Areas of Research
- Skin Cancer Research
- Prevention and Risk Assessment Research
The Wehner Laboratory was established to provide a productive, supportive and collaborative space for patient-oriented skin cancer research that includes trainees of all types (post-doctoral, doctoral, medical, masters, undergraduate level) and research staff. To accomplish this, the Wehner Laboratory has an observational and interventional skin cancer research program whose goals include expanding our understanding of risk factors and prognostic markers, improving skin cancer care for vulnerable populations, as well as developing and testing early detection and prevention interventions that directly impact patients.
About Mackenzie Wehner, M.D., M.Phil
Mackenzie Wehner, M.D., M.Phil, is an Assistant Professor in Health Services Research and Dermatology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX. Dr. Wehner is committed to positively impacting patient centered-outcomes and health policy to achieve her goal of significantly decreasing the burden of skin cancer in the United States. With a focus on early detection and prevention of skin cancers, she aims to understand the relationship between precursor lesions and future skin cancers, identify early prognostic markers for patients at high risk of skin cancer, and develop optimal skin cancer prevention paradigms. Dr. Wehner is also passionate about personalized skin cancer care, especially as it relates to vulnerable populations. As the principal investigator of the Wehner Laboratory, her current research focuses on skin cancer epidemiology and indoor tanning, utilizing traditional retrospective and prospective datasets as well as novel approaches to analyze electronic medical record and user-generated data.
Dr. Wehner's work investigating the impact of indoor tanning has been featured in the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer (2014), as well as being the primary source for currently circulating World Health Organization indoor tanning prevention materials. Additionally, Dr. Wehner has expanded the understanding of skin cancer phenotypes in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) by studying the disease course of patients in longitudinal cohorts and providing evidence of a ‘high burden’ phenotype in basal and squamous cell carcinoma. This work was used to guide new screening recommendations for patients with prior skin cancers in the American Academy of Dermatology guidelines (2018).
In addition, Dr. Wehner has a special interest in gender in medicine and leadership and is particularly proud of her BMJ article, Plenty of moustaches but not enough women: a cross sectional study of medical leaders, addressing gender equality in academic medical leadership.
Join Our Lab
The Wehner Laboratory is committed to providing a first-rate educational environment. Trainees are part of a comprehensive research experience from project conception to publication with the full support of a research team.
Funding support for the Wehner Laboratory includes the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, the University of Texas Rising STARs, the Melanoma Research Foundation, and the National Cancer Institute.