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Research Faculty

  • Professor of Dermatology; Dermatology; Director, Residency Program; Vice Chair; Director, T32 Research Fellowship Program

    Research Interests
    • Dermatology
    • DNA
    • Graft vs Host Disease
    • Immune System
    • Internship and Residency
    • Skin Neoplasms
    • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous
    • Carcinogenesis

    Clinical Expertise:  Dr. Girardi is Co-Director of the Yale Cutaneous Lymphoma Group, Director of the Photopheresis Unit, and Director of the Phototherapy Unit at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Dr. Girardi is also an active member of the national and international organizations (United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium, International Society of Cutaneous Lymphoma) that formulate and publish the criteria guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment CTCL, and is executing the largest clinical database for CTCL.  He has published over 150 scientific manuscripts, clinical reports, and chapters, including on the genetic basis of CTCL and a Medical Progress Report for the New England Journal of Medicine.  Dr. Girardi was recently awarded the 2017 Zeligman Award by Johns Hopkins University for his expertise in understanding the genetic and immunologic mechanisms that cause CTCL, and he has delivered over 100 national and international lectures including at the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Moffitt Cancer Center, Kings College London, and Northwestern University. Dr. Girardi is currently Professor, Vice Chair, Residency Director, and NIH T32 Research Fellowship Co-Director for the Department of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine.   Disease expertise:  the diagnosis and management of cutaneous lymphoma and related conditions, including: mycosis fungoides (MF) cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) [variants of which include folliculotropic MF, follicular mucinosis MF, hypopigmented (hypomelanotic) MF, pagetoid reticulosis (Woringer-Kolopp disease), erythrodermic MF, tumor-stage (T3) MF, transformed MF (T-MF), large cell transformation MF (LCT-MF), and Sézary syndrome (SS)]; CD30+ lymphoproliferative disorders (CD30+ LPD) including lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) and anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL); CD4+ small/medium/pleomorphic T cell lymphoma (CD4+ SMPTCL); cutaneous B cell lymphoma (CBCL) [variants of which include primary cutaneous marginal zone B cell lymphoma (PCMZBCL) and primary cutaneous follicle center B cell lymphoma (PCFLBCL); lymphocytoma cutis (pseudolymphoma); parapsorias (including large plaque and small plaque variants); subcutaneous panniculitic T cell lymphoma (SCPTCL); cutaneous CD8+ cytotoxic T cell lymphoma; cutaneous gamma-delta T cell lymphoma; and cutaneous NK/T cell lymphoma.


    Laboratory Research:  During more than 20 years leading an NCI-funded research program at Yale, Dr. Girardi’s laboratory is credited with major contributions to our understanding of skin biology immunology and skin cancer development, including the elucidation of roles for gamma-delta T cells, NKG2D ligands, and Langerhans cells. Dr. Girardi has served as the Co-Director for the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Immunology and Immunotherapy Program, and is the holder/filer of 4 biomedical patents on cancer diagnosis and treatment and co-founder of two Yale startup companies. Watch a video with Dr. Michael Girardi >>

     

    Dr. Girardi’s current research projects include:

    • The role of local immune cells in the development of cutaneous carcinogenesis.  Using state-of-the-art genetically engineered mice, immunobiology techniques, and confocal imaging, the Girardi laboratory is dissecting how various immune cells, resident within and recruited to the skin, contribute the skin cancer development.
    • Novel approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL).  Overseeing one of the largest centers for CTCL, Dr. Girardi and colleagues use genetic sequencing and robotic transfer to enhance diagnosis and to screen and develop new pharmaceutical agents in the treatment of this malignancy.
    • Biodegradable nanotechnology in the prevention and treatment of skin cancer. In collaboration with W.M. Saltzman (Professor, Yale Biomedical Engineering) and Douglas Brash (Professor, Genetics), Dr. Girardi’s lab is developing novel strategies for skin cancer prevention and treatment.
    •    

    Dr. Girardi’s prior research projects have included:

    1. Identification of genetic drivers of CTCL.  In 2012, we had provided the most comprehensive description of gene copy number alterations in CTCL [J Invest Dermatol, 2012]. More recently, we collaborated (with R. Lifton, Professor and Chair, Yale Genetics, and Panel Co-Chair of the NIH Precision Medicine Initiative) to more fully elucidate the genetic driver’s of CTCL [Nature Genetics, 2015].

