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. 

Yuhree-Kim width=Yuhree Kim
Postdoctoral Research Fellow



Yuhree Kim joined the PORES Unit in 2017 as a postdoctoral research fellow. She received her Master's degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and her medical degree from Seoul National University in South Korea. Her research interests include clinical and epidemiologic research concerning patient-centered comprehensive care and preventive medicine for skin cancer. Her current research is focused on the epidemiology of skin cancer, with ongoing projects related to Vitamin D and skin health, and interactions of immunity and skin cancer.

Michelle Roberts
Post-doctoral Research Fellow

Michelle Roberts joined the PORES Unit in 2018 as a post-doctoral research fellow. She received her PhD in Epidemiology from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and also holds a master’s degree in biological anthropology from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Her research interests include predictors of prognosis, mechanisms of metastasis, and response to treatment. She has previously been involved in projects investigating the genetic and molecular epidemiology of breast cancer prognosis. Her current research focuses on the genetic epidemiology of cutaneous carcinomas.

Active Projects

Ongoing Research Support

Patient oriented research and mentoring program in dermatologic diseases
The main goal will result in advances in the management of patients with skin diseases, especially those at high risk for skin cancer, through high quality patient-oriented research performed by well-trained clinical investigators.
Role:  Asgari, Principal Investigator:  K24AR069760 NIH/NIAMS: 03/17/17-02/28/22

Patient-oriented research in the epidemiology of skin diseases (PORES) post-doctoral fellowship program
Independent Grants for Learning and Change (IGLC)Pfizer Inc.  01/01/18-12/31/19

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

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 Publications

Please view Dr. Asgari's publications at Pub Med


Wang W, Ollila HM, Whittemore AS, Demehri S, Ioannidis NM, Jorgenson E, Mignot E, Asgari MM. Genetic variants in the HLA class II region associated with risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018 May 12. doi: 10.1007/s00262-018-2168-2. [Epub ahead of print]

Jorgenson E, Choquet H, Yin J, Asgari MM. Common Mitochondrial Haplogroups and Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Risk.  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers  Prev. 2018 Jul;27(7):838-841. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-18-0236. Epub 2018 Apr 25.

Abuabara K, Asgari MM, Chen SC, Dellavalle RP, Kalia S, Secrest AM, Silverberg JI, Solomon JA, Weinstock MA, Wu JJ, Chren MM; Epidemiology Expert Research Group.How data can deliver for dermatology. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Mar 21. pii: S0190-9622(18)30470-5. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2018.03.020. [Epub ahead of print] No abstract available.
Sordillo JE, Kraft P, Wu AC, Asgari MM. Quantifying the Polygenic Contribution to Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Risk.  J Invest Dermatol. 2018 Jul;138(7):1507-1510. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2018.01.031. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

Tang H, Fu S, Zhai S, Song Y, Asgari MM, Han J.Use of antihypertensive drugs and risk of keratinocyte carcinoma: A meta-analysis of observational studies. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2018 Mar;27(3):279-288. doi: 10.1002/pds.4384. Epub 2018 Jan 10.

Neugebauer R, Levandoski KA, Zhu Z, Sokil M, Chren MM, Friedman GD, Asgari MM.A real-world, community-based cohort study comparing the effectiveness of topical fluoruracil versus topical imiquimod for the treatment of actinic keratosis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 Apr;78(4):710-716. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2017.12.042. Epub 2017 Dec 24.

Levandoski KA, Quesenberry CP, Tsai AL, Asgari MM. Herpes Zoster Rates in a Large Cohort of Patients With Systemically Treated Psoriasis. JAMA Dermatol. 2018 Feb 1;154(2):218-219. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.4840. No abstract available.

Dobry AS, Quesenberry CP, Asgari MM. Reply to: Comment on "Serious infections among a large cohort of subjects with systemically treated psoriasis". J Am Acad Dermatol. 2018 May;78(5):e115. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.12.017. Epub 2017 Dec 14. No abstract available.

Wang W, Jorgenson E, Whittemore AS, Asgari MM. Susceptibility Loci-Associated Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma Invasiveness.  J Invest Dermatol. 2018 Mar;138(3):557-561. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.09.034. Epub 2017 Oct 17.

