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Whats New at UMass Dermatology

What’s New in the Department of Dermatology?

There is a lot going on in our department!

Honors and Awards: 

Drs. Vijaya Daniel PGY4 and Bella Plumptre PGY4 were accepted into the UMass chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society as residents for their dedication to scholarship, education and clinical service.  

Dr. Mark Scharf won the Dermatology Chief Resident Educator of the Year Award at Graduation 2022!  

Dr. Wei-Che Ko, MD (PGY-5 resident and future faculty member) was crowned "King Bee" for winning the allergen bee competition at the Allergic Contact Dermatologic Society Annual Meeting 2022! 

Dr. Anna (Cristy) Garza-Mayers, MD, PhD, pediatric dermatology fellow for 2021-2022, received a research award at the annual SPD meeting from the Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance (PeDra) for her project entitled "Assessment of hearing and vision in pediatric vitiligo patients." 

Dr. Maggi Ahmed, MD, PhD, PGY-2 dermatology resident at UMass Chan, won first place at the 2022 Annual AAD meeting Resident and Fellow symposium and received the Everett C. Fox, MD Memorial Award for the most outstanding research abstract!

Dr. Steven Krueger, as a former PGY4 and current Mohs surgery fellow at UMass, won the 2021 Outstanding Medical Educator House staff Award given by the graduating medical school class of 2021 in recognition of his commitment to teaching and mentoring students in the clinical sciences! One of our new residents for 2022, Dr. Nicholas Leonard, won the UMass Chancellor's Award 2021 which is the highest award given to a graduating medical student! 

Dr. Bella Plumptre, PGY-4, and Dr. Sarah Servattalab, PGY3 were both awarded NEDS Preceptor Grants for 2022-2023!  Dr. Plumptre will be working with colleagues at Dartmouth to develop a visual decision aid guide for the management of infantile hemangiomas and Dr. Servattalab will be working with colleagues at Boston Children’s Hospital to explore differences in infantile atopic dermatitis disease severity and time to treatment based on race and ethnicity.  

Dr. Nikki Levin received AAD Presidential Citation Award for her work with the JAAD in 2021.  

Dr. Viji Daniel, PGY3, was awarded the ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic, and Surgical ARTE Resident Scholarship in 2021! 

Dr. Servattalab received the Society for Pediatric Dermatology Travel Award for her work on examining racial and ethnic differences in time to diagnosis and access to care in infantile atopic dermatitis! 

Dr. Maggi Ahmed, MD, PhD, PGY2, was honored at UMASS commencement in June 2022 for her clinical and translational PhD with thesis entitled " Improving the success of melanocyte keratinocyte transplantation surgery in vitiligo, the role of JAK inhibitors, and ablative laser resurfacing."  Dr. Ahmed also won the Best Poster Presentation in the Annual Combined Surgery Programs Research Retreat at UMASS held in May 2022.  

Departmental Leadership
Dr. Rita Khodosh joined as the Vice Chair of our department and is in charge of clinical operations as of September 2021.  Dr. Patrick Mulvaney took over as Program Director of the Dermatology Residency Program on July 1, 2022.  

Dr. Bella Plumptre, MBBS, PGY4 dermatology resident, just stepped down as the medical student liaison for our department and Dr. Sarah Servattalab, MD PGY3 has taken over this important job for 2022-2023.  

New Faculty:
Dr. Fnu Nutan
with expertise in hospital medicine and inpatient medicine joined us in August 2022 to transform our inpatient consultation service.  Dr. Ryan Svoboda also joined in August 2022 as a medical dermatologist with expertise in cutaneous lymphoma! 

AAD Leadership:
Bassel Mahmoud, MD, PhD
, is a member of the Public Education Committee of the AAD.  Mary Maloney, MD, is the current chair of the AAD Ethics and Professionalism Committee.  She works on state society relations for the AAD. Steven Krueger, MD, Procedural Dermatology Fellow, is on the AAD Learning Resources Committee. Katherine Su, MD, Pediatric Dermatology Fellow is on the AAD Clinical Guidelines Committee.  

Specialty Society News:   
Dr. Sarah Servattalab, MD, PGY-3, was reappointed to a second term as Pediatric Trainees Liaison for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Dermatology

Dr. Leah Belazarian was the Course Director for the 2022 Pre-AAD Society for Pediatric Dermatology meeting.  Dr. Karen Wiss gave the Esterly Lectureship on Epidermolysis Bullosa at that meeting.  

Dr. Viji Daniel, PGY3, was chosen as the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) Resident Liaison for 2021.   

Dr. Katie Su, pediatric dermatology fellow, was chosen to be a member of the SPD Junior Faculty/Fellows committee.  

Dr. Maggi Ahmed is a member of the scientific/communication board of the Vitiligo Global Foundation.

UMass Dermatology hosted an extremely successful live New England Dermatologic Society (NEDS) clinical meeting on December 4th, 2021! 