    a.     Lin WM, Lewis JM, Filler RB…Dummer T, Berger CL, Edelson RL, Girardi M. Characterization of the DNA copy-number genome in the blood of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma patients. J Invest Dermatol. 2012;132(1):188-197. PMID: 21881587

    b.     Choi J, Goh G, Walradt T…Girardi M, Lifton RP.Genomic landscape of cutaneous T cell lymphoma. Nat Genet. 2015;47(9):1011-9. PMID: 26192916

    c.     Chang LW, Patrone CC, Yang W, Rabionet R, Gallardo F, Espinet B, Sharma MK, Girardi M, Tensen CP, Vermeer M, Geskin LJ. An integrated data resource for genomic analysis of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2018;S0022-202X(18)32294-2. PMID: 29981755

    d.     Kiessling MK, Oberholzer PA, Mondal C, Karpova MB, Zipser MC, Lin WM, Girardi M, … Dummer R. High-throughput mutation profiling of CTCL samples reveals KRAS and NRAS mutations sensitizing tumors toward inhibition of the RAS/RAF/MEK signaling cascade. Blood. 2011 Feb 24;117(8):2433-40. PMID: 21209378

     

    2. Innovation for the management and treatment of CTCL.  Our lab has helped characterize BCL2 inhibition [Blood, 2015] and BET inhibition [Oncotarget, 2018] activity against patient-derived CTCL cells and the potential for synergism with established anti-CTCL agents. We have also collaborated to help decipher the mechanism of ECP/Photopheresis, the most commonly used immunotherapy for CTCL, and developed the first FISH panel for CTCL

    a.     Kim SR, Lewis JM, Cyrenne BM, Monico PF, Mirza FN, Carlson KR, Foss FM, Girardi M. BET inhibition in advanced cutaneous T cell lymphoma is synergistically potentiated by BCL2 inhibition or HDAC inhibition. Oncotarget. 2018;9(49):29193-29207. PMID: 30018745

    b.     Cyrenne BM, Lewis JM, Weed JG, Carlson KR, Mirza FN, Foss FM, Girardi M. Synergy of BCL2 and histone deacetylase inhibition against leukemic cells from cutaneous T-cell lymphoma patients. Blood. 2017;130(19):2073-2083. PMID: 28972015

    c.     Ventura A, Vassall A, Robinson E, Filler R, Hanlon D, Meeth K, Ezaldein H, Girardi M, Sobolev O, Bosenberg MW, Edelson RL. Extracorporeal photochemotherapy drives monocyte-to-dendritic cell maturation to induce anticancer immunity. Cancer Res. 2018;78(14):4045-4058. PMID: 29764863

    d.     Weed J, Gibson J, Lewis J, Carlson K, Foss F, Choi J, Li P, Girardi M. FISH panel for leukemic CTCL. J Invest Dermatol. 2017;137(3):751-753. PMID: 27836797

     

    3. Clinical guidelines in the management of CTCL.  As a member of the USCLC and ISCL, I have worked closely with other members to formulate diagnostic and treatment guidelines for CTCL.

    a.     Scarisbrick JJ, …Girardi M, …Kim YH. Cutaneous lymphoma international consortium study of outcome in advanced stages of mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome: Effect of specific prognostic markers on survival and development of a prognostic model. Clin Oncol. 2015 Nov 10;33(32):3766-73. PMID: 26438120

    b.     James E, Sokhn JG, Gibson JF, Carlson K, Subtil A, Girardi M, Wilson LD, Foss F. CD4 + primary cutaneous small/medium-sized pleomorphic T-cell lymphoma: a retrospective case series and review of literature. Leuk Lymphoma. 2015 Apr;56(4):951-7. PMID: 24996443

    c.     Lloyd S, Chen Z, Foss FM, Girardi M, Wilson LD. Acute toxicity and risk of infection during total skin electron beam therapy for mycosis fungoides. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2013 Oct;69(4):537-43. PMID: 23849563

    d.     Olsen EA, …Girardi M, B…Vonderheid EC; International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas; United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium; Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Clinical end points and response criteria in mycosis fungoides and Sézary syndrome: a consensus statement of the International Society for Cutaneous Lymphomas, the United States Cutaneous Lymphoma Consortium, and the Cutaneous Lymphoma Task Force of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer. Clin Oncol. 2011 Jun 20;29(18):2598-607. PMID: 21576639

     

