Dermatology Summit (Jan 12)

Staying Green in 2020

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Making a DIFference in Dermatology

The mission of the Dermatology Innovation Forum is to build a community of dermatologists and their colleagues who are excited about developing ideas into products which can substantially improve skin health.

Held the day prior to the American Academy of Dermatology annual meeting, the forum focuses on educating participants about inspiring innovations that can provide a basis for the generation of important dermatology products and services. By including physicians, researchers, inventors, investors, strategic corporate partners, service providers, government regulators, patient advocates, and other stakeholders, the Forum also provides a unique networking venue for its attendees to communicate with, learn from, and collaborate with each other.



Angela M. Christiano, PhD, is the Richard and Mildred Rhodebeck Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center. She is also the Director of Basic Science Research in the Department of Dermatology at CUMC. For the past 20 years, Dr. Christiano's research has focused on understanding the molecular processes that lead to inherited skin and hair disorders in humans. Her research career began with the discovery of genetic mutations associated with epidermolysis bullosa, a skin disease that causes severe blistering. Dr. Christiano's recent work has focused on the investigation of the underlying genetic causes of and identification of potential therapies for alopecia areata, an autoimmune form of hair loss. She has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has trained more than 50 postdoctoral researchers and clinical fellows at Columbia University through the Program in Genetics & Development, the Institute of Human Nutrition, the Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Studies in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, and the Stem Cell Training Program.

Angela M. Christiano, PhD, is the Richard and Mildred Rhodebeck Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Genetics and Development at Columbia University Medical Center. She is also the Director of Basic Science Research in the Department of Dermatology at CUMC. For the past 20 years, Dr. Christiano's research has focused on understanding the molecular processes that lead to inherited skin and hair disorders in humans. Her research career began with the discovery of genetic mutations associated with epidermolysis bullosa, a skin disease that causes severe blistering. Dr. Christiano's recent work has focused on the investigation of the underlying genetic causes of and identification of potential therapies for alopecia areata, an autoimmune form of hair loss. She has published more than 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals and has trained more than 50 postdoctoral researchers and clinical fellows at Columbia University through the Program in Genetics & Development, the Institute of Human Nutrition, the Integrated Program in Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Studies in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, the Clinical and Translational Science Award Program, and the Stem Cell Training Program.

Dr. Christiano was past President of the Society for Investigative Dermatology (2017), and previously served as Deputy Editor of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. She earned her MS and PhD degrees in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics from Rutgers University.

Myriam Golembo is VP Regulatory Affairs and Dermatology at BiomX, a microbiome drug discovery company developing customized phage therapies that seek and destroy harmful bacteria in chronic diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and cancer. She has been leading the development of BX001 a topical gel for acne-prone skin for the past 2.5 years into the recently initiated clinical study. Myriam holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the Weizmann Institute and has over 15 years' experience in the biotech industry. Prior to BiomX, she was VP regulatory and clinical operations at a company developing immunotherapy for cancer and viral disease, and VP product development at a company developing new formulated antibiotics for ear, nose and throat. Previous to these, she served as Director of Products Development at Protalix, a company developing and marketing FDA approved recombinant therapeutic proteins with clinically improved profiles produced in a plant cell-based protein expression platform, where she focused in regulatory and clinical development.

Dr. Halpern is an internationally recognized expert in melanoma and pigmented lesions. He has served as co­Chairman of the National Council for Skin Cancer Prevention and is currently Chief of the Dermatology Service and co-leader of the Melanoma Disease Management Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Halpern has contributed to our understanding of melanoma prevention, prognosis, and risk stratification as well as the natural history of melanocytic tumor progression in humans. Dr. Halpern has been a pioneer in the application of imaging technologies to dermatology research and clinical care. His clinical team has been at the forefront of the use of total body photography (TBP), dermoscopy, and reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) for melanoma surveillance, diagnosis, and surgical management. The optical engineering laboratory established by Dr. Halpern and led by Dr. Rajadhyaksha invented the technologic underpinnings of hand-held in vivo reflectance RCM and played a central role in establishing RCM as an important adjunct to clinical care. Dr. Halpern initiated and leads the International Skin Imaging Collaboration (ISIC). Under his leadership, ISIC has become the international focal point for developing standards for skin imaging and the nexus of efforts in the application of artificial intelligence to the diagnosis of skin cancer.

