The Skin Hospital Research Committee. Please contact our Research Manager for more information regarding obtaining ethics approval.

Research complaints and concerns

If you wish to submit complaints or concerns related to:

  • TSH research project
  • TSH researcher or research conduct at TSH
  • Research activities without ethics approval
  • Research that does not comply with the relevant codes of conduct, legislation and research guidelines

Please contact the appropriate member below:

Research integrity

Medical Director


Research Manager

+61 2 8651 2027

We are always looking to partner with those who share our passion for research in dermatology. We occasionally have opportunities to undertake supervised clinical projects that may be suitable for medical students, Masters students, PhD students and nursing (Masters and PhD) postgraduate degrees.

We also offer a Dermatology Research Fellow position open to unaccredited medical officers. As a Dermatology Research Fellow, you will gain experience in clinics run at The Skin Hospital, work as a sub-investigator for clinical trials, and undertake research projects.

If you are interested in conducting research at The Skin Hospital or would like to learn more about the Dermatology Research Fellow position, please contact our Research Manager  at