Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology
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Welcome to CEBD

We conduct independent research into the treatment and prevention of skin disease that is of direct relevance to patients, clinicians and NHS managers.

The Centre has an international reputation for skin research and evidence based practice. We produce around 25 peer-reviewed publications per year and are one of the highest income generators for non-commercial dermatology research in the world.

Doctor with child patient

Research priorities

Most of our research focuses on atopic eczema because the disease is so common, its prevalence is rising, it causes a lot of suffering, and we understand little about its causes, treatment and prevention.

Our other diseases of interest include non-melanoma skin cancer, vitiligo, acne, cellulitis, and rare skin disorders.  The three main areas of our activities are systematic reviews, clinical trials and dissemination & implementation.

Our Research Strategy 

The research strategy of CEBD is very simple 'To do really good research'. We aim to do this by:

  • Collaborating with the best people who bring different skills and perspectives, wherever they are.
  • Getting the right staff structures in place to support development and conduct of research.
  • Maintaining focus on being world leaders in just a few research areas (disease topics include eczema, vitiligo and non-melanoma skin cancer; methods include systematic reviews, clinical trials and outcome measures).
  • Engaging with the community who use research to develop new ideas and to measure the impact of our research.
  • Taking advantage of the funding landscape: being in the right place with the right preliminary data at the right time.
  • Ensuring that research findings are disseminated credibly and accurately to funders, health care professionals and the wider community.
  • Conducting research that really matters to people - research that you would be proud of telling a member of the public about.

What are we doing about treatment and prevention of skin disease?

Through systematic reviews we strive to summarise what is known about treatments and the prevention of skin disease through the Cochrane Skin Group, identifying major gaps  and then address research needs by running randomised controlled trials through the UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network.

Our findings are then disseminated by a variety of means, including publications in peer reviewed journals, to the public and patients via patient support groups and the media.  (See full list of current projects listed by diseases.)

The Centre also runs training events for people with an interest in evidence-based dermatology, and hosts PhD students and Academic Clinical Fellows. (Find out more about our Courses & Meetings.)




We publish all resources that contribute to patient care in a freely accessible format. Access our resources and tools for clinicians, researchers, patients and carers.


Publications in leading peer-reviewed journals

Our research findings have been published by peer-leading journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the British Journal of Dermatology. See our publications.


Major grant awards

The majority of our research is funded through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) or medical charities. We are currently in receipt of several large NIHR awards for multi-centre randomised controlled clinical trials. See our current projects.


Impact on patient care

Through our research we have also been able to influence patient care in various ways including setting priorities for future research and informing guideline and clinical care pathways. (Read more about our impact on patient care.)


Networks and Collaborations

Cochrane Skin Group

The Cochrane Skin Group is a network of people from all over the world committed to producing and updating systematic reviews of trials relating to skin conditions. Its editorial base is located at the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology where its output regularly informs other strands of work such as the need for new trials and the best design of new trials. The scope of the Skin Group is wide, and includes any skin problem that leads an individual to seek help from a health care provider. The Group also considers evidence about skin treatments that are sold over-the-counter or are widely available. 


Harmonizing Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME)

The Harmonizing Outcome Measures for Eczema (HOME) initiative was founded in 2008 by Hywel Williams (UK) and Jochen Schmitt (Germany) in response to the use of multiple unvalidated outcome measures in eczema trials. HOME aims to agree a set of core outcome measures for atopic eczema which should be included in ALL clinical trials and clinical record-keeping to allow comparison of data across multiple trials.


UK DCTN - UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network 

The UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (UKDCTN) is a dermatology clinical trials network open to anyone with an interest in applied dermatological research. The Network was developed in 2002 by Professor Hywel Williams and a group of academic and clinical colleagues in response to the growing need for high quality evidence to inform dermatology clinical practice. The UK DCTN has now developed into a collaborative, national network of dermatologists, nurses, health service researchers and patient representatives. 


IFDCTN - International Federation of Dermatology Clinical Trials Network

Professor Hywel Williams is chair of the International Federation of Dermatology Clinical Trials Network (IFDCTN), which aims to bring together colleagues from around the globe, to work together on independent clinical trials for skin disease and improve the quality and reporting of clinical research at an international level.


The Cochrane Skin Group - Core Outcome Set Initiative (CSG-COUSIN)

The Cochrane Skin Group - Core Outcome Set Initiative (CSG-COUSIN)  is a multiprofessional international working group within the Cochrane Skin Group. CSG-COUSIN was initiated by Prof Jochen Schmitt and Prof Hywel C. Williams and is co-ordinated by the Center for Evidence-Based Healthcare, University of Dresden, Germany. The mission of CSG Cousin is "to develop and implement core outcome sets in dermatology in order to improve and standardise outcome measurement in clinical trials and to make trial evidence more useful." 




Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham
King's Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 823 1048