Kudos to the Skin of Color Society (SOCS) for a banner year.

At its recent annual business meeting held in conjunction with the 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology, SOCS President Seemal R. Desai, MD, President & Medical Director for Innovative Dermatology, PA, in Plano, Texas as well as Clinical Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Texas Southwestern, reviewed 2017-2018 highlights including:

  • Professional membership has doubled since 2015, and has grown to 436 members from 29 countries around the world (up from 21 countries in 2017), with a sharp rise in membership among residents and research fellows.
  • The SOCS has increased engagement with medical students through the medical school awareness program, helping them secure residencies with a year-by-year guide available on www.skinofcolorsociety.org.
  • SOCS has expanded its skin of color dermatology mentorship program to include a record 78 mentors from 10 countries who are available to share their expertise with dermatology residents and young dermatologists.
  • SOCS dermatologists participated in a successful inaugural partnership with Procter & Gamble on its Science Behind Symposium, involving mentors Lynn McKinley-Grant, MD and Susan C. Taylor, MD and mentees Nada Elbuluk, MD, MSc and Pooja Sodha, MD. 
  • The 2018 SOCS Research Award was given to Shawn Kwatra, MD Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, for his project: "Molecular Basis of Itch in African Americans."
  • A team of SOCS leaders shared their expertise with NYC-based editors at the Society's 3rd Annual Media Day, which was moderated by Lee Thomas, Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, author and vitiligo patient advocate. SOCS members who presented expert talks at this exciting, well-attended event included: Drs. Seemal R. Desai; Susan C. Taylor; Valerie Callender; Maritza Perez; and Andrew Alexis. Nada Elbuluk, MD and Babar Rao, MD also participated as supporting experts.

The SOCS gratefully recognizes outgoing Board of Directors Members: Drs. Gary Brauner, Babar K. Rao and Heather Woolery-Lloyd, and approved new officers: SOCS & SOCS Foundation Board of Directors: Drs. Cheryl Burgess, Maritza Perez, and Valerie M. Harvey, whose terms expire in 2021.

Following the business meeting, the 14th SOCS Annual Scientific Symposium was presented, co-chaired and moderated by Drs. Andrew Alexis and Amy McMichael. Oral presentations were judged by: Drs. Roopal Kundu, Susan C. Taylor and Lynn McKinley-Grant. Six medical students / residents / research fellows presented their original research, including:

  • Nahla Shihab, MD - Universitas Indonesia
  • Yssra S. Soliman, BA - Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Yemisi Dina, BS - Meharry Medical College
  • Divya Seth - Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Eseosa Asemota, MD, MPH - Tufts Medical Center
  • Andrea Tovar Garza, MD - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

In addition,  24 medical students/residents/research fellows displayed research posters. A summary can be viewed by visiting: http://bit.ly/2p8FNeM

Five expert talks were presented during the SOCS Scientific Symposium by invited speakers, including:

  • Amit G. Pandya, MD - University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, "Pigmentary disorder breakthroughs                    
  • Valerie D. Callender, MD - Callender Dermatology & Cosmetic Center, "Update on Hair Loss in Women of Color" 
  • Hema Sundaram, MD - Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, "Emerging Strategies for Planning and Implementation of Aesthetic Treatments in Skin of Color"
  • Steven L. Pruitt - Managing Partner, Watts Partners, "Raising the public policy profile and discussion on the treatment of skin scarring and keloids in patients with skin of color" 
  • Jonathan Silverberg, MD - Northwestern University, "An update on atopic dermatitis including co-morbidities and treatment breakthroughs"

The SOCS leadership gratefully acknowledges contributions from the following 2017-2018 sponsors whose support helps to advance the SOCS mission: Leo Pharmaceuticals; Merz Aesthetics; Ortho Dermatologics; Pfizer; Sun Pharmaceuticals; Nutrafol/Nutraceutical Wellness; Procter & Gamble; Regeneron Healthcare Solutions; Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc; Dermira; Janssen Biotech, Inc; Global Vitiligo Foundation and many individual donors.