    4. Elucidation of immune contributions to carcinogenesis. We established a paradigm for resident immune influences on mutagenesis within epithelial tissues more generally [Science 2012], while definitively demonstrating that LC exert major influences in both stimulating mutagenesis as well as facilitating tumor promotion [J Invest Dermatol 2015a]. We also revealed a major influence for LC in UVB-induced p53 mutant keratinocyte clonal expansion [J Invest Dermatol, 2015b]. In collaboration with W.M. Saltzman, we have developed a translational sub-program of nanoparticle-based prevention of keratinocyte mutagenesis and the tumor-promoting effects of chemical and UVB exposure. This directly led to the development of a novel sunscreen characterized by superior safety and efficacy [Nature Mat, 2015].

    a.     Modi BG, Neustadter J, Binda E, Lewis J, Filler RB, Roberts SJ, Kwong BY, Reddy S, Overton JD, Galan A, Tigelaar RE, Cai L, Fu P, Shlomchik M, Kaplan DH, Hayday A, Girardi M. (2012). Langerhans cells facilitate epithelial DNA damage and squamous cell carcinoma. Science. 335(6064):104-108. PMCID: PMC3753811

    b.     Lewis JM, Bürgler CD, Fraser JA, Liao H, Golubets K, Kucher CL, Zhao PY, Filler RB, Tigelaar RE, Girardi M. (2015). Mechanisms of chemical cooperative carcinogenesis by epidermal Langerhans cells. J Invest Dermatol. 135(5):1405-1414. PMCID: PMC4364923

    c.     Lewis JM, Bürgler CD, Freudzon M, Golubets K, Filler RB, Girardi M. (2015). Langerhans facilitate UVB-induced epidermal carcinogenesis. J Invest Dermatol;135(11):2824-2833. PMCID: PMC4640962

    d.     Strid J, Roberts SJ, Filler RB, Lewis JM, Kwon, BY, Schpero W, Kaplan DH, Hayday AC, Girardi, M. (2008). Acute upregulation of an NKG2D ligand promotes rapid reorganization of a local immune compartment with pleiotropic effects on carcinogenesis. Nat Immunol. Feb;9(2):146-154. PMID: 18176566

     

    5. Identification of the relative contributions of ab and gd T cells in the regulation of cutaneous malignancy. We were the first to demonstrate the critical contribution of gd T cells to the regulation of cutaneous malignancy [Science, 2001; J Exp Med, 2003a], and our in-depth studies elucidated the differential contributions of gd T cells relative to ab T cells [J Exp Med, 2003b; J Invest Dermatol, 2004]. These findings were made at a time when there was considerable skepticism about the capacity of lymphocytes to control malignancy, and therefore we helped define tumor immunology as a biological and clinical force. We went on to define major roles for these local immune cells in the regulation of the cutaneous stress response so fundamental to carcinogenesis [Nat Immunol 2006; Nat Genet 2008]. We also identified and characterized a novel population of CD8+ tumor-promoting T cells (T-pro) [PNAS 2007] that drives cancer progression, proving that pro-tumor immune components are not confined to regulatory function but also the proactive local production of factors that promote tumor growth [J Invest Dermatol 2010].

    1. Girardi M, Oppenheim DE, Steel CR, Lewis JM, Glusac E, Filler R, Hobby P, Sutton B, Tigelaar RE, Hayday AC. (2001). Regulation of cutaneous malignancy by gd T cells. Science. 294(5542):605-609. PMID: 11567106
    2. Girardi M, Glusac E, Filler RB, Roberts SJ, Propperova I, Lewis JM, Tigelaar RE, Hayday AC (2003). The distinct contributions of murine TCRgd+ and TCRab+ T cells to different stages of chemically induced skin cancer. J Exp Med. 198(5):747-755. PMCID: PMC2194182
    3. Roberts SJ, Ng BY, Filler RB, Lewis J, Glusac EJ, Hayday AC, Tigelaar RE, Girardi M. (2007). Characterizing tumor-promoting T cells in chemically induced cutaneous carcinogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 104(16):6770-6775. PMCID: PMC1871860
    4. Wakabayashi Y, Mao JH, Brown K, Girardi M, Balmain A. (2007). Promotion of Hras-induced squamous carcinomas by a polymorphic variant of the Patched gene in FVB mice. Nature. 445(7129):761-765. PMID: 17230190
  • Associate Dean for Physician-Scientist Development and Professor of Dermatology, Pathology and Genetics; Director of Research, Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Cell Biology
    • Genetics, Medical
    • Musculoskeletal Diseases
    • Human Genome Project
    • Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases

    Keith Choate M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist who employs tools of human genetics to understand fundamental mechanisms of disease. His laboratory studies rare inherited and mosaic skin disorders to identify novel genes responsible for epidermal differentiation and development.  His laboratory has identified the genetic basis of over 12 disorders and has developed new therapeutic approaches informed by genetic findings.  His laboratory is funded by the National Institute of Arthritis and of Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

    Dr. Choate mentors undergraduate, graduate, and medical students in his laboratory, teaches at Yale Medical School, and trains resident physicians and fellows.