Editorial Leadership: 
Nikki Levin, MD, PhD, is the senior associate editor for the JAAD. Dr. Mehdi Rashighi is on the Editorial Board of The FASEB Journal (Frontiers in Immunology) and also serves as a Dermatology Editor for VisualDx. Leah Belazarian, MD, is on the editorial board for Pediatric Dermatology. Jillian Richmond, PhD, serves on the editorial board for Frontiers in Immunology and the FASEB journal. Dr. Maggi Ahmed, PGY-2 is an editor for the Vitiligo Newsletter released biannually by the Vitiligo Global Foundation.

Faculty Appointments:  
Nikki Levin, MD, PhD. was recently promoted to Professor of Dermatology! 

Residency Program:
We were recently granted an expansion of our residency program to four residents per year up to 12 total.  Four PGY2 residents started on July 1, 2022 for a total of 11 residents.  We will have our full complement of 12 in July 2023.  We will offer four positions in the 2022 NRMP match to start 2023. We greatly appreciate the support of the UMass administration in allowing our expansion! 

Fellowship Programs:
Our ACGME-accredited Dermatopathology Fellowship welcomed Kaitlyn (Kaity) Yim, MD, for 2022-2023. Steven Krueger, MD is our ACGME accredited procedural dermatology fellow for 2022-2023. Katherine (Katie) Su, MD is our pediatric dermatology fellow for 2022-2023. Our pediatric dermatology fellowship received ACGME accreditation on July 1, 2022. 

Clinic Activity:
We have continued to enlarge our multidisciplinary and specialty clinics, including those in Transplantation, Rheum/Derm, Genodermatoses, Down syndrome, Epidermolysis bullosa, Hidradenitis suppurativa, Laser, Cosmetic, and MKTP for vitiligo. A Psoriasis specialty clinic will soon start under the direction of Drs. Nikki Levin and Leah Belazarian.  

The expansion of our clinic space at the Hahnemann Campus is complete and this gives about 20 more exam rooms for pediatric and medical dermatology. Our waiting room is being renovated and we will have a further expansion of space soon.  

We have had a very successful mentorship program with Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, a school without a dermatology residency, this past year that included monthly mentoring sessions with their Derm Interest Group and individual resident and faculty mentors for their students. We provided a wonderful summer rotation between the 1st and 2nd years for two students came to Worcester to observe.  

Congratulations to the following mentees who have been supervised by Dr. Jilllian Richmond in our department! 

  Alice Amudzi for receiving a travel award to the Women's Derm Society meeting! 
  Aisha Jamison and Sachi Desse for receiving DRSA grants from the Dermatology Foundation! 
  Janet Lubov for receiving a DRSA grant from the Lupus Research Alliance
  Haya Raef for receiving a 2021 AΩA Carolyn L. Kuckein Student Research Fellowship! 
  Richmond & Byrd labs for receiving a Skin of Color Research Grant to study Mycosis Fungoides! 

Nazgol-Sadat Haddadi for presenting her cutaneous lupus erythematosus research orally at the Inflammatory Skin Disease Summit

Nazgol-Sadat Haddadi and Khashi Afshari for presenting posters at SID! Nazgol was also selected for an e-poster talk, the SID retreat and a travel award for her cutaneous lupus research! 

Congratulations also to Khashi Afshari on receiving a King Trust Fellowship for his dermatomyositis research with Dr. Rashighi

Institutional Leadership:
Jillian Richmond
(Dermatology) and Anindita Deb (Neurology) are co-directors of the new Pathways, Inquiry and Concentrations (PIC) course for the medical school Vista curriculum. You can read more about the program through our website and podcast 

Bassel Mahmoud, MD, PhD
, was a Cutting-Edge Research Grant recipient for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) and also received a grant from the American Skin Association (ASA) to investigate vitiligo/pigment cell disorders. He is currently working on outcomes of Mohs Micrographic surgery and excision for patients with melanoma in situ, multiple studies on non-melanoma skin cancers and Mohs surgery related to tumor subtypes, noninvasive optical imaging for preop skin cancer delineation, and on different modalities of resurfacing for MKTP. 

Dr. Wiss has enrolled about 80 of her EB patients in the multicenter EBCRC data collection trial.  UMass has now treated one patient as part of the Abeona Viital keratinocyte gene transfer RDEB trial.  

Dr. Harris and Dr. Rashighi are involved in clinical trials on vitiligo and Dr. Rashighi with cutaneous lupus. Jillian Richmond, PhD, is co-organizer of the Global Dermatology Talks seminar series, a free seminar series to promote accessible dermatology education. Mehdi Rashighi, MD, and Jillian Richmond, PhD, each received a Pilot Project Program award from the UMMS CCTS for their studies of dermatomyositis and cutaneous lupus erythematosus 

Volunteer Activities:
Multiple UMMS physicians, staff and medical students typically volunteer for the annual AAD Camp Discovery Connecticut. We were not able to hold a camp in CT in 2022 due to an issue with the site. We look forward to 2023. Dori Goldberg, MD, and Karen Wiss, MD, are camp founders and co-directors. 

Under the direction of Dr. Jessica St. John, we are primed for another evening of skin cancer screening in October at Worcester’s Polar Park for our local firefighters! Many of faculty donate their time performing screenings at local firehouses, as well.