Dermatology Council

The Melanoma Research Alliance Dermatology Council serves as a critical advisory body to the organization. It provides input into MRA’s annual RFP as it relates to dermatology, prevention, and early detection of disease; provides advice to the Board of Directors and staff on policy and research matters; and gives insight into educational programming. In addition, the council serves as ambassadors for MRA in their respective communities. The Council also oversees the Dermatology Fellows Program

The MRA Dermatology Council was created and convened under the MRA Board of Directors and is co-chaired by Denise Kellen and Daisy Helman.

Derm Fellow Report Highlight

Learn more about MRA's Dermatology Fellows Award, our newest grant program. 

Please note: All organizational affiliations and titles are listed for identification purposes only. All individuals serve in their personal capacity and not as a representative of their employer.

Joshua Arbesman, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Member, Cancer Genomics and Epigenomics Program
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Joshua Arbesman conducts basic science and clinical research in the areas of melanoma genetics and melanoma drug development. His research centers on the study of melanoma, specifically understanding the genetics of high-risk melanoma families and the design of adjuvant therapies for melanoma management. His current work is involved in next-generation sequencing of high-risk melanoma families to determine novel melanoma susceptibility genes and the characterization of the overall genetics of familial melanoma. Additionally, he examines the repurposing of relatively safe, often previously clinically available, medications, to be used in the adjuvant therapy setting for melanoma patients.

Dr. Arbesman attended the University at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He completed an Internship in Internal Medicine at State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo’s affiliated hospitals. His Dermatology training was completed at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. Dr. Arbesman completed a Fellowship training program in Molecular and Investigative Dermatology, as a Post-Doctoral Fellow on T32 NIH Training Grant at Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and is a Board Certified Dermatologist. 

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Mark Denis P. Davis, M.D.

Consultant, Department of Dermatology
Chair, Department of Dermatology
Professor of Dermatology
Mayo Clinic

Mark Davis, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and received his degrees of medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons and the National University in Ireland. He completed residencies in internal medicine and dermatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Dr. Davis serves on the Rheumatologic Dermatology Society Board of Directors and is a member of the American Dermatological Association and Society for Dermatology Hospitalists. His current research activities involve studying skin directed radiation therapy for cutaneous inflammatory dermatoses. 

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Richard Granstein, M.D. 

George W. Hambrick, Jr. Professor of Dermatology
Chairman, Dermatology
Weill Cornell

Richard D. Granstein, MD trained in dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. As a research fellow, he studied immunology and tumor biology at the National Cancer Institute and in the Department of Pathology at Harvard. Dr. Granstein joined the Harvard faculty in 1984. In 1995, Weill Cornell and the New York-Presbyterian Hospital successfully recruited him. Dr. Granstein is the George W. Hambrick, Jr. Professor of Dermatology at the Weill Cornell Medical College and Dermatologist-in-Chief at the New York Weill Cornell Campus of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Granstein’s clinical interests include skin disorders resulting from abnormal immune system activity. His research interests center on the regulation of immune processes within the skin. He and his colleagues were the first to demonstrate that immune cells within the epidermis have an anatomic relationship with nerves and can be regulated by proteins produced by those nerves.

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Allan Halpern, M.D. 

Chief, Dermatology Service
Associate Chair, Promotions Advisory Committee, Department of Medicine
Co-Leader, Melanoma Disease Management Team
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Allan C. Halpern is Chief of the Dermatology Service and co-Leader of the Melanoma Disease Management Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA. Dr. Halpern is an internationally recognized expert in melanoma and pigmented lesions.     Dr. Halpern is among the pioneers of the application of total body photography for melanoma surveillance in high risk individuals and of the application of novel technologies, including dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy, to aid melanoma detection and diagnosis. His group has implemented a computerized 3dimensional digital imaging system at Memorial Sloan Kettering to monitor moles in patients who have dysplastic nevi or a personal history of melanoma. The system creates a baseline digital photographic record of the patient’s moles. When the patient returns for follow-up appointments, new and changing moles can be identified by comparison to the baseline images, enabling subtle melanomas to be recognized at a stage when they are easily cured.     Dr. Halpern has held many leadership positions and is currently president of the International Society for Digital Imaging of the Skin, Vice President of the Skin Cancer Foundation, and a member of the executive board of the International Dermoscopy Society.       

