Henry Ford Dermatology conducts ongoing laboratory and clinical research to advance the treatment of skin diseases. The department provides patients continuing access to the most advanced therapies through clinical trials. Investigative therapies are available in all areas of dermatology including:

  • Acne
  • Eczema
  • Fungal infections
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa (a severe form of acne)
  • Melanoma
  • Precancerous lesions
  • Psoriasis
  • Rosacea
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Vitiligo
  • Xeroderma Pigmentosum

Our dermatology specialists are also involved with technology research to bring innovative therapies to patients that are safe, such as the use of advanced laser technology in combination with medicines as well as phototherapy using ultraviolet light.

Currently recruiting trials at Henry Ford Hospital Dermatology Research Department

1. The purpose of this new study is to help gain a greater understanding of the role the immune system plays in Vitiligo. Your participation is extremely valuable in understanding this condition, however, it is voluntary and you may refuse at any time.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be over age 18 and have Vitiligo
  • Have not had UV light treatment in the past month
  • Not be pregnant

2. Vitiligo Skin Pigment Cell Transplantation Study

Individuals with vitiligo develop milk-white patches of skin due to loss of the skin pigment cells (melanocytes) in these areas. Skin transplantation can be an effective treatment option for vitiligo patients with stable disease. One particular skin transplantation technique, the melanocyte-keratinocyte transplantation procedure (MKTP) has been used successfully in Sweden, India and Saudi Arabia for more than 13 years. A recent study performed at Henry Ford Hospital (HFH) Dermatology Clinic showed that this procedure is safe and can be effective in the right patient.

In the MKTP, melanocytes are taken from a person's normal skin and then transferred to the vitiligo patches. If effective for that person, melanocytes may grow and multiply in this new location, possibly restoring skin color.

We are investigating this procedure at the HFH Dermatology Clinic in a clinical trial. Currently, we are trying to determine if different techniques used to separate pigmented cells will lead to any changes in repigmentation. This procedure is only appropriate for patients whose vitiligo has not worsened in the past six months. People who develop vitiligo or thick scars (keloids) on parts of the skin which are scratched or cut should not undergo this procedure. Study participants have to be able to come to the HFH dermatology clinic in Detroit, Michigan 7 times in 12 months.

3. Volunteers for a study on Hidradenitis Suppurativa. The purpose of the study is to look for an effective treatment regimen for hidradenitis suppurativa.

To qualify you must:

  • Be over the age of 16 and carry a diagnosis of hidradenitis suppurativa
  • Be able to come to clinic for a screening visit
  • If enrolled in the study, be able to come to the clinic for five visits


  • You will receive treatment for your skin lesions
  • You will be followed up by our dermatologist throughout the course of the study

4. Volunteers for a study to determine what color of visible sunlight makes skin tan

To qualify you must:

  • Be a normal healthy volunteer over the age of 18
  • Be able to come to clinic a total of four office visits in two weeks


  • Volunteers will get a screening examination for any skin lesions

5. Volunteers for a study on Acanthosis Nigricans. The purpose is to determine if there is a relationship between the color characteristics of acanthosis nigricans (increased skin thickness and pigmentation on the neck) and insulin level in blood. Basically, we wish to determine if it is possible to learn how well your insulin resistance is being treated by how much your acanthosis nigricans is improving.

To qualify you must:

  • Carry a diagnosis of acanthosis nigricans
  • Be able to come to the clinic once every month to follow up


  • You will get a screening examination for your skin lesions
  • You will be followed up by our Endocrinology specialist to treat your insulin level

For more information on current trials, please contact: Zain Syed, M.D., ([email protected]), Marsha Henderson, M.D., ([email protected]) or call (313) 916-6964

6. Volunteers for acne spot study

Do you have dark or red spots from back acne? The Henry Ford Department of Dermatology is doing a study to look at dark spots caused by back acne.

We are comparing artificially-induced and acne-induced dark or red spots from back or chest acne. The study lasts two months and involves nine visits to the clinic. You will be paid for 8 of these visits, and will receive a gift set from Estee Lauder after completion of the study. Your information will be kept strictly confidential.

Are you interested?

If you would like to learn more, please contact:

Oma N. Agbai, M.D.: Telephone: (313) 916-6964 Email: [email protected]

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