Secrest AM, Asgari MM, Kourosh AS, Barbieri JS, Albrecht J; American Academy of Dermatology Drug Pricing and Transparency Task Force.Prior authorizations for dermatologic medications: An American Academy of Dermatology survey of US dermatology providers and staff. J Am AcadDermatol. 2017 Oct;77(4):784-786. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.05.008. No abstract available.

Dobry AS, Quesenberry CP, Ray GT, Geier JL, Asgari MM. Serious infections among a large cohort of subjects with systemically treated psoriasis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Nov;77(5):838-844. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2017.07.047. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Wehner MR, Levandoski KA, Kulldorff M, Asgari MM. Research Techniques Made Simple: An Introduction to Use and Analysis of Big Data in Dermatology. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Aug;137(8):e153-e158. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.04.019. Review.

Asgari MM, Ray GT, Quesenberry CP Jr, Katz KA, Silverberg MJ. Association of Multiple Primary Skin Cancers With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, CD4 Count, and Viral Load.  JAMA Dermatol. 2017 Sep 1;153(9):892-896. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1716.

Asgari MM, Chien AJ, Tsai AL, Fireman B, Quesenberry CP Jr.Association between Lithium Use and Melanoma Risk and Mortality: A Population-Based Study. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Oct;137(10):2087-2091. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.06.002. Epub 2017 Jun 17.

Gilkey MB, Mays D, Asgari MM, Kornides ML, McRee AL. Parental Support for Age-based Indoor Tanning Restrictions. Am J Prev Med. 2017 May 8. pii: S0749-3797(17)30201-5. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2017.03.011. [Epub ahead of print]PMID:28522236

Storer M, Zhu Z, Sokil M, Ford M, Neugebauer R, Asgari MM.  Community-Based Practice Variations in Topical Treatment of Actinic Keratoses. JAMA Dermatol. 2017 May 1;153(5):468-470. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2016.6251. No abstract available.PMID: 28384712

Yesantharao P, Wang W, Ioannidis NM, Demehri S, Whittemore AS, Asgari MM. Cutaneous squamous cell cancer (cSCC) risk and the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system. Hum Immunol. 2017 Apr;78(4):327-335. doi: 10.1016/j.humimm.2017.02.002. Epub 2017 Feb 7. Review. PMID: 28185865

Asgari MM, Ray GT, Geier JL, Quesenberry CP. Malignancy rates in a large cohort of patients with systemically treated psoriasis in a managed care population. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Apr;76(4):632-638. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.10.006. Epub 2017 Feb 3.PMID: 28162854

Asgari MM, Ray GT, Geier JL, Quesenberry CP. Malignancy rates in a large cohort of patients with systemically treated psoriasis in a managed care population. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017 Apr;76(4):632-638. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2016.10.006. Epub 2017 Feb 3.PMID: 28162854

Moshiri AS, Doumani R, Yelistratova L, Blom A, Lachance K, Shinohara MM, Delaney M, Chang O, McArdle S, Thomas H, Asgari MM, Huang ML, Schwartz SM, Nghiem P.Polyomavirus-Negative Merkel Cell Carcinoma: A More Aggressive Subtype Based on Analysis of 282 Cases Using Multimodal Tumor Virus Detection. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Apr;137(4):819-827. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.10.028. Epub 2016 Nov 1.

Levandoski KA, Nazarian RM, Asgari MM. Hypertrophic lichen planus mimicking squamous cell carcinoma: The importance of clinicopathologic correlation. JAAD Case Rep. 2017 Mar 21;3(2):151-154. doi: 10.1016/j.jdcr.2017.01.020. eCollection 2017 Mar. No abstract available

Asgari MM, Toland AE, Arron ST. IRF4 Polymorphism Is Associated with Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Organ Transplant Recipients: A Pigment-Independent Phenomenon. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Jan;137(1):251-253. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2016.07.038. Epub 2016 Aug 24. No abstract available. PMID: 27566401



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. 

 2/23/2018: Why Some Are Still Skeptical Of Tanning Bed Risks

 HealthDay: Dermatologist, Maryam Asgari, MD discuss the importance of knowing the dangers of
 tanning at a young age and how avoiding tanning beds can help reduce the risk of developing
 skin cancers and early aging.

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


Mailing Address:

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




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