Speakers

Stanca Birlea

Stanca Birlea, MD, PHD

Associate Professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Her research focus is on vitiligo repigmentation, approached as a classic example of regenerative medicine. Her team has been developing strategies to characterize the melanocyte stem cells in the hair follicle during NBUVB treatment of human vitiligo.

Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSC, FAAD

Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, NYU Medical Center’s Ronald O. Perelman

Dr. Nada Elbuluk is a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor at the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology. Dr. Elbuluk’s clinical and research interests include general and cosmetic dermatology, with a special interest in ethnic skin and pigmentary disorders including vitiligo, melasma, and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Ninu Galot

Businesswoman, Fitness Model, and Spokesperson for UK's Vitiligo Society

Ninu was afflicted with Vitilgo and decided to turn into a fitness model in order to raise awareness for Vitiligo. In the past year Ninu has gained worldwide exposure in ASIA and UK as a champion for raising awareness for Vitiligo and hopes to change the stigma related to people with vitiligo. Ninu is currently writing a book detailing her journey with Vitiligo.

Pearl Grimes, MD, FAAD

Founder and Director of the Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California

Dr. Pearl Grimes is the Founder and Director of the Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California. She is a pioneer and a leading international authority on vitiligo and pigmentary disorders. Dr. Grimes is a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California – Los Angeles. She has authored more than 100 professional articles, abstracts and two textbooks.

John E. Harris, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Dermatology
Vice Chair, Department of Dermatology
Director, Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center
Assistant Director, MD/PhD Program

Dr. Harris is a tenure-track Associate Professor and Vice Chair of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS). Dr. Harris directs the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMMS, which incorporates a specialty clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with vitiligo, as well as a vitiligo research laboratory. He uses basic, translational, and clinical research strategies to better understand what causes vitiligo, with a short-term goal of developing more effective treatments, and an ultimate goal of finding a cure for the disease.

Iltefat Hamzavi, MD, FAAD

Henry Ford Hospital, Department of Dermatology-Multicultural Center
Co-Chair Global Vitiligo Foundation
President, Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation

Dr. Hamzavi works at Henry Ford Hospital and Hamzavi/Dermatology Specialists. His work on vitiligo includes improving phototherapy options for vitiligo patients, developing surgical treatments, and ways to measure treatment response for vitiligo. He is one of the founders and Co-chair of the Global Vitiligo Foundation, which supports initiatives like the World Vitiligo Day and vitiligo research updates. He is a passionate metro Detroiter, husband, and father of 3.

Victor Huang, MD

Director, Vitiligo Clinic, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Victor Huang is the Director of the Vitiligo Clinic at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Rachael Clark. Dr. Huang graduated from the UCSF School of Medicine, and completed a Howard Hughes Research Fellowship. He completed his dermatology residency at Washington University in St. Louis.

Richard Huggins, MD

Henry Ford Medical Group

Dr. Huggins runs a vitiligo clinic at Henry Ford Hospital and speaks at national and international medical conferences about the condition. He is particularly passionate about vitiligo support groups, serving as the medical director for the V Strong group in Detroit and is the chairman of the support group comittee of the Global Vitiligo Foundation.

Brett King, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine

Dr. King is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. King specializes in skin diseases refractory to first-line therapies. He has published extensively regarding the use of Janus kinase inhibitors for the treatment of alopecia areata, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and other skin disorders.

Caroline Le Poole, PhD

Professor of Dermatology, Microbiology, and Immunology at Northwestern University at Chicago

Caroline Le Poole completed her PhD on the topic of vitiligo 25 years ago in Amsterdam. Research in her lab at Northwestern University in Chicago remains focused on possible causes of autoimmune responses to pigment-producing cells, and opportunities for treatment of vitiligo and related conditions.

Bassel Mahmoud

Bassel Mahmoud, MD, PhD, FAAD

Procedural Dermatology Specialist

Dr. Mahmoud is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts, where he is a member of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center. He is performing the Melanocyte-Keratinocyte Transplantation Procedure (MKTP); which has proven to be an effective treatment for patients of vitiligo who do not respond to other therapeutic options.

