Clinical research is an exciting and integral part of the drug development process.  NW Dermatology Institute conducts research for a wide range of medical conditions and offers patients opportunities to participate in research and clinical trials. The clinical trials we participate in are FDA supervised investigational medical studies.  Our purpose is to assist with the approval of new, and hopefully better, treatment options for patients affected with dermatologic conditions. Our primary investigators, Nisha Desai, MD and Janet L. Roberts, MD specialize in hair disorders and have been actively involved in research throughout their careers.

Many of the clinical trials we have participated in address hair loss and related conditions such as male pattern hair loss, female pattern hair loss, alopecia areata and frontal fibrosing alopecia.  However, we have conducted numerous trials involving other dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, acne, actinic keratoses and cosmetic treatments such as dermal fillers, neurotoxins for facial lines and treatment for eyelash loss.

Our STI nurse practitioner, Sheryl Horwitz, NP has participated as a sub investigator in over 80 clinical trials.  Sheryl’s specific area of interest includes the diagnosis and treatment of genital herpes.  Clinical trials have afforded many of her patients the option to participate in cutting edge research in this therapeutic area.

NW Dermatology Institute has been highly successful in conducting clinical research and has assisted with many medications as they go through the process of early clinical trials to eventually gain FDA approval.  The advancement of new medications is rewarding, as patients are able to be treated with medications that simply were not available in the past. For example, medications for the treatment of chronic plaque psoriasis have been remarkable over the past 10 years.  The clinical trials we participated in a decade ago now afford patients to live a comfortable and nearly psoriasis-free life.

Male pattern hair loss treatments have evolved as well.  While only topical medications were available up until 1998, the introduction of once daily oral medication changed the options for patients.  NW Dermatology Institute was fortunate to be selected as one of the sites involved in the pivotal clinical trials in this area.

We are excited for the new research NW Dermatology Institute is conducting for alopecia areata.  It has been a long time coming, and we believe that technology has finally caught up to the point that effective treatments are on the horizon.


About Participation

New medications, tests and procedures are all due to research that has shown them to be effective, or in some cases not effective.  Patients who agree to participate in clinical research are valued for their contribution and willingness to participate. Our dedicated research coordinators ensure patient’s safety by adhering to all regulatory requirements.

All of our patients are provided with detailed information prior to consent and are given the choice whether or not to participate.  We recognize the participation in a clinical trial does not meet the need of all patients and we will always provide equal and quality care regardless of the decision to participate.  Of course, a patient may withdraw from a study at any time and we understand and respect the right to do so.

For the most up-to-date information about upcoming clinical trials or for any other questions regarding our research department, please contact our Research Coordinator, Joana Fragata Andreae by phone at 503.223.1933 ext 105 or by e-mail at