Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Gelfand Clinical Research Lab

Participating Sites

Dr. Joel Gelfand,University of Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania

Joel M. Gelfand is Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Epidemiology, Senior Scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Associate Fellow, Center for Public Health Initiatives, Medical Director of the Clinical Studies Unit in the Department of Dermatology, and a Member of the Cancer Center and Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, all at the University of Pennsylvania. Additionally, he is principal investigator for the Dermatology Clinical Effectiveness Research Network (DCERN), a multi-center study evaluating the effectiveness of treatments for moderate to severe psoriasis, founded by an RC1 grant from NIAMS. He is a board certified dermatologist whose clinical work focuses on general dermatology and psoriasis. His research focuses on clinical trials and epidemiology. His clinical trials research is aimed at improving trial efficiency through the development and validation of surrogate endpoints and the use of efficient statistical designs. He has designed and conducted clinical trials to evaluate novel therapies for psoriasis, hidradenitis, hair growth prevention, and cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Dr. Gelfand's epidemiologic research focuses on the natural history of diseases associated with psoriasis and the effectiveness of psoriasis treatments. He has published extensively on the epidemiology of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the impact of psoriasis on health related quality of life, and the risk of various co-morbidities such as obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, lymphoma, myocardial infarction and mortality associated with psoriasis. His original research articles have appeared in JAMA, European Heart Journal, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Archives of Dermatology, British Journal of Dermatology, and Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Dr. Gelfand is the author of over 100 research articles, reviews, and text book chapters and is an Associate Editor for Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Continuing Medical Education Editor, Emedicine, Dermatology section. He is also an ad hoc editor for over 20 peer reviewed medical journals. Dr. Gelfand received his undergraduate training at Tufts University, (BS, Biology, Summa Cum Laude), and his medical degree from Harvard (Magna Cum Laude). He performed an internship in internal medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, (New York, NY), and completed his residency in dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. He received a Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania as well. Dr. Gelfand's research and career are supported by grants from the National Institute for Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases, the National Heart Lung Blood Institute, the American Skin Association, and the Dermatology Foundation. He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology and the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology. In 2011, he was the recipient of the prestigious American Skin Association Achievement Award for Psoriasis Research.


Dr. Bruce Brod and Abby Jacobson, PA-C

Dermatology Associates of Lancaster

Dr. Brod received his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency in Dermatology at the University of Pittsburgh after completing a one-year internship in Internal Medicine at Brown University. He was Board certified in Dermatology in 1991 and recertified in 1999. A Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, Dr. Brod is a Clinical Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where he teaches and supervises at the Contact Dermatitis Clinic on a regular basis. Dr. Brod is currently on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and the American Contact Dermatitis Society and is a Fellow of the College of Physicians in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is on active staff at Lancaster General Hospital.


Dr. Gerald G. Krueger

University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Dr. Krueger has served as the principal investigator of over 100 clinical trials on psoriasis, over the past 37 years. Dr. Krueger recently completed a 10-year term as chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation and continues to serve on the executive committee of the Dermatology Foundation.

Dr. Krueger has published over 200 papers in the medial literature. He has a long–standing interest in psoriasis, his research also has a therapeutic aspect, focusing on early phases of clinical trials using biological response modifiers as well as traditional agents. Several of his recent publications were published in high impact journals.


Kristina Callis-Duffin

University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Kristina Callis-Duffin, MD, graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1993, and completed a residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine at Maine Medical Center in 1997. After three years in private practice, she was hired by Gerald Krueger, MD as a clinical trials research fellow at the Department of Dermatology at the University of Utah. She completed a dermatology residency at the University of Utah in 2005, and then joined the faculty where she is now as an assistant professor. She is the co-director of the Utah Psoriasis Initiative, a database of over 1200 patients with psoriasis that was developed to elucidate phenotype-genotype association. She has participated in over 30 clinical trials for psoriasis therapies, and is interested in comparative effectiveness studies, co-morbidities of psoriasis, and teaching investigators on clinical trial endpoints such as PASI scoring.


Dr. Robert E. Kalb and Cheryl White-Davis, PA-C

Buffalo Medical Group, P.C., Buffalo

Robert E. Kalb MD, Principal InvestigatorBorn in Rochester, NY, Dr. Kalb completed his dermatology training at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in 1986. Besides managing his busy dermatology practice with Buffalo Medical Group, he is also a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the State University of NY at Buffalo. Specializing in immune related disease, he has been involved in research for the past 13 years. He has five studies he currently oversees. In the near future, Dr. Kalb will be traveling to Phnom Penh, Cambodia for the 4th time. He is director of the Health Volunteers Overseas Dermatology Program in Cambodia. He has also established the first free dermatology clinic at the University Of Buffalo School Of Medicine.


