A Plenary showcase

Today’s Plenary session (P151) will present five lectures on a broad scope of topics, including dermatologic analysis, gene editing, infliximab, atopic dermatitis, and physician burnout and wellness. The session, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. in Ballroom 20, will also include addresses by AAD President Henry W. Lim, MD, and President-Elect Suzanne Olbricht, MD.

Clarence S. Livingood, MD, Award and Lectureship

Although dermatologists understand that outcomes of care cannot always be captured by easily measured metrics, we are making substantial progress in accurate, systematic measurement of skin disease and dermatologic care. We can use this assembled and validated data to understand the burden of skin diseases and how to improve our care.

In “The State of (Measuring) the Art of Dermatology,” Mary-Margaret Chren, MD, will review the current advancements and discuss how these can help our patients and our specialty. Dr. Chren is professor of dermatology at Vanderbilt University.

Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award and Lectureship

CRISPR technology and its gene-editing ability are transforming biology. It is imperative to understand the underlying chemical mechanisms of RNA-guided DNA and RNA cleavage in order to provide a foundation for both conceptual advancements and technology development.

Jennifer A. Doudna, PhD, will examine how technology inspires the creation of powerful genome engineering tools and enables advances in fundamental biology and applications in medicine in her presentation “CRISPR Systems: Nature’s Toolkit for Genome Editing.” She will also consider the ethical challenges that surround these applications. Dr. Doudna is professor and HHMI investigator at University of California, Berkeley.

Eugene J. Van Scott Award for Innovative Therapy of the Skin and Phillip Frost Leadership Lecture

A monoclonal antibody against human TNF became the core of the biologic drug infliximab/Remicade. Today, dermatologists use it in the treatment of numerous chronic inflammatory autoimmune diseases, and its accomplishment has prompted development and regulatory approval of other TNF antagonists.

Jan T. Vilcek, MD, PhD, will reveal how his work demonstrates the value of university-based basic research for therapeutic advances and economic progress in “Infliximab: How a TNF Inhibitor Advanced from Modest Beginnings to Unforeseen Therapeutic Success.” Dr. Vilcek is professor emeritus and research professor, department of microbiology, at NYU Langone Health School of Medicine.

Marion B. Sulzberger, MD, Memorial Award and Lectureship

Atopic dermatitis (AD) is the most common inflammatory skin disorder in the developed and urbanized world, and it continues to chart at the top of hot topics at AAD meetings. The development of AD has evolved rapidly in the last decade, giving dermatologists a better understanding of the interactions between the skin barrier and the microbiome, and of the mechanisms of environmental pollutants.

In his lecture “Atopic Dermatitis,” Alan D. Irvine, MD, DSc, will share how these insights are being translated into clinical trials and routine care, which provide hopeful outcomes for current sufferers. Dr. Irvine is professor of dermatology at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland.

Guest Speaker

Studies show that between 30% and 68% of physicians experience symptoms of burnout. These figures are higher than any other professional group. So what can physicians and organizations do to combat burnout and improve physician wellness? Abraham Verghese, MD, will present “The Pathology Within: Burnout, Wellness, and the Search for Meaning in a Professional Life.”

Dr. Verghese has chronicled and championed this critical issue as a leader in the field. He is a member of the Stanford WellMd program, which conducts research and leads a national symposium. He also directs the Stanford Center, Presence: The Art and Science of Human Connection, serves as senior associate chair at Stanford University School of Medicine, and is author of the New York Times bestseller Cutting for Stone.


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