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The Dermatology Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), headed by Dr. Stephanie Mehlis and Dr. Joel Joyce, is home to ongoing clinical studies that are investigating the safety and effectiveness of new and currently available drugs for atopic dermatitis/eczema, alopecia areata, and other dermatologic conditions. New studies begin regularly and the CTU continues to recruit patients with psoriasis, acne, atopic dermatitis, rosacea and more for upcoming studies.

We work to make participation in our studies as easy and comfortable as possible, making sure that every candidate for dermatology clinical research understands the process and knows what to expect.

What are clinical trials?

Clinical trials are research studies that aim to evaluate a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention in people. They are the primary way that researchers can investigate whether a new treatment is safe, effective, or safer/more effective than standard treatments.

Most of our studies are Phase II and III clinical trials that evaluate pharmaceutical drugs on track for FDA approval. Some of our studies involve novel drugs, while others investigate the use of an already FDA-approved drug for a different indication. For example, some drugs that are used to treat psoriasis have also been shown to improve conditions like hidradenitis suppurativa. Each new indication for a drug needs another round of clinical trials and FDA approval because safety, efficacy, and dosage measures may be different.

Why participate in a clinical trial?

There are many reasons people choose to join a clinical trial. Oftentimes, patients may not see improvement using typical treatments or experience adverse reactions to them. In other cases, no treatments for the condition may currently be available. Many people enjoy playing a more active role in their own health care and helping researchers learn more about certain health problems.Our clinical studies are always entirely sponsor-funded; participants will not pay any costs of treatment and may be provided a small stipend.

Whatever the reason, participation in clinical research is vital to medical discovery and advancement, and many treatments available today and in the future depend on the generosity of clinical trial participants. We have a deep gratitude and appreciation for anybody interested in participating in clinical research.

Patients interested in participating in clinical trials can contact the Clinical Trials Unit at 847.663.8530 or via email at