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Melodi Javid Whitley

Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Department of Dermatology, DUMC 3135, Durham, NC 27710

Research Interests

Duke is a world-wide leader in solid organ transplantation and I am fortunate to be part of the team caring for these patients. After solid organ transplantation, patients receive immunosuppressive medications to protect their transplanted organ.  These medications can lead to many dermatological side effects, including increased risk of cutaneous malignancy and viral- associated diseases.  My research focuses on understanding these side effects and developing better ways to prevent and treat them.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Solid organ transplant recipients experience a 100-fold increased risk of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma compared to their immunocompetent counterparts. Importantly, these patients experience a high burden of disease with more aggressive tumors and higher morbidity and mortality. Treatment options are particularly limited for these patients. I am conducting translational studies to understand what drives cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma in this population in order to develop strategies for prevention and treatment.

HPV-Related Disease
Solid organ transplant recipients also experience a high burden of HPV-related disease including recalcitrant warts.  I am working with engineers to develop novel device/drug combinations to treat these lesions.