Professor Dedee Frances Murrell

My Expertise

Dermatology; epidermolysis bullosa (cotton wool babies); other blistering diseases eg pemphigus; skin cancer.

Fields of Research (FoR)

Dermatology, Epidemiology, Genetics

SEO tags


MA (Cantab), BMBCh (Oxon), FAAD (USA), MD (UNSW), FACD

Broad Research Areas

  • Dermatology
  • Genetics - Genome Analysis
  • Clinical Research
  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology

Specific Research Keywords

  • Acne
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Psoriasis
  • Blistering Disorders
  • Skin Cancer

Statement of Research Interests:

Clinical dermatology Research • quality of life studies in blistering diseases; epidemiology of Epidermolysis bullosa and autoimmune blistering diseases...view more

MA (Cantab), BMBCh (Oxon), FAAD (USA), MD (UNSW), FACD

Broad Research Areas

  • Dermatology
  • Genetics - Genome Analysis
  • Clinical Research
  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology

Specific Research Keywords

  • Acne
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa
  • Psoriasis
  • Blistering Disorders
  • Skin Cancer

Statement of Research Interests:

Clinical dermatology Research • quality of life studies in blistering diseases; epidemiology of Epidermolysis bullosa and autoimmune blistering diseases in Australia;  Basic/Translational research: genotype-phenotype correlations in epidermolysis bullosa • gene and cell therapy for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa • autoantigen mapping in pemphigus and pemphigoid  • squamous cell carcinoma and angiogenesis factors  Dermatopharmacology Research • photodynamic therapy for non-melanoma skin cancer • trials of new therapies for psoriasis • evidence based therapies and measurement tools for blistering diseases ;  Supervision of ILP students since the program started - the first student, John Frew, won the prize for the best project at the Annual Symposium at St George Hospital in 2007 (Development of a quality of life scale, the QOLEB, for EB); Yong Kho won the same prize in 2008 (Establishment of the Australasian EB Registry); Deshan Sebaratnam, Shien-Ning Chee and Anna Hanna worked on the development and validation of a novel outcome measure for quality of life in Autoimmune blistering diseases; Clement Loh (honours student 2012) received a Dean's list award for research on development and validation of the EBDASI for scoring EB; many ILP students have had high distinctions and oral and poster presentations at local, national and some at International conferences, and published papers in the top dermatology journals, including JAAD, JAMA Dermatology and British Journal of Dermatology

Statement of Teaching Interests:

As Director of Dermatology at the St George Hospital, she set up a new course at the St George Campus for 4th years and at UNSW, with her colleague Prof Anderson, for 5th years. The courses consisted of interactive lectures and clinics. In the revised course, dermatology is now arranged as an elective subject and she takes local and overseas elective students interested in dermatology for 1-2 months of intensive clinics and teaching. There is a regular seminar with visiting speakers for all dermatology staff at St George Hospital on Wednesdays.

She has established special programmes for GP education in dermatology in her clinics and publishes monthly cases in "Australian Doctor". Dermatology participation at Medicine Grand Rounds is an important aspect of dermatology teaching to the medical trainees, including interactive consultations presented, annual lectures, and lectures to individual departments, including emergency, surgery, rheumatology, paediatrics and genetics.

Dermatology registrars: establishment of teaching clinics at St George Hospital and regular lecture programme; monthly meeting presentations and annual meeting cases in Sydney; Specialist multidisciplinary EB Clinic at Sydney Children's Hospital; provision of cases for FACD clinical examinations. Mentor for dermatology registrars on electives in Australia.

Dermatology Fellows: Supervision and teaching of several Australian clinical research fellows at St George Hospital who have entered/completed dermatology training. There have been three board-certified American dermatology fellows. Each year we have a pre- and post-dermatology fellow doing research.

Visiting dermatologists: Arranged invited lectures by overseas professors to St George Hospital and other local institutions (Skin and Cancer Foundation; Concord Hospital) have included Dr Bruce Thiers (Editor of JAAD), Prof Joseph Jorizzo (Board of Directors, AAD), Prof Wilma Bergfeld (former President, AAD), Cleveland Clinic, USA; Prof Jim Krueger, Rockefeller Univ, NY; Dr Joseph Pace, Malta; Dr Marcia Ramos e Silva, Brasil; Prof Sara Brenner, Israel; Dr Evangeline Handog, Univ of Santo Tomas, Philippines; Prof James McMillan, Univ of Sapporo, Japan; Prof Johann Bauer, Paracelsus Univ, Salzburg; Dr Tariq Khan, Great Ormond St Hospital, London; Prof Antonella Tosti, Univ of Bologna, Italy; Prof Martin Black, St Thomas' Hospital, London; Dr Anne Kobza Black, St Thomas' Hospital, London; Prof Eli Sprecher, Sourasky Univ, Tel Aviv.

