Chren Research Group

As a dermatologist and health services investigator, I aim to use my research to improve the understanding of and care of dermatologic diseases. My vision for my research group is that through our research and mentoring, we will contribute to having Vanderbilt Dermatology be the best place in the world for dermatology faculty to develop academic careers in clinical research. Accordingly, we place great value on having a collaborative culture of curiosity and discovery.

My studies focus on health outcomes of patients with chronic skin diseases. For example, we have developed and validated the Skindex group of skin-related quality-of-life tools, which are widely used as outcomes measures. We are particularly interested in studies to learn how best to communicate complex health attributes and outcomes to clinicians in user-friendly and interpretable ways. We have recently developed a digital tool, the e-Skin Vital Signs, which assesses a patient's experience of illness and communicates this information to the clinician before the office visit. The goal of this work is to personalize and improve care by including explicit measures of patients’ experience in the clinical encounter. I have mentored many junior researchers from health services research, clinical epidemiology, and the quantitative social sciences, and our work has been funded by grants from the NIH, the VA, and the Dermatology Foundation.

Our group meets every Monday in our research offices at 2525 West End Ave, Nashville, to discuss studies, papers and grants in progress. To learn more about us or to join us, please contact me at

» Recent Publications in PubMed

"Dr. Margaret Chren"
Mary-Margaret Chren, MD
Chair, Department of Dermatology