  • Professor of Dermatology, Pathology, and Immunobiology; Co-Leader, Genetics, Genomics and Epigenetics, Yale Cancer Center; Director, Yale Center for Immuno-Oncology; Director, Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer

    Research Interests
    • Cell Biology
    • Dermatology
    • Melanoma
    • Neoplasm Metastasis
    • Pathology

    Marcus Bosenberg MD, PhD, is a physician scientist who directs a leading melanoma research laboratory, is Co-Leader of the Genomics, Genetics and Epigenetics Research Program of Yale Cancer Center, Contact PI of the Yale SPORE in Skin Cancer, Inaugural Director of the Yale Center for Immuno-Oncology, Director of the Center for Precision Cancer Modeling, and is a practicing dermatopathologist at Yale Dermatopathology through Yale Medicine.

    In his research, Dr. Bosenberg studies the genetics and cellular changes that result in melanoma, the leading cause of skin cancer deaths. His laboratory has developed several widely utilized mouse models in order to study how melanoma forms and progresses, to test new melanoma therapies, and how the immune system can be stimulated to fight melanoma. He works to translate basic scientific findings into improvements in melanoma diagnosis and therapy. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, is a member of the Yale Cancer Center Executive Committee, and is a faculty member of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical, and Engineering Sciences.

    Dr. Bosenberg mentors undergraduate, graduate, medical, and MD-PhD students in his laboratory, teaches at Yale School of Medicine, and trains resident physicians, fellows, and postdoctoral fellows.

  • Aaron B. and Marguerite Lerner Professor of Dermatology; Chair and Professor, Department of Dermatology, Yale School of Medicine

    Research Interests
    • Dermatology
    • Immunotherapy
    • Skin Diseases
    • T-Lymphocytes
    • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous

    After graduating from Hamilton College as a Chemistry major, Richard Edelson received his MD from the Yale School of Medicine (YSM).  He then sequentially trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Chicago, Dermatology in the Harvard Program and Cancer Immunology at the National Institutes of Health.  Before being recruited back to his alma mater as Chairman and Professor of the YSM Department of Dermatology in 1986, he was Director of the Immunobiology Group in Columbia University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, Associate Director of that institution’s General Clinical Research Center and Professor and Director of Research in Columbia’s Dermatology Department.

    While on the Yale faculty, he has served continuously as Chairman of the Department of Dermatology (1986-Present), and at overlapping times, has also been the Director of the Yale University Comprehensive Cancer Center (2003-9), YSM Deputy Dean overseeing all Clinical Departments (2000-3), Leader of the YSM Cancer Center’s Lymphoma Research Program and the YSM Faculty Representative to the Yale-New Haven Hospital Board of Trustees. He is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, the Interurban Club, the Lotos Club and an honorary member of several international medical associations.

    He is best known for two discoveries and their development.  First, he introduced the unifying concept of Cutaneous T Cell Lymphoma (CTCL), as a malignancy of skin-homing malignant CD4 T cells.  Second, he devised Extracorporeal Photochemotherapy, which became the first FDA-approved immunotherapy for any cancer.  That therapy, through its induction, antigen loading and modulation of physiologic dendritic antigen presenting cells, is now regularly administered in the majority of university medical centers throughout the USA and Europe, to treat advanced CTCL, rejection of transplanted hearts and lungs, graft-versus-host disease following stem cell transplantation and autoimmune disorders.  More than 70,000 patients have received a total of more than 3 million treatments. 

    He takes great pride in the level and breadth of the international acclaim of the present Yale Dermatology faculty members, all of whom were recruited to the Department on the Edelson watch.  Each of the Department's four clinical sections (Medical, Pediatric and Surgical Dermatology, and Diagnostic Dermatopathology) is led by a recent president of the relevant national society.  The clinical (residency and fellowship) training programs are distinguished by their production of academic and investigative dermatologists, having launched the careers of more than sixty full-time university-based faculty members, including eight current Dermatology Department chairmen (Stanford, Harvard, NYU, Albert Einstein, Howard, Oregon, Vermont and Eastern Virginia), the current Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute and four current Directors of Dermatologic Surgery (Yale, Stanford, NYU and Vermont).  The Yale Dermatology faculty currently ranks first nationally in its field, in terms of total federally funded dollars of competitive research support.