John E. Harris, MD, PhD, is a tenured Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, MA. He serves as Director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMMS, focusing both on the clinical management of vitiligo patients as well as research into new therapeutic strategies. His approach includes the seamless integration of basic, translational, and clinical studies that incorporate the use of mouse models, human tissues, and clinical trials that determine disease mechanisms of vitiligo, identify quantifiable markers of disease activity, and test new treatments.

Previous work from his research team highlighted the central role that the IFN- signaling pathway plays in both the progression and maintenance of vitiligo, and recent studies in both mice and humans have demonstrated efficacy of new immunotherapies that target this pathway. Early clinical trials in vitiligo using this strategy look promising, and more are being developed. Recent work from his lab revealed that targeting the IL-15 signaling pathway not only results in reversal of disease, but durable, long-lasting improvement. As a result of this work, Dr. Harris acquired Series A funding to further develop this approach as a new treatment for vitiligo and founded Villaris Therapeutics, whose entire focus is to develop an effective, long-lasting treatment for vitiligo.

Ongoing research seeks to better characterize the mechanism of action of these new treatments and to identify new targets in order to design an optimal therapeutic strategy for vitiligo patients, who currently have no FDA-approved treatment options. Long-term goals are to bring new treatments with better safety and efficacy into the clinic, to develop more durable, long-lasting therapies, and ultimately to find a cure for this psychologically devastating disease.

Michael Howell currently works as the Senior Director of Translational Research at the Incyte Corporation with a focus on immunological and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Howell received his PhD in Immunology from West Virginia University School of Medicine and completed his post-doctoral training at National Jewish Health. While at National Jewish, Michael transitioned to the faculty and served as a Co-Investigator for the Atopic Dermatitis Vaccinia Network. Since transitioning to industry, Dr. Howell has held positions at Boehringer Ingelheim, the Immune Tolerance Network, and MedImmune/AstraZeneca. Throughout his career, Dr. Howell has combined clinical, translational, and basic science approaches to identify personalized medicine approaches to treat inflammatory and immunological diseases. This has been highlighted in national and international meetings, publications, and patents for therapeutic interventions and biomarker strategies.

Edward Hsia, PhD is currently VP, External Research & Innovation, at Almirall where he leads the identification and evaluation of early stage external innovation opportunities. Dr. Hsia is responsible for developing a network within academia, research institutions, biotech/pharma companies, and start-up firms that will ultimately help strengthen Almirall’s early stage pipeline. Dr. Hsia has been in the dermatology field since 2004. Beginning with Connetics and through acquisitions by Stiefel and GSK, Dr. Hsia gained increasing responsibilities in the areas of research and early development. Just prior to joining Almirall in 2017, Dr. Hsia was Executive Director at Allergan where he led the research effort in medical dermatology. Dr. Hsia holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences from UC Davis, and a PhD in Biochemistry from Boston University.

Dina Katabi is the Andrew & Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She is also the director of the MIT's Center for Wireless Networks and Mobile Computing, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award. Professor Katabi received her PhD and MS from MIT in 2003 and 1999, and her Bachelor of Science from Damascus University in 1995. Katabi's research focuses on innovations in mobile computing, wireless sensing, and machine learning with application to digital health. Her research has been recognized with ACM Prize in Computing, the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, the SIGCOMM test of Time Award, the Faculty Research Innovation Fellowship, a Sloan Fellowship, the NBX Career Development chair, and the NSF CAREER award. Her students received the ACM Best Doctoral Dissertation Award in Computer Science and Engineering twice. Further, her work was recognized by the IEEE William R. Bennett prize, three ACM SIGCOMM Best Paper awards, an NSDI Best Paper award, and a TR10 award. Several start-ups have been spun out of Katabi's lab such as PiCharging and Emerald.

Art Papier MD is a founder of VisualDx and CEO. A dermatologist, Art has a particular interest in designing clinical systems that leverage the human ability for pattern recognition, thereby increasing clinical accuracy and reducing diagnostic error at the point of care. In line with this goal, he has led the development of VisualDx, the first diagnostic clinical decision support system to be widely used, and to incorporate machine learning for skin rashes and lesions. Art is also passionate about the engagement of people in their medical decisions, in consumer health, and developing tools to educate and empower patients in their homes and on their mobile devices. The focus of his work is to assist medical decisions by professionals and people alike, with decision support and AI augmenting human intelligence.

