Promoting an equitable, accessible dermatologic culture.
Founded in 2011, Dermetel is a 501-c(3) nonprofit organization devoted to the promotion of dermatologic disease awareness and the institution of programs and services to alleviate dermatologic health disparities. It was founded by students, for patients worldwide.
Our products, services, creative output, and events center around promoting an equitable and just dermatology care system both domestically and globally. Between 2011 to 2018, we ran the SunSafe skin cancer awareness seminar and sunscreen distribution series on over 129 college campuses, providing free skin cancer screenings to 3,200 patients since 2013. Though this seminar has been discontinued, Dermetel has continued raising awareness about life-threatening skin cancer via the Dermetel Sunscreen Race since 2015 and helping over 9,230 underserved patients receive free teledermatology care. Dermetel has partnered with Doxy.Me to provide completely free teledermatology services to patients in Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, and Ontario; coming in February 2019, free services will also be available in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Quebec. By closing the gap between the haves and the have nots, Dermetel is on the cutting edge of progress.
As well, in 2017, Dermetel launched an innovative, entirely free summer camp called Camp Groovy for marginalized and bullied children suffering from dermatology disease. The Camp Groovy one-week program was so successful that Dermetel is now expanding operations into a full-blown, twelve-week program for children to deepen friendships with others like them. This gives these children the opportunity to have the same type of wonderful childhood as those without disease, allowing powerful bonding to occur that can be sustained summer after summer as the children complete their schooling and enter their adult lives.
As well, Dermetel is on the cutting-edge of advancing the profession and the practice of dermatology by co-developing and acquiring therapeutics as well as managing clinical trials phases I to III. Dermetel has co-developed an innovative series of gene therapy, enzyme replacement therapy, and probiotic programs, all of which are on their way to clinical trials. These therapeutics and treatments augment the practice of dermatology by giving providers treatment options that previously did not exist, and have the potential to help millions of patients around the world. An ambitious plan for creating a pipeline for future innovation is in place, as well. Dermetel is setting up the infrastructure to run clinical trials phase I to III and to then license out the treatments to larger pharmaceutical companies once in phase IV. This means that 100% of all licenses will be available to patients who need them most because the licensing partner will handle distribution and logistics, and Dermetel will focus on helping university lab-based scientists doing cutting-edge rare dermatology disease research that is not being funded by big grants or by big pharmaceutical companies. So much strong rare disease IP remains unnoticed by big companies, leading to many of the smartest professors in the world “selling out” to bigger headline diseases that bring in grant funding, such as boring, ordinary subjects in cardiology, diabetes, and obesity studies. Professors want to make a difference in the much more exciting and game-changing dermatology rare diseases—vitiligo, alopecia, solar urticaria—but they have been marginalized by the institutions around them. Dermetel aspires to grow as a nonprofit to become the bridge between the professors and the industry leaders, running efficient, cost-conscious clinical trials that get the job done and get life-saving medications on the market at the lowest possible prices to the government, insurance companies, and patients. We’re here to make a difference and we can do it better than any for-profit company ever could.
Dermetel has been fully student-run since inception; it is now bringing in four full-time professionals to manage and grow operations. All Dermetel volunteers believe that dermatology is more than its public image propagated by media outlets, that far from being just about “pimple popping,” there is a real beauty to the pharmaceutical research and public health promotion aspects of dermatology. We're substantive young people who dare to look beyond the ordinary, the everyday, and the typical, and we've been pioneering within the field since 2011.
712 H Street NE, Suite 1341 Washington, DC 20001
Camp Groovy is a free, residential summer camp for pediatric dermatology patients from ages 3 to 18. As dermatologic diseases are so visually apparent, many children with diseases ranging from alopecia to xenoderma pigmentosum are subject to bullying and ridicule in schools. We believe these children deserve a safe space to have fun and make lifelong friendships through character-building, enjoyable activities in athletics, arts, crafts, and creative writing. 127 children have benefited from this program since 2017. The new site in Mississippi is located only one hour away from Jackson, and has a small pond, air conditioned rooms, and plenty of space for indoor creative pursuits and outdoor sports. Starting in 2019, campers can choose to stay from one week to the full twelve weeks. Returning campers have the opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills as well.
SUNSAFE SKIN CANCER SEMINARS AND SCREENINGS
Dermetel's signature SunSafe skin cancer awareness seminar and skin cancer screenings were launched in Toronto in 2011 and have expanded to offerings in five countries and forty-five cities since. A combination of a prevention speech and mass sunscreen distribution and skin cancer screenings, Dermetel helps college students feel confident about rejecting the services provided by indoor tanning beds and instead opting for spray tans and sun protection to decrease their risk of developing skin cancer in the future. Though this program has been discontinued, the lasting legacy of raising the profile of sunscreen use in the college population lives on in freshman and Greek Life orientations: “it’s cool to be sun safe with sunscreen.”
Dermetel's Teledermatology Solution is a free, HIPAA-compliant, teledermatology service for patients in the states of Michigan, North Carolina, and Georgia, as well as the province of Ontario. Free 7-minute consultation services are offered by four board-certified dermatologists for patients. Over 9,000 rural and underserved patients have benefited from the program since 2017. Dermetel's founder described dermatology access inequities at her 2016 TEDx Talk, and solved the problem in 2017. As of 2018, Dermetel has partnered with Doxy.Me to offer this service to the widest number of patients possible, and to date 800 people have benefitted. Dermetel is very proud that additional dermatologists in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Quebec have agreed to see underserved patients. More dermatologists will join soon as well.
Dermetel launched its dermatology film production arm in 2015, and has produced two films to date. Operation: #BanTheTan is an animated short documentary that covers the indoor tanning bed craze, and Environmental Dermatology is an animated short documentary discussing the influence UV radiation has on dermatologic health. Both films have been shown regularly at our SunSafe seminars on college campuses worldwide since 2015 and will be distributed via Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play in early 2019. Dermetel is currently working on a feature-length documentary chronicling the journey to bring two medications to market: ideation, creation, small batch, clinical trials, manufacturing, and distribution.
DERMETEL SUNSCREEN RACE
Dermetel started organizing races in 2015, and has expanded from 5K to half-marathon and Boston qualifying marathon races in locations throughout the United States and Canada. In 2018, the races were held in Boston, Washington DC, Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver BC; in 2019, the races will be held in New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Boston and we are hoping to have more turnout to raise the profile of dermatology disease. We aim to continue fundraising via our marathons to help Dermetel take our co-developed therapeutics to FDA clinical trials and to continue to provide funding to keep decorating the amazing Camp Groovy camp site in bright yellow and orange. Dermetel is keen to go beyond simply raising awareness about dermatologic disease and focus primarily on the most impactful and life-enhancing systems and tools to foster dermatologic justice.
CLINICAL TRIALs and supplements
Dermetel is passionate about helping patients worldwide. To this end, we are determined to bring medications and supplements to market to address the disparities in care for those with rare dermatologic and dermatologic genetic diseases. By fostering an open dialogue with patients and customers, Dermetel has been able to acquire IP from a start-up and find sustainable manufacturing in Canada to help close the gap between the haves and have nots in dermatology access and care. Dermetel offers two supplements for free, and they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Enrollment for the supplement clinical trial opens in early 2019. Enrollment for the ERT surgical clinical trial opens at a date TBA.
Use the form below to contact us regarding your enquiry. Please be as detailed as possible. You may also email or call us to make an appointment. For career and volunteer opportunities, please email us your resume. We’re always looking for new and exceptional talent to lead Dermetel into uncharted areas of social impact.