    Dr. Edelson is the recipient of several National honors, including Castle and Connolly’s National Physician of the Year, the Dermatology Foundation’s Discovery Award, the American Skin Association’s National Mentorship Award and the Society of Investigative Dermatology’s Rothman Award for Career Contributions.  He is one of eight selected graduates of the NIH Physician Scientist Training Program whose investigative careers were featured in an eight-hour audiobook, narrated by actor Alan Alda, released by Audible.Com in December 2020, as a tribute to pivotal federally funded scientifically-driven medical advances.

    Education & Training

    • MD:  Yale University (1970)
    • Dermatology Residency:  Harvard (1971-2), NIH (1972-3), Columbia (1975-6)
    • Internal Medicine Internship: University of Chicago Hospital (1970-1)
    • Immunology Fellowship:  Laboratory of Immunology NIAID, NCI of the NIH (1972-5)
    • Board Certification:  Dermatology

     

    National Honors

    • Elected Member                              American Society Clinical Investigation             1982
    • Elected Member                              American Association Profesors                        1986
    • Elected Member                              (Osler) Interurban Club                                      1989
    • National Physician of the Year        Castle Connolly                                                  2012
    • National Discovery Award               Dermatology Foundation                                    2015
    • National Mentor of the Year            American Skin Association                                 2017
    • Rothman Prize                                Society for Investigative Dermatology                2019                             

      

      Activities and Projects 

    • Referral Clinical Practice
      • Yale Dermatology Group, 2 Church Street, New Haven, CT
      • Special Interest:  Cutaneous Lymphoma and Related Disorders
    • As Chairman of the Yale Department of Dermatology, Oversight of:
      • Faculty Recruitment and Career Development
      • Oversight of Teaching and Research Programs
    • Active Projects of the Edelson Research Team
      • Development and Implementation of Selective Anti-Tumor Immunotherapy
      • Enhancement of Post-Stem Cell Transplantation Graft-vs-Tumor Immunity
      • Production/Modulation of Physiologic Dendritic Antigen Presenting Cells (phDC)
      • Dissection of Exosome and ER Stress Contributions to Anti-Cancer Immunity
      • Rapid Initiation of Protection Against Emerging Infection
      • Creation of Single Day Nanotechnical Evaluation of Anti-Tumor, Anti-Viral T Cell Responses
    • Branford College (Yale College) Fellow and Advisor of Undergraduates















































  • Associate Professor of Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Biochemistry
    • Biophysics
    • Dermatitis, Atopic
    • Dermatology
    • Epidermis
    • Intermediate Filaments
    • Keratins
    • Molecular Biology
    • Skin
    • Ichthyosis Vulgaris
    • Crystallography, X-Ray
    • Computational Biology
    • Proteomics

    Dr. Christopher Bunick is an Associate Professor of Dermatology, specializing in general medical dermatology and dermatologic surgery. He also performs unique dermatologic research studying the three-dimensional structures of skin-related proteins using x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. He sees patients at Yale Dermatology Associates in Middlebury, CT. Dr. Bunick provides care of patients with all dermatologic conditions.

    Dr. Bunick received his B.S. at Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN), and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His PhD research studied the three-dimensional structures of calcium-binding proteins and proteins involved in DNA repair processes (e.g. the skin disease xeroderma pigmentosum). He completed medical internship, dermatology residency, and a dermatology research fellowship (mentored by Nobel Laureate Dr. Thomas A. Steitz) at Yale University School of Medicine (New Haven, CT). He performs laboratory research with the goal of using x-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and biochemistry to better understand the structure-function relationship of proteins involved in normal and diseased skin.

  • Associate Professor of Dermatology; Director of Resident Education in Dermatologic Surgery, Dermatology; Director of Dermatologic Surgery at Yale Dermatology-Branford, Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Carcinoma, Basal Cell
    • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
    • Skin Neoplasms
    • Ultraviolet Rays
    • Keratosis, Actinic

    Sean Christensen, MD, PhD, has been practicing dermatologic surgery since completing training in Mohs surgery and cutaneous oncology in 2013. His referral-based clinical practice is limited to the management of skin cancer, including Mohs surgery, treatment of early stage melanoma, and surgical reconstruction. In addition, Dr. Christensen focuses on complex skin cancer issues such as field cancerization, preventive strategies in high risk patients, and management of advanced or aggressive non-melanoma skin cancer. He is Director of Resident Education in dermatologic surgery, Associate Director of the ACGME Mohs Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology fellowship at Yale, and Director of Dermatologic Surgery at Yale Dermatology Branford. Dr. Christensen has an active research portfolio as well. Current research projects include defining the molecular and genetic changes that precede skin cancer development and optimizing field treatment strategies to decrease the risk of subsequent skin cancer. Dr. Christensen has published and lectured nationally, including a popular forum on field cancerization at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology. He is also a principal investigator in a phase III clinical trial of a novel topical therapy for basal cell carcinoma.