A graduate of Wesleyan University, Art received his MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine and completed his graduate medical training at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Medical Informatics at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Michael Sierra, Ph.D. is currently Vice President of LEO Science & Tech Hub Cambridge (USA). Prior to this position, he held the positions of Director of Medicinal Chemistry, Director of Chemical Research, Director of External Discovery and Executive Director of Translational Research at LEO Pharma (Denmark). Before that, Michael worked 10 years at GlaxoSmithkline’s Centre de Recherche, Les Ulis (France) and the biotech, CareX, Strasbourg (France) as Head of Chemistry. He received his BS in chemistry from Ohio Northern University (USA), his Ph.D. in chemistry at Wayne State University (USA) and held a 2 year post doctoral position at Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau (France). He has 24 years of drug discovery experience in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases as well as inflammation and dermatology with the identification of 18 clinical candidates.

Mr. Smith, a corporate lawyer focusing on intellectual property transactions, venture financings and regulatory matters for life sciences companies and investors, is of Counsel with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in its Pittsburgh office. He is a member of the firm's Health Sciences Department. Mr. Smith's intellectual property-related work includes IP transactions, regulatory issues and licensing. His corporate practice is concentrated in the organization, financing and growth of life sciences companies, and he is an authority on the legal issues surrounding the use of human biological materials. He frequently speaks at universities and trade conferences on commercial development of tissue, cell and gene technologies.

Mr. Smith is active in a number of trade organizations and scientific societies. He is a Fellow of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. Mr. Smith is a graduate of Hamilton College (A.B. 1977) and American University, Washington College of Law (J.D. 1980). He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania.

Dr. Tang is a Professor of Dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine. She received her MD and PhD (Biophysics) from Stanford in 2003. Dr. Tang’s research focuses on the clinical development of novel therapeutics for rare monogenetic skin diseases such as Basal Cell Nevus (Gorlin) Syndrome and Epidermolysis Bullosa. Dr. Tang and her colleagues showed that Hedgehog pathway inhibition could dramatically shrink Basal Cell Carcinoma tumors in patients with Gorlin Syndrome in randomized clinical trials. Her work has helped start companies who are testing topical Patidegib gel (PellePharm Inc) and itraconazole in Gorlin Syndrome. For conflict of interest, Dr. Tang is a co-founder and advisor to PellePharm and has a patent on itraconazole and BCCs. Dr. Tang also leads the clinical trials of keratinocyte skin grafts (EB-101 licensed to Abeona). These gene-corrected grafts were granted FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Regenerative Medicine Advanced Therapy Designation.

Steve Xu MD, MSc is a Harvard-trained physician-engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, board-certified dermatologist, and academic. Currently, he is the Medical Director of the Center of Bio-Integrated Electronics (CBIE) at Northwestern University and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

He received his undergraduate degree in bioengineering from Rice University summa cum laude, a Masters in Health Policy, Planning, and Finance with Merit from The London School of Economics where he was a Marshall Scholar, and an MD from Harvard Medical School with special honors where he was a Soros Fellow. He completed his residency training in dermatology at the McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University where he still actively practices.

Throughout his career, Dr. Xu has developed numerous medical technologies that span multiple medical fields including dermatology, orthopedics, cardiology and consumer health. He is a core developer of the ANNE® Vital Signs Monitoring System commercialized through Sibel Health where he is a co-founder and CEO. His work has been supported by industry, philanthropy, and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Xu is an inventor on more than a dozen patents and has authored more than 75 peer-reviewed publications. His work has appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, Science, and Nature with coverage from media sources such as The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times. He is externally recognized expert on medical innovation and digital health.




Registration, Light Snacks and Networking Café




Program to include Industry Panels, Featured Speakers


Networking Reception



Conference Board of Directors

Frederick C. Beddingfield III is founder, president, chief executive and member of the board of directors of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. He started Sienna in 2016 and took the company public in 2017. Prior to Sienna, Frederick served as Chief Medical Officer of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals from March 2013 until it was acquired by Allergan in 2015. Frederick worked at Allergan for 10 years (2003-2013) where he led the development of global leading brands in medical dermatology and aesthetics including Botox, Juvederm, Voluma, Kybella, Latisse, Aczone, and Tazorac. He has led multiple successful FDA advisor committees.

Since completing his training, Frederick has always maintained a clinical and teaching practice at UCLA where he is an Associate Clinical Professor. He is a board-certified dermatologist and emergency medicine physician and a fellowship trained dermatologic surgeon. Frederick completed his medical degree at UNC Chapel Hill, his residency and fellowship training at UCLA, and his PhD in Policy Analysis Research at RAND. He serves on the board of directors of Cytrellis Biosystems, Inc. and on the medical advisory board of the Children’s Skin Disease Foundation and Camp Wonder.

