The Dermatology Research Centre was established in 2007 as a joint initiative of The University of Queensland and the Queensland Skin and Cancer Foundation to represent Queensland's first research unit led by specialist dermatologists.
Since its initiation the Dermatology Research Centre continues to grow and build its reputation and now consists of 4 cooperative clinical/laboratory research groups studying skin and skin cancer, both melanoma and keratinocyte cancers, utilising the state-of-the-art research infrastructure at the Translational Research Institute. The centre is also undertaking the development and validation of novel technology platforms for diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. Our success is largely due to our researchers' ability to obtain national and international competitive funding, as well as independent funding through philanthropy and industry.
About our Leaders
Professor H. Peter Soyer is the inaugural UQ Chair in Dermatology and Director of the Dermatology Research Centre. He is an academic dermatologist from Austria, and a world-renowned dermatologist and pioneer of dermoscopy for the early diagnosis of melanoma and teledermatology. His research group's main focus is clinico-pathologic-molecular-characterisation of melanocytic and keratinocytic skin cancer and its precursor lesions. He is the lead Chief Investigator of the recently awarded NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for the Study of Naevi (2015-2019). He is also a Chief Investigator of the UQ based Centre of Research Excellence in Telehealth.
The Centres Deputy Director, Associate Professor Tarl Prow, earned his PhD in 2004 from the University of Texas in the field of Nanomedicine, and joined the Dermatology Research Centre in 2011. He is a multidisciplinary researcher with internationally recognised expertise in the fields of micromedical device development, nanodermatology and imaging. His research group focuses on topical drug delivery platform development, skin micro-sampling for research/diagnostics, and skin imaging and automated analysis. Associate Professor Prow has recently been awarded an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (2016-2019).
Associate Professor Rick Sturm joined the Dermatology Research Centre in 2014, after numerous years of collaboration with Professor Soyer. He previously headed the Molecular Genetics of Pigmentation Research Group at the UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience, moving his full laboratory into the centre at the beginning of 2015. He is considered one of the world's leading authorities on human pigmentation genetics, with a particular interest in the correlation of pigmentation genetics and phenotypic traits to skin cancer risk.
Associate Professor Helmut Schaider established his research team at the Dermatology Research Centre in 2013. He is an academic dermatologist from Austria and previously headed the Cancer Biology Unit, Department of Dermatology, at the Medical University of Graz. His main research interests relate to all aspects of melanoma biology with an emphasis on elucidating mechanisms of drug resistance, melanoma progression and new treatment options.
Innovative Research Leading to Improved Patient Outcomes
The Dermatology Research Centre cultivates innovative research projects that translate ultimately to improved patient outcomes. The foundation of this effort is a strong and motivated team of clinicians and scientists that embrace local, national and international collaboration. We have built transformational platform technologies that are now being commercialized in the area of skin sampling, Microbiopsy TM, and enhanced topical drug delivery, Foroderm. These novel technology platforms have attracted significant international interest from industry, the research community and dermatologists.