RESEARCH MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
RESEARCH MORE THAN SKIN DEEP
Leslie Baumann Leads New Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute
For more than a decade Leslie Baumann, M.D., has been the face of cosmetic dermatology at the Miller School of Medicine. Since the creation of the UM Cosmetic Center in 1997, when it became the first academic, university-based cosmetic dermatology center in the country, Baumann and her team of aesthetic specialists have led the way in leading-edge skin care treatments and research. And now they’ve taken another step forward with the creation of the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute.
“Our mission is to be the premier multidisciplinary, academic aesthetic medicine center and to provide our patients with the most effective and appropriate treatments based on research and science,” explains Baumann, who is the institute’s director and a professor of dermatology and cutaneous surgery. “Cosmetic medicine is a growing field among many doctors, and it is the role of an academic medical center to provide an example of how it should be practiced, with scientific research to back up the use of these popular procedures and treatments.”
Baumann has been involved in clinical trials of some of the most widely used cosmetic treatments, including Botox, various fillers such as Juvederm and Scupltra, and skin resurfacing lasers. She is also the author of a New York Times bestselling book, The Skin Type Solution.
“What we have done at the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute is bring together specialists from different disciplines, including cosmetic dermatologists, an oculoplastic surgeon, an ENT facial plastics surgeon, and a nutritionist. We all work together to raise the bar on cosmetic medicine and toward common research, clinical, and educational goals,” says Baumann.
Rather than having the various aesthetic specialties competing against one another, the Miller School created this new structure to join the specialties together in a financially independent freestanding institute.
“Dr. Baumann and her colleagues are outstanding physicians and scientists, and this new arrangement will allow them to continue to pave the way in both research and clinical care in the exciting area of cosmetic dermatology,” says Bart Chernow, M.D., vice president for special programs and resource strategy and vice provost for technology advancement. “I am very proud of their work.” Physicians at the Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute include, left to right: Lisa D. Grunebaum, M.D., otolaryngology/head and neck surgery; Larissa Scanlan-Zaulyanov, M.D., voluntary faculty; Leslie Baumann, M.D., professor of dermatology, director of CMRI; Heather Woolery-Lloyd, M.D., director of ethnic skin care; Joely Kaufman, M.D., director of lasers and light devices; and Wendy W. Lee, M.D., an ophthalmologist specializing in oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery.
At its Miami Beach location, the institute will continue to provide the latest in cosmetic treatments while continuing to conduct clinical trials on the treatments of the future. Education will also play an important role. The Graduate Educational Specialty Training program now under way at the institute allows dermatologists from around the world to spend one month observing the clinical operation. So far, 52 fellows from 15 countries have participated in the program.
A new avenue that will be explored is basic science research on the genetics of oily skin, acne, rosacea, hyperhidrosis, dark circles under the eyes, and skin aging. The institute will be developing a skin bank repository that will provide samples for research trials. In the trials, skin condition data will be collected from cosmetic patients, then DNA microarray will be used to examine the samples for gene expression patterns.
“Together with researchers from the Miami Institute for Human Genomics, we will be looking at the genetics of the different skin types, so that one day we will be able to tailor treatment to a person’s genetic profile,” explains Baumann.