Patient Oriented Research in the Epidemiology of Skin Diseases (PORES)

Our unit conducts clinical and epidemiologic research related to skin diseases including research on the causes, prevention, evaluation, and management of interventions for skin diseases in human populations.




Pores logo

Welcome to the website for the laboratory of Dr. Maryam Asgari at the Department of Dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Department of Health Population at (DPM) Harvard Medical School.  Our unit conducts clinical and epidemiologic research related to skin diseases including research on the causes, prevention, evaluation, and management of and interventions for skin diseases in human populations.  The range of projects in our laboratory vary from pharmacoepidemiology and skin cancer risk; interactions of immunity and skin cancer; vitamin D and skin health; adverse outcomes among moderate-to-severe psoriasis patients; and patient-centered outcomes including patient satisfaction in skin cancer treatment.

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Our Team

Meet Our Team

 M. AsgariMaryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator
Associate Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School


Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH is a board-certified dermatologist, epidemiologist, and Mohs micrographic surgeon who specializes in the care of patients with skin cancer. She has published more than 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals, has had leadership roles in several professional associations including the American Academy of Dermatology, and has delivered more than 100 academic presentations.  She is also the Director of the High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Denise SimonDenise Simon, MPH
Project Manager



Denise Simon joined the unit in 2016 as a Project Manager. She earned her bachelor's in Health Science at Boston University and Master's in Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at the BU School of Public Health.

katherine-levandoski width=Katherine Levandoski
Research Assistant



Katherine Levandoski is a research assistant. She received her bachelor's degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University. She is a medical student at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She is pursuing a year of research with the PORES Unit prior to completing her final year of medical school. Her current research is focused on the epidemiology of skin cancer, with ongoing projects related to pharmacoepidemiology and skin cancer risk and the establishment of an institutional skin cancer registry.



Active Projects

Ongoing Research Support

An Observational Study Comparing Topical 5-FU vs. Imiquimod for Prevention Keratinocyte Carcinomas
The major goal is to examine the effectiveness of the two most widely used topical field-treatments for treatment of actinic keratoses, 5-fluorouracil and imiquimod, in preventing non-melanoma skin cancer and subsequent actinic keratoses.
Role: Asgari, Principal Investigator: R03AR064014: 01/01/13-04/30/16

Genome-wide association study of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma
This study seeks to conduct a genome-wide association study of 6,179 participants within the Research Program in Genes and Environmental Health (RPGEH) cohort members diagnosed with a cutaneous SCC and 101,348 controls to search for new sequence variants that confer risk of cutaneous SCC.
Role: Asgari, Principal Investigator; R01CA166672:01/01/13 - 06/30/17

Administrative Supplement to Research
The major goal of this supplemental funding was to examine the impact of sex/gender differences in human health by extending that analysis to examine the role of mitochondrial genetic variation and its effect on the risk of SCC in men and women.
Role:  Asgari, Principal Investigator: 10/1/15 - 10/01/16

The Incidence of Safety Events in the Real World Population of Patients with Moderate to Severe Psoriasis
The main goal is to gather epidemiologic data related to safety events in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis.
Role: Asgari, Principal Investigator: Pfizer Inc.: 01/01/13-06/30/16

Using Genomic Technologies to Comprehensively Characterize Acral Melanomas
This study seeks to comprehensively characterize the genomics of acral melanomas in to help identify new points of therapeutic intervention.
Role:  Asgari, Principal Investigator: Melanoma Research Alliance: Team Science Award: 11/15/13-06/30/15 
An Observational Study Comparing Topical 5-FU vs. Imiquimod for Prevention Keratinocyte Carcinomas
Cohort Study to Assess the Risk of Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer in Adult Patients with Atopic Dermatitis Exposed to Topical Calcineurin Inhibitors
Role: Asgari,  Principal Investigator: Valeant Pharmaceuticals:08/1/14-07/31/18     

Recent Publication

Please view Dr. Asgari's publications at Pub Med


Mansh M, Binstock M, Williams K, Hafeez F, Kim J, Glidden D, Boettger R, Hays S, Kukreja J, Golden J, Asgari MM, Chin-Hong P, Singer JP, Arron ST. Voriconazole Exposure and Risk of Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Aspergillus Colonization, Invasive Aspergillosis and Death in Lung Transplant Recipients. Am J  Transplant. 2016 Jan; 16(1):262-70.