  • Assistant Professor in Dermatology and Dermatopathology

    William Damsky, M.D., Ph.D. is a physician-scientist who uses basic and translational approaches to understand mechanisms of skin disease. In clinical practice, he specializes in medical dermatology and dermatopathology with a specific focus in cutaneous granulomatous disorders (sarcoidosis and granuloma annulare). Dr. Damsky is an attending physician at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale Health Center, the VA Veteran's Hospital, and Cornell Scott Hill Health Center. Dr. Damsky provides care for both adult and pediatric patients.

    Dr. Damsky provides care for patients with all dermatologic conditions and he has special interest in:

    • sarcoidosis
    • granuloma annulare
    • psoriasis
    • atopic dermatitis (eczema)
    • acne and hidradenitis suppurativa
    • other cutaneous granulomatous disorders such as necrobiosis lipodica
    • other inflammatory skin disorders such as lichen planus
    • skin cancer

    Dr. Damsky uses a wide variety of treatment modalities including retinoids including isotretinoin, phototherapy, systemic immunomodulatory agents, "biologic" agents to treat psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other disorders, and Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors.

    In his research, Dr. Damsky is using various pre-clinical and translational approaches to study inflammatory skin diseases as well as melanoma. Dr. Damsky is leading a clinical trial in sarcoidosis and granuloma annulare. Dr. Damsky has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles. His research is supported by the Dermatology Foundation, the Skin Cancer Foundation, and Pfizer. He was received the Young Investigator Award from the American Academy of Dermatology in 2020 for his research in sarcoidosis. 

    Dr. Damsky completed his undergraduate, M.D., and Ph.D. degrees the University of Vermont. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine and residency in Dermatology at Yale. Dr. Damsky also completed an N.I.H. funded Research Fellowship in Investigative Dermatology and served as Chief Resident during this time.

  • Associate Professor of Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Alopecia Areata
    • Eczema
    • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
    • Vitiligo
    • Scleroderma, Limited

    Dr. Brett King is Associate Professor of Dermatology, specializing in skin diseases recalcitrant to first-line therapies. He has pioneered the use of Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors in cutaneous diseases, in particular for alopecia areata, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis, granuloma annulare, sarcoidosis, and erosive lichen planus, in addition to other disorders. He sees patients at Yale Dermatology-Middlebury.

    Dr. King provides care of patients with all dermatologic conditions, with special interest in:

    • atopic dermatitis (eczema)
    • alopecia areata
    • vitiligo
    • sarcoidosis
    • granuloma annulare
    • lichen planus
    • pemphigus vulgaris, bullous pemphigoid, mucous membrane pemphigoid, and other autoimmune blistering diseases
    • morphea, systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
    • erythema multiforme
    • pruritus (itch)
    • Drug-induced hypersensitivity syndrome (drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms)
    • Stevens-Johnson syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis

    He is experienced with the use of systemic medications including retinoids, methotrexate, cyclosporine, azathioprine (Imuran®), mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept®), tofacitinib (Xeljanz®), baricitinib (Olumiant®), upadacitinib (Rinvoq®),ruxolitinib (Jakafi®), apremilast (Otezla®), and the ‘biologics’ (e.g. etanercept (Enbrel®), adalimumab (Humira®), infliximab (Remicade®), ustekinumab (Stelara®), sekucinumab (Cosentyx®), ixekizumab (Taltz®), IVIG, and rituximab (Rituxan®)), as well as phototherapy.

    Dr. King is an investigator in numerous clinical trials. He lectures nationally and internationally and publishes extensively.

    Dr. King received his B.A. at the University of California at Santa Cruz, his Ph.D. from Stanford University and his M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed medical internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and dermatology residency at Yale University School of Medicine.

  • Assistant Professor of Dermatology; Associate Director of Residency Program, Dermatology; Director of Onco-Dermatology Clinic; Department of Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Drug Eruptions
    • Dermatology
    • Melanoma

    Jonathan Leventhal, MD, is the director of the Onco-Dermatology Program at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven. He treats patients undergoing cancer treatment who experience itchy or painful rashes, as well as hair and nail changes that can result from either their disease or treatment, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiation or stem cell transplantation. 

