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Ethnic Skin & Hair

The Northwestern Medicine Center for Ethnic Skin & Hair is one of the first centers in the United States specifically dedicated to the treatment of skin, hair, and nail conditions unique to individuals of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, such as Black, Asian, East Indian, Latinx and mixed descent.

We are committed to addressing the unique needs of skin of color patients through cutting edge clinical and basic science research, exceptional and personalized clinical care, and education of our patients, community and future healthcare providers.

We provide a center where the unique attributes of skin of color and culture are appreciated and understood.”

Roopal V. Kundu, MD
Jacob R Suker, MD Professor of Medical Education
Professor, Department of Dermatology and Medical Education
Founder/Director, Center for Ethnic Skin & Hair

Roopal Kundu, MD

Center Leadership

Julia M Riley, MD

Julia M Riley, MD

Assistant Professor, Dermatology (Medical Dermatology)
Assistant Director, Center for Ethnic Skin & Hair
Faculty Profile

Oyinade M. Aderibigbe, MD

Oyinade M. Aderibigbe, MD

Assistant Professor, Dermatology (Medical Dermatology)
Site Director (Loop Office), Center for Ethnic Skin & Hair
Faculty Profile

What We Do


In 2005, the Department of Dermatology of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine created the Center for Ethnic Skin, a specialized center focused on the diagnosis and treatment of hair, skin, and nail disorders in patients of color, including those who identify as Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous and Pacific Islander, and mixed descent. In 2020, the center was renamed the Northwestern Center for Ethnic Skin and Hair (NCESH). Today we are a multidisciplinary center furthering dermatological understanding of ethnic skin, hair, and nails in the areas of patient care, research, and education.


We educate our future clinicians in the unique needs of skin of color throughout the course of their training. We have partnered with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine to offer early and ongoing exposure for medical students to the diagnosis and treatment of skin, nails, and hair in patients of color. Our post-graduate medical residents participate in a Skin of Color Curriculum, receiving lecture and clinical training from faculty who are nationally recognized as leaders in the treatment of skin of color.

 Patient Care

Our faculty have clinical expertise in a variety of hair, nail and skin of color disorders, including acne, alopecia, keloids, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, pseudofolliculitis barbae, vitiligo, melasma, and hidradenitis suppurativa. We offer counseling and treatment for these diseases and others, as well as cosmetic dermatology services.

 Clinical and Basic Science Research

The Northwestern Center for Ethnic Skin and Hair is continually endeavoring to further our understanding of dermatological disease and treatment in people of color. Since its inception in 2005, our faculty has grown by 300% and our impact has been noted locally, regionally, and nationally. Selected publications from our faculty members are listed below.

We aim to ensure that patient demographics for clinical trials and projects in dermatology are reflective of our greater population. We encourage clinical trial participation for patients of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. See a list of our current clinical trials.

 Research Publications

  • Scott K, Poondru S, Jackson KL, Kundu RV.
    The need for greater skin of color training: perspectives from communities of color.
    Arch Dermatol Res. 2023 Oct; 315(8): 2441-2444.
    PMID: 37166525
  • Touni AA, Shivde RS, Echuri H, Abdel-Aziz RTA, Abdel-Wahab H, Kundu RV, Le Poole IC
    Melanocyte-keratinocyte cross-talk in vitiligo.
    Front Med (Lausanne). 2023; 10: 1176781-.
    PMID: 37275386 ISSN: 2296-858X
  • Zhu YO, MacDonnell S, Kaplan T, Liu C, Ali Y, Rangel SM, Wipperman MF, Belback M, Sun DS, Ren Z, Zhou XA, Halasz G, Morton L, Kundu RV
    Defining a Unique Gene Expression Profile in Mature and Developing Keloids.
    JID Innov. 2023 Sep; 3(5): 100211-.
    PMID: 37564104
  • Kundu RV, Aderibigbe O, Riley JM. Managing Facial Hyperpigmentation. JAMA Dermatol. 2023 Jul; 159(7): 778-779.
    PMID: 37285123
  • Hooper MJ, Veon FL, Enriquez GL, Nguyen M, Grimes CB, LeWitt TM, Pang Y, Case S, Choi J, Guitart J, Burns MB, Zhou XA
    Retrospective analysis of sepsis in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma reveals significantly greater risk in Black patients.
    J Am Acad Dermatol. 2023 Feb; 88(2): 329-337.
    PMID: 36265823
  • Jamerson TA, Li Q, Sreeskandarajan S, Budunova IV, He Z, Kang J, Gudjonsson JE, Patrick MT, Tsoi LC
    Roles Played by Stress-Induced Pathways in Driving Ethnic Heterogeneity for Inflammatory Skin Diseases.
    Front Immunol. 2022; 13: 845655-.
    PMID: 35572606
  • Silverberg NB, Jacob S, Heath C, Gonzalez M, Yu J, Luu M, Benjamin L, Kenner-Bell B, Oboite M, Castelo-Soccio L, Stein SL. Training in pediatric skin of color: Suggested curricular guidelines of the pediatric dermatology research alliance special interest group in pediatric skin of color.
    Pediatr Dermatol. 2021 Nov; 38 Suppl 2: 90-95.
    PMID: 34418155
  • Mhlaba JM, Pontes DS, Patterson SS, Kundu RV
    Evaluation of a Skin of Color Curriculum for Dermatology Residents.
    J Drugs Dermatol. 2021 Jul; 20(7): 786-789.
    PMID: 34232004 ISSN: 1545-9616

 Faculty Members

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