John Doux, MD obtained a B.S. with distinction and an MD from Stanford University, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow performing research in the laboratory of Dr. David Woodley. After an internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, he returned to Stanford to complete his residency training in dermatology. He also completed an MBA at the Wharton School of Business where he was a Palmer Scholar. He is board certified in dermatology and maintains an active clinical practice. Since 2004 he has also served as an analyst at Palo Alto Investors, an investment fund specializing in healthcare with $2B+ in assets under management.

William Ju, MD, FAAD is a board-certified dermatologist and has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical experience in a wide variety of therapeutic areas, including dermatology. He is president and a co-founding trustee of Advancing Innovation in Dermatology, Inc. Dr. Ju has been president and chief executive officer of Follica, Inc. and chief operating officer at PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (PTCT). In addition, he has held executive positions at Pharmacia Corporation/Pfizer, Inc. Merck & Co., Inc., and Hoffmann La Roche, Inc. in a broad range of product development and leadership functions. Dr. Ju served as project leader for SUTENT®, introduced CANCIDAS® into humans, and was part of the product development teams for CRIXIVAN® and TRANSLARNA™.

Dr. Ju began his pharmaceutical career at Hoffmann-La Roche where he was a clinical leader for the development of dermatology compounds. Before entering industry, Dr. Ju was a senior staff fellow in basic research in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology under Douglas Lowy, M.D. and was affiliated with the Dermatology Branch at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health. He obtained his M.D. with Alpha Omega Alpha honors at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his A.B. with Phi Beta Kappa honors at Princeton University. Dr. Ju is a co-founder of EdWiser, Inc. (now known as Zoomi, Inc.), is currently a member of the board of directors for Brickell Biotech, Inc., and serves on the Advisory Council for the Keller Center for Innovation Engineering Education at Princeton University.

Seth Orlow, MD, PhD has over 25 years of experience in medicine, science, and finance. As a faculty member at New York University, Dr. Orlow rose to become Chair of its leading dermatology department. He serves as a Senior Advisor with Pharus Advisors, focused on strategic transactional/investment banking advisory services in the dermatology and personal care sectors. In 1995 he co-founded Anaderm, a dermatologic discovery company backed by Pfizer and OSI Pharmaceuticals. He participated in the sale of Anaderm to Pfizer in 2002. From 2001-2010, he rose from Advisor to Partner with Easton Capital Partners, a venture capital firm focused on healthcare and consumer products. At Easton, he was involved in the sourcing, diligence, funding, oversight and exit of investments in many healthcare companies such as Acorda, Conor Medsystems, Protez, Salmedix and Transave. Dr. Orlow has licensed technologies to companies ranging from Pfizer to SkinMedica. An author of over 200 medical/scientific publications, he is an internationally sought-after speaker and thought leader. A graduate of Harvard in Biochemical Sciences and with an MD-PhD in Molecular Pharmacology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Dr. Orlow trained in Pediatrics and Dermatology at Mt. Sinai and Yale.

Dr. Walker co-founded Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. and has served as its President and CEO and a member of the board of directors since 2012. He is a board-certified dermatologist and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the life science industry. He began his pharmaceutical industry career at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Walker co-founded NeXeption LLC, a biopharmaceutical assets management company, in 2012. He co-founded and served as president and CEO and a member of the board of directors of Vicept Therapeutics Inc., a dermatology-focused specialty pharmaceutical company, from 2009 until its acquisition by Allergan in 2011. Previously, Dr. Walker co-founded and led a number of life science companies, including Octagon Research Solutions Inc., a software and services provider to biopharmaceutical companies (acquired by Accenture); Trigenesis Therapeutics Inc., a specialty dermatology company, where he served as chief medical officer (acquired by Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd.); and Cutix Inc., a commercial dermatology company. He also co-founded and continues to serve on the board of directors of the Dermatology Summit, Dermatology Innovation Forum, and Advancing Innovation in Dermatology. Dr. Walker is on the board of directors of Aldeyra Therapeutics Inc., a publicly held biotechnology company, as well as Life Sciences Pennsylvania and several private companies. In 2016, Dr. Walker was awarded the Frank Baldino Bioscience CEO of the Year award and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Greater Philadelphia award. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Lehigh University, a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Albert Cha, MD, PhD. is a Managing Partner who invests in private and public biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. He currently serves on the boards of Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND), BioHaven Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BHVN), KalVista Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KALV), Menlo Therapeutics (NASDAQ: MNLO).

