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Department History

The Department of Dermatology at UIC is one of the oldest in the U.S. In 1894, at the age of 29, William A. Pusey, MD became the first Department Head at the newly formed Department of Dermatology. As an outstanding physician and academician, Dr. Pusey authored many textbooks of dermatology, among them Roentgen Rays in the Therapeutics and Diagnosis (1903), The Principle and Practice of Dermatology (1907), and The Care of Skin and Hair (1913). The numerous academic leadership roles of Dr. Pusey include founder and president of the Chicago Dermatological Society (1906), editor of the Archives of Dermatology (1920), and president of the American Medical Association (1923). Dr. Pusey served as the Department Head for 20 years until 1915. Pusey
   
 Francis E. Senear, MD succeeded Dr. Pusey as the second Department Head in 1923 and was the longest serving leader in our department history with a 32-year term. In his long academic career, Dr. Senear served in many leadership positions of a variety of dermatology societies including chairman of the Sections of Dermatology of the American Medical Association and the Illinois State Medical Society, president of the Chicago Dermatological Society (1927), president of the American Dermatological Association (1938), president of the American Board of Dermatology (1946-1949), and president of American Academy of Dermatology (1955). Dr. Senear has authored many dermatological articles and the most noticeable was his article entitled “An unusual case of pemphigus combining features of lupus erythematosus” which subsequently coined the term “Senear-Usher Syndrome” and this unique disease entity is now recognized as pemphigus erythematosus.
   
 The third Department Head, Dr. Marcus R. Caro, who became a dermatologist inspired by the outstanding clinical skills of Dr. Senear, served from 1955 to 1958. Dr. Caro was recognized for his outstanding teaching skills and had chaired many post-graduate courses and seminars in dermatopathology.
   
 
The 4th Department Head, Dr. Adolph Rostenberg, served from 1959 to 1974 and was the first full-time dermatology faculty member at UIC. As a keen investigator of allergic skin diseases, Dr. Rostenberg had authored and coauthored numerous scientific articles, a textbook, and served on the editorial boards of four different medical journals. Dr. Rostenberg also served as president of the Chicago Dermatological Society (1957).
   
 
Dr. Lawrence M. Solomon, the 5th Department Head, served from 1974 to 1995. Dr. Solomon was recognized for his excellent teaching skills and he oversaw a major expansion of the dermatology residency program from 2 to 12. As an academician, Dr. Solomon authored and coauthored numerous articles, 22 book chapters, and 8 textbooks. Particularly noted is the textbook entitled “Neonatal Dermatology” which was published not only in English, but also in Spanish and Italian languages. In addition, Dr. Solomon served on the editorial boards for The International Journal of Dermatology (1975-1977), The Journal of Investigative Dermatology (1977-1983), and Pediatric Dermatology (1983-2001). Dr. Solomon also served as president of Chicago Dermatological Society (1977).
   
 As the 6th Department Head, Dr. Virginia C. Fiedler served from 1995 to 2003. Dr. Fiedler is recognized as a world expert in hair loss disorders and was named as the Best Doctors in America and Best Doctors in Chicago. As an academician, Dr. Fiedler has published numerous articles and book chapters and served as principal investigator for many research grants.
   
 Dr. Iris K. Aronson served as the 7th Department Head (Acting) from 2004 to 2005. Dr. Aronson is recognized as an outstanding clinician, a devoted teacher, and an expert in skin immunopathology and rheumatological skin diseases. Dr. Aronson also served as president of Chicago Dermatological Society (2005).
   

 
The current and 8th Department Head (from 2005 on), Dr. Lawrence S. Chan, is recognized as an expert in blistering skin diseases and America’s Top Physicians by Consumers’ Research Council of America (2004-2005). As a committed investigator, Dr. Chan has authored and coauthored over 90 articles in peer-reviewed biomedical journals, and more than 30 book chapters. Currently, Dr. Chan is conducting NIH-funded research projects involving pathogenesis of atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin disease and has edited a textbook entitled “Animal Models of Human Inflammatory Skin Diseases” (CRC Press, 2003) and authored a textbook entitled “Blistering Skin Diseases” (Manson Publishing-American Society of Microbiology Press, 2009).

 

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