    “One of the most rewarding aspects of my job is improving the quality of life for patients with cancer who are affected by adverse skin events,” he says.Watch a video with Dr. Jonathan Leventhal >>

    Seeing an onco-dermatologist like Dr. Leventhal can make the difference between a patient being able to continue receiving a cancer treatment or having to be taken off it when the skin conditions become too severe. “If left untreated, some skin, hair and nail conditions can become quite debilitating, even disfiguring and may negatively impact health and ability to perform day-to-day activities,” says Dr. Leventhal. He helps to manage these skin problems so that patients with cancer can continue their treatments and enjoy a better quality of life.

    In addition to his role at Smilow, Dr. Leventhal, an assistant professor of dermatology and associate director of the residency program at Yale School of Medicine, cares for patients with a wide range of skin conditions in Yale Medicine Dermatology’s New Haven and Branford locations. He performs routine skin cancer screening examinations and also treats general skin problems—from acne to psoriasis to eczema. He is also the Associate Residency Program Director and is Principal Investigator of several clinical trials involving the management of cutaneous reactions to cancer therapy. 

    "Every day I am excited to come to work, treating various skin conditions affecting my patients and helping patients with cancer continue their potentially life-saving treatments,” says Dr. Leventhal. “Skin diseases can impact the way people see themselves and can affect how people feel, both physically and emotionally. My work is particularly gratifying when I can improve my patients' overall comfort, happiness and health.”

  • Assistant Professor of Dermatology

    Undergraduate School: Amherst College

    Undergraduate Major: Chemistry and Neuroscience

    Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine    

    Research Fellowship: Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine

    Internship: Yale-New Haven Hospital Internal Medicine 

    Alicia Little, MD, PhD, is a dermatologist with expertise in women’s skin health and autoimmunity. 

    She specializes in skin disease of pregnancy and vulvar skin diseases; autoimmune skin diseases including cutaneous lupus, dermatomyositis, morphea, lichen sclerosus, and lichen planus; and inflammatory skin diseases including psoriasis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and rosacea. She also handles general dermatology, acne, and skin cancer screening.

    “I enjoy meeting new patients and developing lasting relationships with them,” Dr. Little says. “I love looking at my schedule and recognizing patients who I have helped with uncomfortable rashes, acne, or skin cancers, and continuing to support them over the years with any new or chronic skin conditions.”

    Dermatology, she says, allows her to see patients of all ages and to use her background in immunology since many skin diseases and rashes are caused by an overactive immune system. 

    “As dermatologists, we have the wonderful privilege of seeing our patients get better quite literally, since their symptoms are often also visible to us on the skin,” she says.

    When not caring for her patients, Dr. Little, who is an assistant professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, conducts research on the immune cells responsible for autoimmune skin disease. “By studying what is going wrong to cause the body to attack itself, I hope that we can identify targets for future treatments to improve patients’ lives,” she says.


  • Associate Professor of Dermatology and of Pathology

    Research Interests
    • Dermatology
    • Epidermis
    • Homeostasis
    • Pathology
    • Regeneration
    • Stem Cells
    • Wound Healing
    • Carcinogenesis

    Peggy Myung is interested in hair follicle development and regeneration. Currently, she studies hair follicle development in mice and has a focus on how the dermal niche regulates hair follicle cell fate decisions. In particular, her work is centered on understanding the epithelial-mesenchymal interactions that regulate epithelial growth and differentiation in an effort to re-purpose these same molecular mechanisms to suppress aberrant growth in carcinogenesis.

  • Assistant Professor; Dermatology Director, Adult Primary Care Center

    Research Interests
    • Fibrosis
    • Graft vs Host Disease
    • Scleroderma, Systemic

    I am a physician-scientist in dermatology, which involves both taking care of patients and advancing scientific research. I see patients at the Yale Medicine dermatology office at 322 East Main St in Branford, CT. I take care of a wide range of dermatologic conditions including autoimmune diseases such as lupus and scleroderma (systemic sclerosis), skin cancer, acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis/eczema, and blistering skin diseases. In the laboratory my research primarily focuses on the role of the immune system in scleroderma and chronic graft-vs-host disease, two immune-mediated processes that cause tightening of the skin. To setup an appointment, please contact our office at (203) 481-3419. I look forward to seeing you. 

    Ian D. Odell, MD, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Dermatology (Dermatologic Surgery)

    To Kathleen C. Suozzi, MD, the prevention and reversal of sun damage has become a passion. “In my dermatology care and research, I see how sun exposure leads to the development of skin cancers and causes the skin to age prematurely,” she says.

