AAD’s Plenary speakers offer key insight

This year’s Plenary speakers cover a wide range of topics. Learn more about these seven individuals and what they plan to share in their presentations.

Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD

Eugene J. Van Scott Award for Innovative Therapy of the Skin and Phillip Frost Leadership Lecture: “Less Toxic, More Effective: A Win-Win for Merkel Cell Carcinoma”

What does it mean to you to be selected for and speak at this year’s Plenary?
Delivering the Van Scott/Frost lectureship is a career-highlight honor for me because I have always hoped my research would have impact in the care of patients. More importantly, I believe this event should help us come together to ensure Merkel cell carcinoma patients get the best possible multi-disciplinary care. Lives will literally be saved and unnecessary toxicities will be avoided due to the awareness that can come from this session.

Boris D. Lushniak, MD

Clarence S. Livingood, MD Memorial Award and Lectureship: “I Acted and Behold, Service was Joy”

What is one insight you can share about the future of dermatology?
We, as dermatologists, need to be fully engaged in paving the pathway for the future of dermatology as a 21st century specialty. Embrace technology but don’t forget the art, the personal interactions, and the service mission of medicine.

Crystal L. Mackall, MD

Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award and Lectureship: “Engineering T Cells for Cancer Therapy”

What is the key point you hope members will take away from your presentation?
I am hopeful that I can educate the members regarding recent progress in using engineered T cells for cancer therapy and convey to the members the basis for optimism regarding the potential of this novel class of therapeutics.

Robin Farmanfarmaian

“Patient Empowerment in the Digital Age”

What does it mean to you to be selected for and speak at this year’s Plenary?
I am incredibly honored to be selected for this year’s Plenary! As a chronic disease patient, as well as an entrepreneur working in health care, I have massive respect for physicians and other health care providers, and with good reason — they are the ones on the front lines working to save and improve other people’s lives. For decades, health care providers have helped me, and it is an honor to be able to give back to them in this small way.

Diane M. Thiboutot, MD

Marion B. Sulzberger, MD Memorial Award and Lectureship: “In Search of the Next Isotretinoin”

What is the key point you hope members will take away from your presentation?
Acne remains an important disease that causes distress to millions of individuals and that analysis of large datasets in partnership with industry can accelerate drug discovery.

George J. Hruza, MD, MBA

President-Elect’s Address

How do you plan to address challenges to the profession in your role?
Dermatology has the fastest rate of burnout increase in medicine. I will make sure that the Academy is there to support our members through a beefed-up Practice Management Center and reinvigorated advocacy at the federal and state level. A new quality improvement center will help our members improve the care they provide their patients. We will perform an in-depth review of all of our programs to enhance our effectiveness, transparency, and responsiveness to our members and the needs of dermatology.

Suzanne M. Olbricht, MD

President’s Address

What has been one of the greatest challenges to the profession in the last year?
The future of dermatology is strong. Dermatologists are energetic, passionate, and innovative. Innovating is critical because the practice of medicine will be vastly different in five years due to the digital revolution and advances in augmented intelligence. I encourage AAD members to embrace change and focus on our vision statement: Advancing excellence in dermatology.