Brian R. Sperber MD, PhD

Colorado Springs Dermatology Clinic P.C., Colorado Springs, CO

After several years of education on both coasts (Westmont College in Santa Barbara for undergraduate degree and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for medical and graduate degrees), and after dermatology training at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Dr. Sperber returned to his home state of Colorado in 2006. Since then, Dr. Sperber has built a busy medical dermatology practice that serves as a referral center for all of Southern Colorado and surrounding states. In addition to psoriasis, he specializes in other serious skin diseases, such as blistering disorders, lupus, dermatomyositis, vasculitis, and cutaneous lymphoma. He is the Chair of the American Academy of Dermatology.s Young Physician Committee as well as a member of the Grassroots Advocacy Committee. He is also serving as the physician editor of the Young Physician Focus publication of the American Academy of Dermatology. Earlier this year, Dr. Sperber began work as the medical director of the Colorado Research Center, a private clinical research center devoted to skin disease.


Michael B. Stierstorfer, M.D.

East Penn Dermatology P.C., North Wales

Michael B. Stierstorfer, M.D., Principal InvestigatorDr. Stierstorfer is a native of Allentown, PA and resides in Philadelphia. He received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and dermatology training at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. His interest in psoriasis started at Dartmouth where he gained much experience with the condition in the outpatient clinic and a 16 bed inpatient unit, many often filled with the most severe psoriatic patients in Northern New England. He is the founder of East Penn Dermatology, where he often hosts medical and physician assistant students, and is a clinical associate professor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where he supervises dermatology residents in training. He participates regularly in the Major League Baseball Skin Cancer Screening Program and is a big Phillies fan.


Stephen M. Schleicher, M.D.

DermDox Centers for Dermatology, Hazleton

Dr. Stephen Schleicher is the founder and director of the DermDox Center for Dermatology located in Hazleton, PA. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University, received his medical degree with academic honors from the Hahnemann Medical College and completed his dermatology residency at the Temple Skin and Cancer Hospital. The author of two books as well as over fifty journal articles, Dr. Schleicher serves on the Medical Board of Emergency Medicine and edits a monthly column for this journal. A pioneer in the field of teledermatology, he conducts remote consultations with thirty federal and state prisons and has established a teledermatology prototype for the nonprofit organization Volunteers in Medicine which runs seventy clinics within the United States. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at the Commonwealth Medical School in Scranton and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at Kings College and supervises the nation's only joint podiatry/dermatology fellowship under the aegis of St. Lukes Hospital and the American Podiatric Medical Association. Dr. Schleicher has engaged in numerous Phase III–IV clinical trials over the past two decades. Ms. MaryAnn Guza, LPN and Ms. Dana Mauch, CRA, both serve as full-time clinical research staff for Dr. Schleicher, providing over 25 years of combined experience in the field of clinical research and dermatology.


Dr. Jamie Weisman, MD

Peachtree Dermatology AssociatesAtlanta GA

Dr. Weisman is a dermatologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, specializing in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases. She has served as a principal investigator in numerous clinical trials for psoriasis in adults and children, as well as in related skin and rheumatic diseases. Dr. Weisman has lectured widely on psoriasis and has presented at local and state meetings and currently serves as chairwoman for the Psoriasisnet task force of the American Academy of Dermatology. She has a particular interest in the immunology of autoimmune diseases. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and did a year of postgraduate study in Cairo Egypt. She then attended Emory University School of Medicine where she also completed her internship and residency in dermatology. She is the author of the memoir, As I Live and Breathe: Notes of a Patient Doctor, published in 2002 and has been profiled or reviewed in a variety of publications ranging from The New England Journal of Medicine to Oprah Magazine.


Dr. April W. Armstrong, MD MPH

University of California Davis

April W. Armstrong MD MPH is a dermatologist with expertise in patient-oriented research, psoriasis, and technology-enabled delivery of healthcare. Dr. Armstrong obtained her M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed internal medicine internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and dermatology residency at Harvard Dermatology Residency Program. Dr. Armstrong also obtained Master of Public Health degree from Harvard School of Public Health. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and has been an associate editor for the top pharmacology textbook Principles of Pharmacology: The Pathophysiologic Basis of Drug Therapy for over 10 years.

Dr. Armstrong is Vice Chair for Clinical Research at Department of Dermatology at University of California Davis. Dr. Armstrong directs the Dermatology Clinical Research Unit and Teledermatology at UCD. She has extensive clinical trial experience, having led or collaborated on over 120 study protocols. In addition, Dr. Armstrong is also a federally funded investigator, whose research focuses on health outcomes and dermatoepidemiology, with an emphasis on psoriasis comorbidities and comparative effectiveness. Dr. Armstrong was awarded research funding from multiple federal agencies and foundations, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Dermatology Foundation, National Psoriasis Foundation, and Women's Dermatologic Society. Dr. Armstrong was selected to receive multiple career development awards from the Dermatology Foundation, NIH CTSC K12 Mentored Career Development Award, and AHRQ K08 Career Development Award.

Dr. Armstrong holds multiple leadership positions at professional societies, including serving as Vice Chair for Teledermatology SIG at the American Telemedicine Association, Medical Board Member of the National Psoriasis Foundation, Steering Committee Member for Group in Research for Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis, and Task Force Member for multiple committees at the American Academy of Dermatology. Dr. Armstrong also serves on the editorial boards of JAMA Dermatology, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Telemedicine and eHealth.