Elise Arline Olsen
Elise Arline Olsen

Elise Arline Olsen

Professor of Dermatology


Dr. Olsen is a faculty member of both the Departments of Dermatology and Medicine (Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy) and a member of the Duke Cancer Institute and the Duke Clinical Research Institute.  She is Founder and Director of the Duke Dermatopharmacology Study Center and has been involved in over 165 clinical studies for dermatological and oncologic indications. The studies have included Phase 1-IV, pharmaceutical, FDA, and FTC sponsored, and investigator initiated research protocols for multiple conditions.

Dr. Olsen's specific areas of expertise include cutaneous lymphoma and hair disorders.  She is the Founder and Director of the Duke Cutaneous Lymphoma Research and Treatment Center and a member of the Duke Cancer Institute.   She accepts referrals from dermatologists, oncologists and radiation oncologists for all types of cutaneous T and B cell lymphomas.  She works closely with Duke dermatopathologists, radiation oncologists and oncologists experienced specifically in cutaneous lymphoma.  She prescribes or coordinates all potential NCCN recommended treatments for cutaneous lymphoma including topical and systemic immunomodulators and chemotherapy, phototherapy, photopheresis, and radiation including total skin electron beam radiation.  She is Founder and first President of the United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium and the Chairman of the Registry Committee that has created the new national registry for all types of cutaneous lymphoma. She is the Past President and Secretary Treasurer of the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphoma and first author on the evaluation, classification, and clinical trial guidelines for the most common subtype of cutaneous lymphoma.  She is Duke’s representative to the NCCN guidelines on T cell lymphomas. 

Dr Olsen is committed to helping dermatologists and other physicians/providers to diagnosis and treat patients with all types of hair loss or hair overgrowth. She is Founder and Director of the Duke Hair Disorders Research and Treatment Center and sees patients with hair loss/overgrowth in consultation with referring doctors.  She also participates in two telemedicine programs that Duke sponsors in offering consultations on hair loss (Grand Rounds and Summus). She is particularly interested in patients of all ages with extensive or treatment resistant alopecia areata, scarring hair loss, and/or chemotherapy related hair loss.  She serves as the primary investigator and coordinator for two multicenter clinical trials on hair loss--one in African American women and the other on frontal fibrosing alopecia.  She is chairman of a 10+ member task force developing standardized methodology for the assessment of all types of hair loss, an initiative that will help to facilitate new FDA approved treatments for hair loss. She serves as a consultant on the Undiagnosed Disease Network grant for children with hair loss.


Professor of Dermatology in the School of Medicine

1999 School of Medicine

Professor in Medicine in the School of Medicine

2012 School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute in the School of Medicine

1980 School of Medicine


M.D. 1978

1978 Baylor University


1980 University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


1983 Duke University

Publications, Grants & Awards

Offices & Contact

3346 Hospital South
Durham, NC
Duke Box 3294
Durham, NC