Lawrence S. Chan, MD

Chan Endowment

Donor: Dr. Lawrence S. Chan


Lawrence S. Chan, MD (pictured here), was born in Hong Kong, then a British colony. Having found his adopted country in 1975 when he immigrated to the United States, Lawrence made a substantial strike for his new life here in the US. Without a formal high school education, he first learned the English language in the evening while working during the day as an apartment maintenance man in Washington, DC. Shortly after he developed some command of the English language, he applied and was admitted as a special student to Montgomery College, a two-year community college in the suburb of Washington, DC. Two years later, Lawrence graduated with an associate degree and was admitted to Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a transfer student. Majoring in Life Sciences and Chemical Engineering, Lawrence worked hard and earned BS degrees in both majors from MIT and thereafter entered the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to pursue his medical studies in 1981. Having graduated with an MD in 1985, Dr. Chan first took a one-year post-doctoral fellowship position in Biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvania and then completed his internship training at the Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center from 1986-1987.

Dr. Chan spent the next four years, from 1987 to 1991, at the University of Michigan for his Dermatology Residency and Immuno-dermatology Fellowship training. His work during this period of time resulted in 26 peer-reviewed biomedical journal articles. Significantly, he discovered a novel case of autoimmune blistering skin disease characterized by autoantibody to a novel, 105-kD sized, skin basement membrane protein, which subsequently enabled him to apply and obtain an independent R01 research grant from the National Institute of Health to study this new protein.

After a brief stay at Wayne State University, Dr. Chan served as Assistant Professor and Director of Immuno-dermatology Unit at Northwestern University from 1993 to 2002. During this period of time he generated a mouse model of atopic dermatitis by transgenically expressing interleukin-4 to the basal epidermis using a keratin 14 promoter/enhancer.

In 2002, Dr. Chan moved to University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to continue his academic pursuits. His current research interests include pathogenic mechanisms of atopic dermatitis, inflammation-mediated angiogenesis, and autoimmune blistering skin diseases. Besides serving as a VA physician at the Jesse Brown West Side Medical Center, Dr. Chan also cares for patients with atopic dermatitis and blistering skin diseases at the UIC Medical Center. Dr. Chan has authored and coauthored more than 90 peer-reviewed biomedical journal articles and 30 book chapters.  He has recently edited a research textbook entitled “Animal Models of Human Inflammatory Skin Diseases” (CRC Press, 2003) and authored a clinical textbook entitled “A Color Handbook of Blistering Skin Diseases (Manson Publishing-American Society of Microbiology Press, 2009).

In August 2005, Dr. Chan was promoted to be Professor of Dermatology and the Department Head of Dermatology at UIC. Recognizing the importance of supporting the future success of Dermatology at UIC, Dr. Chan has contributed this endowment entitled “Lawrence S. Chan, MD Endowed Skin Research Fund”, which will be distributed biennially to support the basic or clinical research needs of junior faculty members in the UIC Department of Dermatology. Besides clinical medicine and research, Dr. Chan likes international travel, painting, photography, and Chinese calligraphy