Skin Diseases Research Center

Mission and Vision

The mission of the Skin Diseases Research Center (SDRC) is to add value to our investigators through strength of focus on uniting basic and translational skin science. The vision of the SDRC is:

  • To enhance career development and to fuel the projects of new and experienced investigators with a rich matrix of resources in order to speed the progress and enhance the quality of skin diseases research
  • To generate a new knowledge base that will have a significant and sustained impact on cutaneous biology aimed at improving the quality of life of patients with skin disease
  • To integrate the components and activities of the Skin Diseases Research Center (SDRC)
  • To manage the fiscal operations
  • To coordinate the core facilities and pilot and feasibility awarded programs
  • To implement an enrichment program
  • To foster new SDRC initiatives
  • To translate innovative basic research to patients with skin diseases
  • To facilitate utilization of genomics and informatics for skin diseases

The SDRC at Case Western Reserve University / University Hospitals (UH) Health Systems promotes cooperative interaction among investigators engaged directly in skin diseases research with those conducting state-of-the-art biomedical research in other disciplines that have relevance to skin disease. The center's primary goal is to integrate groups of investigators from Case Western Reserve, UH, and other institutions into a cohesive unit that will advance research relevant to the diagnosis, pathogenesis and treatment of skin diseases. The center has attracted a number of outstanding scientists and has been instrumental in developing new technologies and encouraging their timely transfer to the clinical setting. The SDRC has also developed informative educational programs in dermatologic diseases for its investigators, physicians and the public.

Major programs include:

  • a pilot and feasibility grants program,
  • core facilities to support research,
  • a visiting lectureship program,
  • special national and regional educational programs,
  • a scholars exchange program,
  • and a minority student and fellow research program.

SDRC Membership

The strong record of achievement of the SDRC at Case Western Reserve and UH is due to the accomplishments of the individual investigators and the synergistic interactions fostered by the center grant. When the SDRC was originally funded in 1988, its membership was 13 (four from the Department of Dermatology, ten from five other departments). At the present time it is comprised of more than 70 members from 34 different departments and centers within Case Western Reserve, University Hospitals of Cleveland, the Cleveland VA Medical Center, the Lerner Research Institute of Cleveland Clinic and Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. SDRC investigators in the aggregate average approximately $10 million annually to funded research projects relevant to skin.

Taken together, the research base of the SDRC at Case Western Reserve has breadth and depth, is multidisciplinary and interrelated, and provides an excellent, vibrant platform for advancing the interests of patients with skin disease through the SDRC mechanisms.

Members of our university community are encouraged to participate in the center's enrichment programs (i.e., seminar series, visiting scholars' program, P&F research-in-progress lunches, etc.) and are offered the opportunity to submit proposals to the Pilot & Feasibility Study Program (P&FS). A major benefit of membership in the SDRC is unrestricted access to the core facilities.

The primary criterion for membership in the SDRC is a commitment to research applications in skin diseases. Interdisciplinary collaborations involving skin-related research are also looked upon favorably. Membership in the SDRC requires approval by the director with the concurrence of the executive committee.

The guidelines for membership are as follows:

  1. A member of the Department of Dermatology who is actively engaged in research.
  2. A non-member of the Department of Dermatology with a funded research project directly relevant to dermatology or the SDRC's cores.
  3. A non-member of the Department of Dermatology who has been awarded an SDRC P&F grant.
  4. A non-member of the Department of Dermatology who has a productive collaboration with a member of the Department of Dermatology on a skin-related project.

Continued membership requires:

  1. Ongoing productivity in skin-related research leading to the publication of peer-reviewed articles and acquisition of extramural grants.
  2. Participation in SDRC-related activities including its cores, committees, and enrichment program activities