Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Robert Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D.

Robert Kirsner, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor of Dermatology

Description of Research

Dr. Kirsner’s research interests encompass skin cancer, health services research, and epidemiology. Specifically, he has been focusing on primary and secondary prevention of skin cancer- including disparities in outcomes of melanoma, based on race/ethnicity, gender and health care delivery systems. As an example of his work in primary prevention efforts, his research team has evaluated the policies and procedures in the Miami-Dade County school system related to sun protection, studied attitudes and behaviors of Hispanic students toward skin cancer prevention and evaluated efficacy of and predictors of success of a school-based education program aimed at skin cancer education. Dr. Kirsner’s research efforts regarding secondary prevention have been aimed at determining prevalence of screening being performed in various settings, patient preferences regarding screening, and predictive factors when skin cancer screening occurs. Dr. Kirsner’s work in health services research has been aimed at determining the role of a health care delivery system for outcomes for skin cancer and other screenable cancers such as breast, colorectal, skin and cervical cancer. Dr. Kirsner’s interest in epidemiology has focused on the role of ultraviolet light in the development and mortality of skin cancer and lymphoma. Currently, his team is also evaluating determinants of disparities, both on an individual as well as a population basis to develop targeted programs aimed at reducing these disparities.


  • Found that differences in stage of melanoma, breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer between patients enrolled in fee-for-service compared to HMO is related to patient access as well as differences in survival for patients with breast and colorectal cancer.
  • Demonstrated (for the first time) that melanoma in black and Hispanic patients is correlated with UV exposure; suggesting a rationale for skin cancer prevention in darkly pigmented populations.
  • Discovered that a history of skin cancer is the most important predictor for determining whether a patient will have skin cancer screening performed by his primary care provider.

Selected Cancer-Related Publications

  • Bouzari N, Romagosa Y, Kirsner RS. Green tea prevents skin cancer by two mechanisms. J Invest Dermatol 129:1054, 2009. Read more »
  • Marchione R, Kim N, Kirsner RS. Epidermal growth factor receptor regulates skin nerve outgrowth and branching. J Invest Dermatol 129:524, 2009. Read more »
  • Shiman MI, Pieper B, Templin TN, Birk TJ, Patel AR, Kirsner RS. Venous ulcers: A reappraisal analyzing the effects of neuropathy,muscle involvement,and range of motion upon gait and calf muscle function. Wound Repair Regen 17:147-52, 2009. Read more »
  • Charles CA, Romanelli P, Martinez ZB, Ma F, Roberts B, Kirsner RS. Tumor necrosis factor-alfa in nonhealing venous leg ulcers. J Am Acad Dermatol 60:951-5, 2009. Read more »
  • Rosso R, Romagosa Y, Kirsner RS. Progression of NRAS and BRAF Mutations in Cutaneous Melanoma. J Invest Dermatol 129:1318, 2009. Read more »
  • Rosso R, Kim N, Kirsner RS. Vitamin D intake and melanoma risk. J Invest Dermatol 129:1598, 2009. Read more »
  • Bouzari N, Kim N, Kirsner RS. Defense of the skin with LL-37. J Invest Dermatol 129:814, 2009. Read more »
  • Elston DM, Taylor JS, Coldiron B, Hood AF, Read SI, Resneck JS Jr, Kirsner RS, Maize JC Sr, Sullivan S, Laskas J Jr, Hanke CW. Patient safety: Part I. Patient safety and the dermatologist. J Am Acad Dermatol 61:179-90; quiz 191, 2009.
  • Federman DG, Concato J, Kirsner RS. Screening for skin cancer: absence of evidence. Arch Dermatol 145:926-7, 2009. Read more »
  • Weinstock MA, Bingham SF, Lew RA, Hall R, Eilers D, Kirsner R, Naylor M, Kalivas J, Cole G, Marcolivio K, Collins J, Digiovanna JJ, Vertrees JE. Topical Tretinoin Therapy and All-Cause Mortality. Arch Dermatol 145:18-24, 2009. Read more »
  • Patel AR, Romanelli P, Roberts B, Kirsner RS. Herpes simplex virus: a histopathologic study of the depth of herpetic wounds. Int J Dermatol 48:36-40, 2009. Read more »
  • Tzu J, Romagosa Y, Kirsner RS. Who Will Develop Pemphigus Foliaceus? J Invest Dermatol 129:6, 2009. Read more »
  • Marchione R, Kim N, Kirsner RS. Pseudoxanthoma elasticum: new insights. J Invest Dermatol 129:258, 2009. Read more »
  • Charles CA, Ricotti CA, Davis SC, Mertz PM, Kirsner RS. Use of tissue-engineered skin to study in vitro biofilm development. Dermatol Surg 35:1334-41,2009. Read more »
  • Stechschulte SA, Kirsner RS, Federman DG. Vitamin D: bone and beyond, rationale and recommendations for supplementation. Am J Med 122:793-802,2009. Read more »
  • Rico T, Marchione R, Kirsner RS. Vascular disease in psoriasis. J Invest Dermatol 129:2327,2009. Read more »

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