    Dr. Suozzi specializes in the treatment of skin cancer with a technique called Mohs surgery. The technique is used to remove cancer cells layer by layer, while preserving normal tissue. She received advanced training in dermatologic surgery at Yale School of Medicine. She is widely published in scientific journals and has presented her research about how skin cancer develops at national conferences including the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, the Society of Investigative Dermatology and the American College of Mohs Surgery.

    She’s committed to alerting people about the dangers of sun exposure. “People accumulate sun damage over a lifetime, starting in childhood. I frequently hear from patients that they were not aware of the risks of sun exposure during their youth,” she says. "But it is never too late to start protecting your skin from UV damage."

    In addition to treating skin cancers, Dr. Suozzi uses advanced technologies such as photodynamic therapy, laser treatments and medications to help treat UV-induced damage to the skin. "These technologies can help reverse visible signs of aging and address precancerous changes in the skin,” she says.

  • Associate Professor of Dermatology and of Pathology; Director Yale Immunobullous Clinic, Dermatology; Director Dermatology Medical Student Education, Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Dermatology
    • Immunologic Memory
    • Pemphigoid, Bullous
    • Pemphigus
    • Autoimmunity

    Mary Tomayko M.D., Ph.D., is a physician scientist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune blistering disease and other immune-mediated skin disease. Dr. Tomayko directs the Yale Immunobullous Clinic. Upon consultation requests from colleagues, Dr. Tomayko evaluates individuals with complex cutaneous autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as pemphigus, pemphigoid, epidermolysis bullosa acquisita, atopic dermatitis, vitiligo, alopecia areata and psoriasis. She employs a range of treatment modalities, including the systemic immunomodulators rituximab, intravenous immunoglobulin, omalizumab, dupilumab and ustekinumab, targeted “biologic” agents mycophenolate mofetil, azathioprine and methotrexate and phototherapy. She also performs surgical excisions of skin cancers and skin lesions. Dr. Tomayko is an attending physician at Yale Medicine Dermatology, Yale Health and Yale New Haven Hospital.

    Dr. Tomayko’s research laboratory has 2 intertwined missions. The first is to undercover the underlying mechanism of immune dysregulation in bullous pemphigoid, in order to develop effective targeted and safe treatments for this autoimmune blistering disease. The second is to understand how long-lasting immunity to infection and immunization is established and maintained. In seminal work, she has uncovered unexpected diversity in phenotype and function of the cells that maintain B lymphocyte immunity and has identified novel molecular pathways essential for lasting immunity. This work, funded by the National Institute of Health, suggests exciting new approaches to enhance and suppress immunity therapeutically. Dr. Tomayko publishes peer-reviewed articles and chapters and regularly presents her work at national and international meetings. She is a reviewer for scientific and medical journals and foundations. She is a Medical Editor for Dermatology Focus, a publication that highlights recent advances in the field.

    Dr. Tomayko is a director of dermatology education at Yale University School of Medicine. She mentors undergraduate, graduate and medical students in her laboratory, and trains resident physicians and fellows.

  • Assistant Professor of Dermatology

    Research Interests
    • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
    • Dermatitis
    • Lupus Erythematosus, Cutaneous
    • Melanoma
    • Psoriasis
    • Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases

    I am a physician-scientist who has trained in immunology, molecular biology, genetics and clinical dermatology. My overall career goal as a physician-scientist are to integrate fundamental immunology with clinical dermatology. In particular, I am interested in the role of costimulatory and inhibitory immune receptors in cancer immunity, autoimmunity pathogenesis and immunotherapy. My interest in this field was driven by my experience in the Medical Scientist Training Program at Washington University in St. Louis, where I worked in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Schreiber to decipher key molecular regulators of cancer immunoediting. As a consequence, the expertise gained in skin immunology and the emerging immunotherapies to treat melanoma inspired me to become a dermatologist. During my dermatology residency, I joined the laboratory of Dr. Lieping Chen at Yale School of Medicine, who pioneered targeting the PD-1 axis for cancer immunotherapy and has discovered multiple novel immune checkpoint molecules including programmed death receptor-1 homolog (PD-1H) (also known as VISTA). My current research interests include: 1) identification of novel immune checkpoints such as PD-1H/VISTA and others in cutaneous malignancies (e.g., melanoma and keratinocyte carcinomas) and 2) elucidating the inhibitory immune landscape of chronic inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis and cutaneous lupus erythematosus.