Asgari MM, Moffet HH, Ray GT, Quesenberry CP. Trends in Basal Cell Carcinoma Incidence and Identification of High-Risk Subgroups, 1998-2012. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Sep 1; 151(9):976-81.

Moore MM, Geller AC, Warton EM, Schwalbe J, Asgari MM. Multiple primary melanomas among 16,570 patients with melanoma diagnosed at Kaiser Permanente Northern California, 1996 to 2011. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Oct; 73(4):630-6.

Asgari MM, Arron ST, Warton EM, Quesenberry CP, Weisshaar D. Sirolimus use and risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in solid organ transplant recipients (SOTRs). J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015 Sep; 73(3):444-50.

Davis RL, Gallagher MA, Asgari MM, Eide MJ, Margolis DJ, Macy E, Burmester JK, Selvam N, Boscarino JA, Cromwell LF, Feigelson HS, Kuntz JL, Pawloski PA, Penfold RB, Raebel MA, Sridhar G, Wu A, La Grenade LA, Pacanowski MA, Pinheiro SP. Identification of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis in electronic health record databases. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2015 Jul; 24(7):684-92.

Asgari MM, Warton EM, Whittemore AS. Family history of skin cancer is associated with increased risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Dermatol Surg. 2015 Apr; 41(4):481-6.

Hoffmann TJ, Sakoda LC, Shen L, Jorgenson E, Habel LA, Liu J, Kvale MN, Asgari MM, Banda Y, Corley D, Kushi LH, Quesenberry CP, Schaefer C, Van Den Eeden SK, Risch N, Witte JS. Imputation of the Rare HOXB13 G84E Mutation and Cancer Risk in a Large Population-Based Cohort. PLoS Genet. 2015 Jan; 11 1):e100493.

Huynh JC, Asgari MM, Moore MM. Sebotropic eruption associated with use of oral kava kava supplement. Clin Exp Dermatol. 2014 Oct; 39(7):816-8.


Author Interview: Trends in Basal Cell Carcinoma Incidence in High-Risk Patients (JAMA Dermatology) (04:03) Listen under author interviews, Maryam M. Asgari, MD, scroll down to her interview dated September 1, 2015.


8/31/15 What to Watch for After Skin Cancer

Wall Street Journal: Maryam Asgari, MD, MGH dermatologist, and director of the High Risk Skin Cancer Clinic, comments on study results and the importance of skin cancer screenings.


The Patient-Oriented Research in the Epidemiology of Skin diseases (PORES) unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School has an immediate opening for a postdoctoral candidate to study the genomics of non-melanoma skin cancer. Applicants must have an M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree and optimally will have experience with epidemiologic and statistical data analysis. Strong quantitative skills and practical experience working with large-scale datasets and applying epidemiologic tools are a plus. Experience in systems biology, systems genetics and genomics research is essential. Interested candidates who have previous experience in statistics, bioinformatics, epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, and genomics of complex human diseases (required for this position) should send their cover-letter, CV and the names of 3 references to  The research will be done under the mentorship of faculty member Maryam Asgari, MD MPH.
Starting date:  July 1, 2017 (can be earlier, depending on candidate and circumstances)

Duration: The post-doctoral fellow will be funded for up to three years.
Post-doctoral fellow must be a US Citizen or green-card holder. MGH/HMS is a committed Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.  Minorities, women, handicapped and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Also, please apply online at , job listing # 3032295.

Contact Page

Patient Oriented Research in the Epidemiology of Skin Diseases (PORES)

Maryam M. Asgari, MD, MPH
Principal Investigator

Phone:  617-867-4593

Email:            Kelsey_Hogan@harvard.pilgrim. org    

Mailing Address:

Harvard Medical School Department of Population Medicine
401 Park Drive, Suite 401
Boston, MA 02215




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