Elise Arline Olsen
Professor of Dermatology



Dr. Olsen is Director and Founder of the Duke Dermatopharmacology Study Center. This clinical trials unit, started in 1983 by Dr. Olsen, has been involved in over 160 clinical studies for dermatological indications. The studies have included Phase 1-IV, pharmaceutical, FDA, and FTC sponsored, and investigator initiated research protocols for multiple considtions or treatments of dermatology.  

Dr. Olsen's specific areas of expertise include hair disorders and cutaneous lymphoma.  She remains committed to helping dermatologists and other physicians/providers diagnosis and treat patients with all types of hair loss or hair overgrowth. She is Director and Founder of the Duke Hair Disorders Diagnosis and Treatment Center and sees patients with hair loss/overgrowth in consultation with referring doctors.  She also participates in two telemedicine programs that Duke sponsors in offering consultations on hair loss (Grand Rounds and Summus). She is particularly interested in patients with difficult to treat alopecia areata or scarring hair loss and hair loss in children that may be genetic in origin. She serves as the Primary Investigator for two multicenter clinical trials on hair loss in African American women and frontal fibrosing alopecia and for a 10+ member task force developing standardized methodology for the assessment of all types of hair loss, an initiative that will help to facilitate new FDA approved treatments for hair loss.

Dr. Olsen also has a long standing interest in cutaneous lymphoma and is Director and Founder of the Duke Cutaneous Lymphoma Research and Treatment Center.   She accepts referrals from dermatologists, oncologists and radiation oncologists for all types of cutaneous T and B cell lymphomas.  She confirms all diagnoses with Duke pathologists who have expertise in cutaneous lymphoma and coordinates all potential NCCN recommended treatments for cutaneous lymphoma that are offered at Duke including topical and systemic immunomodulators and chemotherapy, phototherapy, photopheresis, and radiation including total skin electron beam radiation.  She is Founder of the United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium that has recently begun a nationwide registry on all types of cutaneous lymphoma and serves as Registry Chairman for the Society.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Contact Information

  • 3346 Hospital South, Durham, NC 27710
  • Duke Box 3294, Durham, NC 27710

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