Clinical Research Unit
Director: Yolanda Helfrich, MD
The Clinical Research Unit is located adjacent to the Department of Dermatology's medical clinics and to the Cosmetic Dermatology and Laser Center on the first floor of the Taubman Center. It is a self-contained program within Dermatology, with a fully-equipped medical photographic studio housed in the unit for high-quality, reproducible clinical photography (film and digital image capture). Equipped to conduct all phases (I-IV) of clinical trials, the Clinical Research Unit has been instrumental in the development of many dermatologic drugs used today.
The infrastructure of the Clinical Research Unit allows efficient and precise acquisition of study volunteers' skin and or blood, with seamless transport of study specimens to the appropriate laboratories. In addition to conducting therapeutic trials for the pharmaceutical industry, the unit has been engaged in numerous protocols supported by the NIH and other extramural programs.
A data management and data quality assurance program actively monitors ongoing studies, and the unit maintains a liaison with the Institutional Review Board (IRB), the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research (MICHR) and the FDA. Many clinical protocols are in place, which address psoriasis pathophysiology and genetics, acne, stretch marks, photoaging, UV skin damage and pharmacological approaches to skin repair.
Work from the U-M Dermatology Clinical Research Unit has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, Nature Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Journal of Experimental Medicine, and many peer reviewed dermatological journals.