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Whats New at UMass Dermatology

What’s New at UMass Dermatology

There is a lot of exciting activity in our department!

Departmental Leadership:

Mary Maloney, MD has been named the Founding Chair of our Department of Dermatology! John Harris, MD, PhD is now Vice Chair for Research of our department. Laura Houk, MD is the Ambulatory Physician Leader and Bassel Mahmoud, MD is the Director of Teledermatology.

New Faculty:

Mehdi Rashighi, MD joined our faculty in July 2019 as a medical dermatologist with an interest in rheumatologic conditions. He is involved in clinical and translational research. He will be establishing a rheum/derm clinic.

Julia Baltz, MD joined our faculty in September 2019. She is doing Moh's clinic and a dedicated nail disease clinic.

AAD Leadership:

Bassel Mahmoud, MD, PhD is a member of the AAD Organizational Structure Committee.  Mary Maloney, MD is 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 chair of the AAD Leadership Development Sessions work group. 

Specialty Society and Editorial Leadership:

Nikki Levin, MD, PhD is the Senior Associate Editor for the JAAD. John Harris, MD, PhD is an Associate Editor for the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (JID) and the journal Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research and a Section Editor for the Journal Investigative Dermatology. Karen Wiss, MD currently chairs the Society for Pediatric Dermatology Nominations and Leadership Development committee and was the Co-Director of the inaugural Leadership Forum for the SPD.

Residency Program:

The UMass Dermatology residents won the Spirit Award at the Dermpath Bowl during the AAD Annual Meeting in 2019! We have 9 amazing residents.  Our 2019 graduates were Shinya Amano,  MD, PhD, who is pursuing a Dermatopathology Fellowship at UMass Medical School, Michael Cunningham, MD who is the Mohs Fellowship at UMass Medical School, Anupama Parameswaran who joined the dermatology faculty at New York University and Mehdi Rashighi, MD who joined our faculty at UMass. We are fortunate to have been one of 5 residency programs in the country to pilot an advocacy curriculum for the AAD.

Fellowship Programs:

Our ACGME-accredited Dermatopathology Fellowship welcomed Shinya Amano, MD for 2019 -2020. Michael Cunningham, MD is our ACGME accredited Procedural Dermatology Fellow for 2019-2020. Dr. Karan Lal, DO will be our pediatric dermatology fellow for 2020-2021. Kaitlin Blankenship will be our Procedural Dermatology Fellow for 2020-2021.

Clinic Activity:

Under the direction of Dr. Bassel Mahmoud, we have greatly expanded our teledermatology presence.  Many surrounding community health centers provide 3D images for our consultation. We have continued to enlarge our multidisciplinary and specialty clinics, including transplantation clinic, genodermatoses clinic, Down syndrome clinic, epidermolysis bullosa clinic, and MKTP for vitiligo.  Architectural plans have been drawn to expand our space at the Hahnemann campus for a new Mohs and laser unit, giving us about 20 more exam rooms for pediatric and medical dermatology.


Bassel Mahmoud, MD, PhD was a Cutting Edge Research Grant recipient for the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS). He is currently working 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. John Harris is currently participating in multiple clinical trials to test new treatments for vitiligo patients. He and his research group recently published a paper in Science Translational Medicine describing a new and potentially long-lasting treatment for vitiligo patients, which is leading to a clinical trial to begin soon.  Dr. Karen Wiss and Dr. Leah Belazarian have enrolled about 70 EB patients in the multicenter EBCRC data colletion trial.


Dori Goldberg, MD and Karen Wiss, MD were given recent AAD Presidential Citations for their work with Camp Discovery. Mary Maloney, MD was chosen to be an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Dermatology. This great honor is given to very few individuals to recognize those who have advanced the profession of dermatology through leadership and service.  Dr. Maloney also received the Frederic Mohs Life Time achievement award in 2018 by the American College of Mohs Surgery.  Dr. John Harris received a 2019 Research Achievement Award in Vitiligo from the American Skin Association. The AAD has honored Karen Wiss, MD as a Patient Care Hero in 2019 for work on epidermolysis bullosa and Camp Discovery.

Volunteer Activities:

UMass Dermatology ran a very successful skin cancer screenings and Teddy Bear clinic booths in 2019.  Multiple UMass physicians, staff and medical students have volunteered for the 10th AAD Camp Discovery Connecticut in August 2019.  Dori Goldberg, MD and Karen Wiss, MD are Camp Founders and Co-Directors.  John Harris, MD, PhD was the co-Director and host of 2018 World Vitiligo Day at UMMS, an annual international event for patients with vitiligo.