Dr. Halpern initiated and leads the International Skin Imaging Collaboration (ISIC), an exciting effort to create standards and resources (including the ISIC Archive) that will help leverage computer science and medical informatics as aids to melanoma diagnosis. ISIC has conducted multiple ‘Grand Challenges’ for the computer science and dermatology communities that have demonstrated the rapid progress of artificial intelligence for the diagnosis of skin cancer.

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Roger Lo, M.D., Ph.D.

Director, Melanoma Clinic in Dermatology
Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Dermatology
Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology
University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine

Dr. Roger Lo is Professor and Associate Chief of Medicine/Dermatology and Program Director of the Dermatology STAR Residency at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.  He earned his BS in Biology (Honors and Distinction, 1994, Stanford University) and his MD-PhD degrees from the Tri-institutional (Weill Cornell, MSKCC, and Rockefeller) Program in 2002. After residency and postdoc training at UCLA, he joined the faculty in 2008. Work from his group has been recognized for providing the major scientific rationale toward the use of inhibitors of BRAF and MEK in combination to effectively treat melanoma – a therapeutic approach that is now globally considered the standard of care. Studies from his group have provided rationale for additional clinical trials and foundational knowledge on the roles of tumor heterogeneity, non-genomic processes and the tumor microenvironment in determining clinical responses to mutation/immune-targeted therapies. His work has been published in Nature, New England Journal of Medicine, Cancer Discovery, Cancer Cell, and Cell. Dr. Lo was elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2012 and American Dermatological Association in 2015. He received the 33rd Annual Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) (2013), the inaugural AACR-Waun Ki Hong Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Research (2017), and the Milstein Innovation Award from the American Skin Association (2018). He currently serves on the Editorial Board of the AACR journal Cancer Discovery.

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Alexander Meves, M.D., M.B.A. 

Consultant, Dept of Dermatology, Dept of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Associate Professor, Dermatology
Mayo Clinic

Dr. Alexander Meves is a consultant in the Department of Dermatology and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Dr. Meves joined the staff of Mayo Clinic in 2008 and holds the academic rank of associate professor.

Dr. Meves earned his MD at the Heinrich-Heine-University Medical School, Düsseldorf, Germany. During medical school, he also completed a Fulbright Fellowship in cell biology at Harvard Medical School, followed by a brief internship at McKinsey & Company in Munich, Germany, and a Carlo Schmid Fellowship at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Meves’ research focuses on studying the interaction of cells with their extracellular environment. These interactions play a role in many medically relevant biological processes including cancer, wound healing and aging. Specifically, Dr. Meves' laboratory aims to develop cutting-edge methods to diagnose and treat melanoma. Dr. Meves also studies new approaches to improve wound healing.

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David Polsky, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor, Dermatologic Oncology
Professor, Pathology
Director, Pigmented Lesion Service
New York University

Dr. Polsky received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his residency in dermatology at the New York University Medical Center, and a post-doctoral research fellowship in molecular pathology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Polsky joined the NYU faculty in 2000, and was appointed the Director of the Pigmented Lesion Clinic in 2008, succeeding his mentor and clinic founder, Dr. Alfred Kopf.  Dr. Polsky conducts clinical research focused on improving the diagnosis of melanoma at its earliest, surgically curable stage. He also directs a research laboratory that is developing blood and tissue based biomarkers to improve the management of patients with locally advanced and metastatic melanoma.

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Susan Swetter, M.D.

Professor, Dermatology
Assistant Chief, Dermatology Service
Director, Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program
Physician Leader, Cancer Care Program in Cutaneous Oncology
Stanford University

Susan M. Swetter, MD, is Professor of Dermatology and Director of the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program at Stanford University Medical Center and Cancer Institute, as well as Physician Leader of the Cancer Care Program in Cutaneous Oncology. Dr Swetter received her BA with Distinction from the University of Virginia and her MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. She completed an internship in internal medicine at University of California San Francisco, followed by a residency and a chief residency in dermatology at Stanford University Medical Center. She joined the Stanford Dermatology faculty in 1994 and has directed the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Programs at Stanford and VA Palo Alto since 1995. Dr. Swetter’s research interests include primary and secondary prevention strategies in melanoma and clinical studies of melanoma epidemiology, prognostic factors, and chemoprevention. She serves on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Melanoma Panel and chairs the American Academy of Dermatology melanoma clinical practice guidelines Work Group. Dr. Swetter is the national dermatologist liaison to the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group’s Melanoma Committee and co-directs the Melanoma Prevention Working Group, a multi-center Intergroup collaboration dedicated to cancer control and melanoma prevention.

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