Principal Investigator

Edward W. Cowen, M.D., M.H.Sc.

Edward Cowen, M.D., leads the NIH Dermatology Consultation Service and oversees the Branch continuing medical education and resident education programs.

Acting Chief

portrait of Edward W. Cowen M.D. M.H.Sc.

Edward W. Cowen, M.D., M.H.Sc.

Edward Cowen, M.D., leads the NIH Dermatology Consultation Service and oversees continuing medication, fellowship and resident education programs. He is an internationally recognized expert in cutaneous graft-versus-host disease (GVHD).

The Dermatology Branch conducts clinical and basic investigations of skin biology and researches the etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of skin disease.

INVESTIGATION: Biochemical and biological studies of skin are carried out in distinct, though frequently interacting, laboratories and in the clinic. Research areas of interest include:

  • the skin as an immunological organ and the role of tissue-leukocyte-microbiota crosstalk in mediating immunological and structural homeostasis.
  • inflammatory skin diseases in patients and in murine models.
  • the human microbiome in healthy individuals as well as patients with atopic dermatitis and selected primary immunodeficiencies.
  • long-term clinical and laboratory studies and investigator-initiated therapeutic trials in chronic graft-versus-host disease.
  • skin stem cells.
  • cutaneous malignancies, including Merkel cell carcinoma.

Observational and interventional clinical studies are conducted in the Branch involving patients with a broad range of diseases. Some studies are led by Branch investigators while others are performed in collaboration with outside investigators.

Clinical Care

The Dermatology Branch Consultation Service is one of the busiest clinical services in the NIH Clinical Research Center and is responsible for all outpatient and inpatient dermatologic patient care.


The Dermatology Branch has a long tradition as a laboratory and clinical fellowship training center for individuals who have become outstanding physician/scientists and leaders in investigative dermatology in the United States and abroad. Learn more.


portrait of Edward W. Cowen M.D. M.H.Sc.

Dermatology Consultation Service

Edward W. Cowen, M.D., M.H.Sc.
Patients with a variety of rare diseases with cutaneous manifestations are evaluated at the NIH Clinical Center. In addition, patients who experience adverse reactions to experimental therapeutic agents or manifest unrelated skin conditions while at the NIH are evaluated and treated.

portrait of Heidi Kong,  M.D., M.H.Sc.

Cutaneous Microbiome and Inflammation Section

Heidi H. Kong, M.D., M.H.Sc.
Studies of the skin microbiome in healthy individuals with the goal of expanding our understanding of host-microbe interactions.

portrait of Isaac Brownell, M.D., Ph.D.

Cutaneous Development and Carcinogenesis Section

Isaac Brownell, M.D., Ph.D.
Studies of the signaling pathways such as Hedgehog signaling that regulate the development and maintenance of normal skin, and the changes in these signals that occur during the formation of skin cancer.

portrait of Keisuke (Chris) Nagao, M.D., Ph.D.

Cutaneous Leukocyte Biology Section

Keisuke (Chris) Nagao, M.D., Ph.D.
Initiatives in the laboratory involving hair follicle (HF) immunology and mechanisms of microbiome-driven eczematous inflammation in mice.


Acting Branch Chief
Senior Clinician and Head
Senior Investigator
Senior Investigator
Senior Investigator

News & Highlights

Last Updated: September 2020 Back to Top