Dr. Olsen is director of the Duke Dermatopharmacology Study Center. This clinical trials unit, started in 1983 by Dr. Olsen, has been involved in over 110 clinical studies for dermatological indications. The studies have included both studies with pharmaceutical company support as well as those that have been initiated and carried out by Dr. Olsen with her private clinic patients serving as the study participants. The main foci of Dr. Olsen's work, and she has been Principal Investigator in 109 of these studies, have been hair disorders and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Those studies involving alopecia have mainly focused on androgenetic alopecia, in both men and women, and alopecia areata. The cutaneous T-cell lymphoma work has involved multiple study centers in a cooperative effort and have included both oncological treatment trials as well as efforts to establish a database. Dr. Olsen serves as a frequent consultant to pharmaceutical companies in areas of hair research and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
The Dermatopharmacology Study Center (DSC) staff is well versed in the recruitment of subjects and in the carrying out of various clinical trials. The DSC also includes a Clinical Trials Assistant who is experienced in IRB, FDA and pharmaceutical company interactions and study documentation. Other areas of dermatology, other than hair disorders and CTCL that the DSC has been involved in, include psoriasis, photoaging, atopic dermatitis, acne, fungal infections, and condyloma. In addition, Dr. Olsen has designed, carried out, and prepared for FDA submission, studies involving the Trade Commission and has carried out an FDA-initiated study of topical steroids.