Elective students from overseas and Australia spend several weeks in the department. Teaching covers all aspects of dermatology. Prof Murrell gives many invited lectures each year locally, interstate and overseas. She has run two hour focus sessions at the American Academy of Dermatology (the largest dermatology conference in the world) annually for 9 years and served on the faculty of the AAD's Gross & Microscopic Symposium (400 presentations over 2 days) for 5 years; presentations at the last three ILDS World Congresses of Dermatology (Paris, Buenos Aires, Seoul).

Convenor of several conferences/workshops in Sydney and overseas, including Congress President for the Australasian Society of Dermatology Research conference in Sydney 2012

Society Memberships & Professional Activities:

  • American Academy of Dermatology (Full Fellow)
  • American Board of Dermatology (Diplomate)
  • American Dermatologic Association (International Honorary Fellow)2008
  • Society for Investigative Dermatology (USA)- Patron Member
  • International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation - Member, Medical Advisory Board, from foundation
  • Australasian Soc For Dermatological Research (since foundation)
  • International Society of Dermatology- Executive Vice President (2011-13), Maria Duran Committee (Chair, 2009-11; Vice Chair 2008-2009)
  • Society for Pediatric Dermatology
  • Women's Dermatologic Society (Board member 2011-15)
  • Philippine Dermatologic Society (International Honorary Member)
  • British Association of Dermatologists
  • Royal Society of Medicine
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology - Editorial Board
  • DEBRA (Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association)Australia
  • International Pemphigus Foundation (Medical Advisory Board)
  • AAD Task Force on Skin Cancer (2004-7)
  • MIMS, Medical Observer- Dermatology Expert (2003-)
  • Specialist Registration as Dermatologist: USA, UK & Australia
  • Australasian College of Dermatologists CME Programme
  • European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Fellow; Intl Advisory Cttee
  • European Society for Dermatological Research - Patron Member
  • Australasian Society for Dermatopathology - Member
  • St George Hospital Medical Association (Secretary/Treasurer 1997-2007)
  • Am Acad Derm- International Affairs Committee
  • Am Acad Derm - Volunteers & Education Abroad Committee
  • Am Acad Derm- World Congress Task Force

Funding Sources:

Research Grants:

  • Howard Hughes Postdoctoral Research Grant (1993-6)
  • National Institutes of Health Physician-Scientist Award (1994-9)
  • NIH Fellowship Award (1991-2)
  • DEBRA- various ongoing grants for EB research
  • NRISS - 2008-9
  • Clinical Trials as Principal Investigator: Novartis, Roche, Galderma, Fujisawa, Schering-Plough, Photocure, Biotech Aust.
  • Women's Dermatology Society Career Development Award

Students/Fellows research funding:

  • Scholarships from UNSW
  • AUSAID scholarship
  • Scholarships funded by DEBRA
  • Women's Dermatology Grants
  • Aust Coll Derm Research Grants

Other Postgraduate Research:

  • Supervision of Masters of Public Health research project -Sydney Univ; post-doctoral research fellow in field of Epidermolysis Bullosa;
  • MSc -Genotype Phenotype Correlation in EB Simplex
  • PhD Students - Gene Transfer Studies in Dystrophic EB, genotype phenotype studies in EB, cell therapy for dystrophic EB
  • Dermatopharmacology Fellowship program.

My Research Supervision

Supervision keywords

Areas of supervision

ILP and Honours students in dermatology.

My main focus is on clinical outcome measures. 

Students doing ILPs with me have developed and validated new instruments to measure improvements to new therapies being tested for bullous pemphigoid, pemphigus and epidermolysis bullosa. 

They have also completed important epidemiological studies in these rare diseases which has led to guideline changes in diagnosis and management. 

Currently supervising

ILP and honours students with my fellows who act as cosupervisors. My students also get to attend dermatology clinics and teaching programmes. 

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