Valerie Molyneaux

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VITFriends

Valarie Molyneaux is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of VITFriends, a National Vitiligo Support Community. She is a UMass-Boston Graduate, wife, mother, Educator (K), Published Author, Vitiligo Patient Advocate, GVF Committee Member, NIAMS (NIH) Coalition Member, VRF Advisory Member, Minister, Women's Prayer Group Leader and Community Activist.

Amit Pandya, MD

Professor, Department of Dermatology, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Amit Pandya, M.D., is a Professor in the Department of Dermatology at UT Southwestern. He holds the Dr. J.B. Shelmire Professorship in Dermatology. He is an expert in treating vitiligo, a disease in which the skin loses color; post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, usually caused by acne in darker-skinned individuals; and melasma, which causes brown patches on the face.

Ferrell Phelps

Celebrity Photographer and Producer of "The Skin I'm In"

A native of Houston, Texas, Mr. Phelps is a celebrity photographer whose clients include Shaquile O'Neal, Dionne Warwick, Beyonce Knowles, and Destiny’s Child. In addition to other projects, he is currently producing "The Skin I'm In", an exhibition and coffee-table book designed to address the prejudices evoked by skin conditions, including vitiligo.

David Rosmarin, MD

Dermatologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine

Dr. Rosmarin is a clinical scientist at Tufts Medical Center focusing on clinical trials for inflammatory disorders of the skin. He was the PI for an investigator initiated trial for the use of an oral JAK inhibitor for vitiligo, which led him to become the PI for a multicentered trial evaluating topical ruxolitinib in vitiligo.

Lisa Schuster, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry at the UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Lisa Schuster is a pediatric psychologist who has vitiligo herself and works at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. In this role, she assesses over 400 children each year for difficulties in social-emotional or behavioral functioning and evaluates safety, adjustment, and psychosocial risk factors. Dr. Schuster is also an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the UT Southwestern Medical Center.

April Sawyer

Children’s Division Director of Vitfriends and creator of Pen Pal Patch

April Sawyer is the creator of Pen Pal Patch and the Children’s Division Director of Vitfriends. She is an Advocate to parents who have children with Vitiligo. She has matched  almost 100 children with with pen pals. She is a mother of Aliya Sawyer who is 7 with Vitiligo. April is passionate about Vitiligo Awareness, has a love for math, and works as an accountant.

April Star

Model

Child print and runway model who attracted interest for her vitiligo, a skin condition that causes the loss of color in random patches. She has worked with the online boutique Love My Alannah and Essence magazine. In 2017, she became a face for Gap Kids.

Vicki Tiahrt

Patient CoChair on the Board of Directors of the Global Vitiligo Foundation

Vicki Tiahrt serves as Patient CoChair on the Board of Directors of the Global Vitiligo Foundation. She has had vitiligo for 35 years and knows first hand the benefits of patient support groups. Vicki is passionate about advocacy and has led patient lobbying efforts at the United States Congress.

Lee Thomas

Emmy award-winning broadcaster, author and motivational speaker

Lee Thomas is a Detroit Michigan news and entertainment reporter at Fox-2 and motivational speaker. Lee has won four Emmy Awards and an Associated Press Award. Lee was diagnosed with vitiligo and his memoir “Turning White (2007)” continues to attract lots of attention. Lee started the Detroit Vitiligo Support Group, V-Strong – vitiligostrong.com.

Yan Valle

Chief Executive Officer of non-profit Vitiligo Research Foundation, consultant, and writer

Yan Valle is a Chief Executive Officer of non-profit Vitiligo Research Foundation, consultant and writer. As a patient since around six years of age, he has gone through every common pitfall known to person diagnosed with vitiligo. As a professional, Yan went from three decades in high-tech and business development sector to become a vitiligo specialist.