He was an investor in Aclaris Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ACRS), AirXpanders (ASX: AXP), ProNAi Therapeutics (NASDAQ: DNAI), Ceptaris Therapeutics (acquired by Actelion), Neomend (acquired by Bard), Vicept Therapeutics (acquired by Allergan), Bioform Medical (BFRM, acquired by Merz), Biodel (BIOD), and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ASPV, acquired by Galenica). Albert was also involved in founding NextWave Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Pfizer) and Prestwick Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Biovail). Other investments include YM Biosciences (YMI), Dynavax Technologies (DVAX), Avanir Pharmaceuticals (AVNR), Acura Pharmaceuticals (ACUR), and AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG). Albert is also a co-founder and board member of the annual Dermatology Summit and Dermatology Innovation Forum. Prior to joining Vivo, Albert worked at Oracle Corporation in pharmaceutical consulting and at the Palo Alto VA Hospital as a biomedical engineer.



For Sponsorship Opportunities, please contact Rhonda Ware at


The Dermatology Innovation Forum utilizes a conference app for meeting materials and networking appointments, available on both Apple and Android devices for all registered attendees.

This app will also serve as our networking portal. Upon logging into the app, you will be able to network with other attendees and set up meetings in our 1:1 conference networking space.

Our app will launch in February, and you will receive an email at that time with download instructions.



Event Details

Erin Conner, CMP
Eclipse Meeting Productions, LLC
A Compass Group Partners Company

Sponsorship Opportunities

Rhonda Ware, HMCC
Eclipse Meeting Productions, LLC
A Compass Group Partners Company

Confirmed Speakers

Melanie Conner
Eclipse Meeting Productions, LLC
A Compass Group Partners Company

Click here for Confirmed Speaker Deliverables

Venue Details

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
1881 Curtis Street
Denver, CO 80202
Hotel Website


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the agenda for the conference?

The current program agenda can be found here.

What is the cost of registration?

  • If registered by December 5, 2019 - $185 Physicians and Academicians / $445 Industry
  • Registration after December 5, 2019 - $245 Physicians and Academicians / $595 Industry

What is included in the registration fees?

Conference registration includes:

  • Networking Café
  • Networking Breaks
  • All Conference Sessions
  • Access to Conference App for Networking Opportunities
  • Evening Networking Cocktail Reception

How do I become a Sponsor?

If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, please contact Rhonda Ware at, for the sponsorship overview and level pricing.


Our app will launch in February, and you will receive an email at that time with download instructions to network with other conference attendees and set up 1:1 meetings in our dedicated networking space.

Where can I make hotel reservations?

If you will be attending the Annual AAD conference, you will need to visit the 2020 Annual Meeting website at to request hotel accommodations. If you are not attending the Annual AAD Conference, a list of local hotels will be available at

What is the dress code?

Attire is business casual. Feel free to be comfortable in slacks, polo shirts, blazers, blouses and most importantly, comfortable shoes. We do recommend you dress in layers as temperatures in meeting rooms can vary.

I am a Sponsor. How do I redeem my contracted complimentary registration(s)?

After your sponsorship has been processed, you will receive an email with a unique code and instructions to register online. We encourage all complimentary and discounted registrations to be completed by February 14, 2020. If you have not yet received the email, please contact us at

Cancellation Policy

Requests for registration fee cancellations for the conference must be received on or before February 18, 2020 by 3pm Eastern Time. At the discretion of the conference organizers, a refund via the method of original payment, minus a $125 non-refundable administrative fee, will be issued. No refunds will be made if notice is received after 3pm Eastern Time on February 18, 2020. Written notice of your cancellation should be sent to with a copy to

Force Majeure

No damages or refunds shall be due for a failure of performance by the occurrence of any contingency beyond the reasonable control of AID or Eclipse Meeting Productions. These contingencies include, without limitation, threat of or actual war, terrorism, sabotage, insurrection, riot or other act of civil disobedience, act of public enemy, failure or delay in transportation, act of government or any agency affecting the terms of this Agreement, accident, fire, explosion, flood, severe weather, natural disaster, or other act of God, interruptions or failure of the Internet or third-party network connections, or acts beyond the reasonable control of the responsible parties making the Event impossible to hold.

Advancing Innovation in Dermatology, Inc. is a registered IRS 501(c)(3) organization designated as a public charity in the United States.