Dr. Edward W. Cowen leads the NIH Dermatology Consultation Service, conducts independent and collaborative research, and oversees the continuing medication education-accredited Dermatology Grand Rounds, Branch Clinical Fellowship and resident education programs. He is an internationally recognized expert in cutaneous graft-versus-host disease and serves as Director on the American Board of Dermatology as well as on the Editorial Board of JAMA Dermatology.

Research Statement

Dr. Cowen’s primary interests include chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), primary immunodeficiency, autoinflammatory skin disease, cancer genodermatoses, and adverse drug reactions. As a founding member of the NIH chronic GVHD program, Dr. Cowen has authored more than 50 original manuscripts and chapters relating to the disease. Novel discoveries include the first identification of total body irradiation as a risk factor for skin fibrosis in chronic GVHD, the first comprehensive description of GVHD-associated angiomatosis, and the first link between voriconazole exposure and squamous cell carcinoma in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant recipients. Current research interests include novel treatments for skin fibrosis and objective measurement tools to assess disease activity and response.

Dr. Cowen also participates in the NIH Undiagnosed Disease program and has been involved in the description of several novel syndromes in collaboration with other NIH investigators, including deficiency of the IL-1 receptor antagonist (DIRA), GATA2 deficiency, ADA2 deficiency, cutaneous skeletal hypophosphatemia syndrome, and SAVI syndrome.

Scientific Publications

Janus kinase (JAK) inhibition with baricitinib in refractory juvenile dermatomyositis.

Kim H, Dill S, O'Brien M, Vian L, Li X, Manukyan M, Jain M, Adeojo LW, George J, Perez M, Grom AA, Sutter M, Feldman BM, Yao L, Millwood M, Brundidge A, Pichard DC, Cowen EW, Shi Y, Lu S, Tsai WL, Gadina M, Rider LG, Colbert RA
Annals of the rheumatic diseases.
2020 Aug 25;
pii: annrheumdis-2020-218690. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-218690
PMID: 32843325

Imatinib mesylate for the treatment of steroid-refractory sclerotic-type cutaneous chronic graft-versus-host disease.

Baird K, Comis LE, Joe GO, Steinberg SM, Hakim FT, Rose JJ, Mitchell SA, Pavletic SZ, Figg WD, Yao L, Flanders KC, Takebe N, Sarantopoulos S, Booher S, Cowen EW
Biology of blood and marrow transplantation : journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation.
2015 Jun;
doi: 10.1016/j.bbmt.2015.03.006
PMID: 25771402

Risk factors and characterization of vitiligo and alopecia areata in patients with chronic graft-vs-host disease.

Zuo RC, Naik HB, Steinberg SM, Baird K, Mitchell SA, Kuzmina Z, Pavletic SZ, Cowen EW
JAMA dermatology.
2015 Jan;
doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2014.1550
PMID: 25207994

Efficacy of Intralesional Botulinum Toxin A for Treatment of Painful Cutaneous Leiomyomas: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Naik HB, Steinberg SM, Middelton LA, Hewitt SM, Zuo RC, Linehan WM, Kong HH, Cowen EW
JAMA dermatology.
2015 Oct;
doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.1793
PMID: 26244563

Graft-versus-host disease: part II. Management of cutaneous graft-versus-host disease.

Hymes SR, Alousi AM, Cowen EW
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
2012 Apr;
doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.961
PMID: 22421124

Sclerotic-type chronic GVHD of the skin: clinical risk factors, laboratory markers, and burden of disease.

Martires KJ, Baird K, Steinberg SM, Grkovic L, Joe GO, Williams KM, Mitchell SA, Datiles M, Hakim FT, Pavletic SZ, Cowen EW
2011 Oct 13;
doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-04-350249
PMID: 21791415

Chronic phototoxicity and aggressive squamous cell carcinoma of the skin in children and adults during treatment with voriconazole.

Cowen EW, Nguyen JC, Miller DD, McShane D, Arron ST, Prose NS, Turner ML, Fox LP
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
2010 Jan;
doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.09.033
PMID: 19896749


Pennsylvania State College of Medicine

Duke University
M.S., Health Sciences in Clinical Research

Cornell University
B.S., Biology


Acting Chief
Dermatology Branch, NIAMS, NIH

Dermatology Consultation Service, NIH, 2009 – present

Senior Clinician, 2013
Dermatology Branch, NIAMS, NIH

Senior Staff
Dermatology Branch,
NCI, NIH, 2004 – 2009

Adjunct Faculty
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and Georgetown University

Fellowship in Clinical Research
Dermatology Branch, NCI, NIH

Residency in Dermatology, Chief Resident
University of Rochester

Last Updated: September 2020