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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!

Nikki Levin, MD, PhD. was just promoted to Professor in Dermatology!

Congratulations to PGY-5 resident and future faculty member, Wei-Che Ko, MD, on being named "King Bee" for winning the allergen bee competition at the Allergic Contact Dermatologic Society Annual Meeting 2022!

Honors and Awards:

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

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

Mary Maloney, MD, received the AAD William James Mentor of the Year Award for 2020 and the 2020 AAD Advocate of the Year Award.  John Harris, MD, PhD, was the recipient of the prestigious Marion B. Sulzberger, MD Memorial Award and Lectureship for 2020!

Dr. Steven Krueger (PGY 4) won the 2021 Outstanding Medical Educator Housestaff 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 incoming 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. Nikki Levin received AAD Presidential Citation Award for her work with the JAAD in 2020 and 2021. 

Moira Quinn, NP was just awarded the Dermatology Certified Nurse Practitioner certification! This rigorous process and exam has only been given to 26 NPs in Massachusetts.

Dr. Viji Daniel (PGY3) was awarded the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) annual meeting Resident Scholarship for 2020 and the ODAC Dermatology, Aesthetic, and Surgical ARTE Resident Scholarship in 2021!

Dr. Wei-Che Ko (PGY5) was awarded the American Contact Dermatitis Society (ACDS) Mentoring Award for 2021.

Jillian Richmond, PhD, and her research year student Jadé Olayinka received a Diversity Research Supplement Award from the Dermatology Foundation. 

Departmental Leadership:
John Harris, MD, PhD took over as Chair of Dermatology on January 1, 2021. Nikki Levin, MD, PhD is the acting Ambulatory Physician Leader until Dr. Rita Khodosh joins us in September 2021.  Dr. Khodosh will be the Vice Chair of our department and in charge of clinical operations.

Steven Krueger, MD, PGY4 dermatology resident, just stepped down as the medical student liaison for our department and Bella Plumptre, MBBS has taken over this job for 2021-2022. 

Drs. Riley McLean, MD, and Jillian Richmond, PhD, are co-chairs of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee for the Department of Dermatology. 

New Faculty:
Jessica St. John, MD, MPH, joined our faculty in November 2020 with an interest in medical dermatology. She has started a multidisciplinary hidradenitis suppurativa clinic.  Dr. Patrick Mulvaney will be joining us in the fall of 2021 as a dermatologic surgeon and medical dermatologist along with Dr. Rita Khodosh as a medical dermatologist.

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. Karen Wiss, MD, is the current chair of the AAD Camp Discovery Work Group and the outgoing chair of the AAD Leadership Development Sessions Work Group. Three of our residents were chosen to join AAD committees in 2021: Steven Krueger, MD, on the AAD Learning Resources Committee, Gregory Orlowski, MD, PhD on the Leadership Development Steering Committee and Katie Su, MD, on the Clinical Guidelines Committee.

Specialty Society News:  
Sarah Servattalab, MD, PGY-2, was chosen to be the Pediatric Trainees Liaison for the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Dermatology.
Leah Belazarian, MD, has been chosen as the Director for the Society for Pediatric Dermatology Annual Pre AAD meeting in Boston in March 2022. Mehdi Rashighi, MD has been chosen as a Research committee member of the Rheumatologic Dermatology Society for 2021 and a Scientific Review committee member for CARRA (Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance) for 2021.
UMass Dermatology will be hosting a live New England Dermatologic Society (NEDS) clinical meeting on December 4th, 2021!
Drs. Sarah Servattalab (PGY2) and Heather Gochnauer (PGY2) were chosen to present a Case of the Year at the 2021 SPD (Society for Pediatric Dermatology) meeting.  At that meeting, UMass (Holly Neale, MS4, Bella Plumptre, MBBS, Leah Belazarian, MD, and Karen Wiss, MD) along with Dr. Elena Hawryluk received one of only 3 poster awards!
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 of VisualDx. Leah Belazarian, MD, is on the editorial board for Pediatric Dermatology.

Dr. Viji Daniel (PGY3) was chosen as the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) Resident Liaison for 2021.  Steven Krueger, MD (PGY4) held the liaison position in 2020.Katherine Su, MD, is a member of the WDS (Women's Dermatologic Society) Forum Committee.

Jillian Richmond, PhD, is leading an article collection as a Topic Editor on "Recent Advances in Immune-Stromal Interactions in Autoimmune and Autoinflammatory Skin Diseases" for Frontiers in Immunology

Faculty Appointments: Dr. Mehdi Rashighi was recently given a secondary appointment in the UMass Department of Medicine. Walfre Franco, PhD was given the title of Adjunct Assistant Professor in our department.

Jillian Richmond, PhD, who joined our faculty in Nov 2019 as a research track investigator, was promoted to tenure track in Feb 2021 and now runs an independent laboratory studying immunopathogenesis of interface dermatitis conditions.

Residency Program:
We were recently granted an expansion of our residency program to 4 residents per year up to 12 total.  Four PGY2 residents started on July 1, 2021.  We will take another resident next summer as an R-1 position and offer 4 positions in the 2022 NRMP match to start 2023. We greatly appreciate the support of the UMass administration in allowing our expansion!

We are fortunate to have been one of five residency programs in the country to pilot an advocacy curriculum for the AAD. This includes attendance for two of our residents annually at the AADA Legislative Conference. Gregory Orlowski, MD, PhD, and Isabella Plumptre, MD, attended virtually in 2020. 

Fellowship Programs:
Our ACGME-accredited Dermatopathology Fellowship welcomed Eric Morgan, MD, for 2021-2022. Andrew Villanueva, MD is our ACGME accredited procedural dermatology fellow for 2020-2021. Cristy Garza-Mayers, MD, PhD, is our pediatric dermatology fellow for 2021-2022.

Clinic Activity:
We have continued to enlarge our multidisciplinary and specialty clinics, including Transplantation Clinic, Rheum/Derm Clinic, Genodermatoses Clinic, Down syndrome Clinic, Epidermolysis bullosa Clinic, Hidradenitis suppurativa Clinic, Nail Clinic, Laser Clinics, Cosmetic Clinic, 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.

Institutional Leadership:
Dr. Droms was chosen as one of the resident members of the UMass GME committee and Dr. Blankenship has just moved off the UMass GME committee.

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. Harris is currently participating in multiple clinical trials to test new treatments for vitiligo patients. Dr. Wiss has enrolled about 77 of her EB patients in the multicenter EBCRC data collection trial.  Dr.  Rashighi and Dr. Wiss have been enrolling patients in the TARGET Atopic Dermatitis trial. UMass has just gotten IRB approval for the Abeona Viital RDEB trial.  

Dr. Rashighi is also involved in clinical trials on vitiligo and cutaneous lupus. Jillian Richmond, PhD, is co-organizer of the Global Dermatology Talks seminar series, a free seminar series to promote accessible dermatology education. She also received a 2020 Lupus Concept Award from the US Department of Defense to study the role of skin resident memory T cells in cutaneous lupus erythematosus. 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. In 2020 we held a small virtual camp and we will have a 2 day camp in August 2021. Dori Goldberg, MD, and Karen Wiss, MD, are camp founders and co-directors. 

Jillian Richmond, PhD, and Wei Che Ko, MD, participated in LupusChat to discuss photosensitivity and the importance of sun protection for the June summer session. Dr. Richmond and Dr. Rashighi participated in the Lupus Foundation of New England's patient webinar series The Interactive Lupus Link for You (TILLY) to discuss skin involvement in lupus. Members of the department participated in the Lupus Research Alliance's annual walk to cure lupus.