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Ervin Epstein, MD, joined CHORI in May, 2007 after 35 years at UCSF. He graduated from Harvard College, UCSF Medical School, and received his subsequent clinical dermatology and research training at Washington University of St Louis, Harvard, New York University, and the National Institutes of Health. Since 1972 he has divided his time between independent private practice of Dermatology in Oakland and Lafayette and independent research into the molecular bases of skin diseases. He has authored more than 100 published papers and, among other organizational posts, has been the President of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the world’s largest organization devoted to investigation of the skin and its diseases. He has delivered numerous named award lectureships including those honoring Sulzberger (the American Academy of Dermatology) and Dohi (the Japanese Dermatologic Association) and was the 2005 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Skin Association.

His current NIH-funded research focuses on non-melanoma skin cancers, in particular the commonest human cancer - basal cell carcinomas. He and others identified a crucial molecular abnormality driving the development and maintenance of these tumors a decade ago and subsequently has focused on adopting this new information into therapies that someday might make surgical extirpation obsolete. In addition his lab is investigating the cell of origin of these tumors, characterizing the cancer stem cells that perpetuate their growth, determining why some people are so much more susceptible to their growth than are others, even if of the same skin coloration, the role of the immune system in inhibiting their growth, and the development not only of new treatments but also of effective preventive approaches.


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