David Norris, MD
David Norris, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has become the new President of the American Skin Association (ASA). Dr. Norris will be taking over for Philip Prioleau, MD, who has held the position since 2014. Prior to Dr. Prioleau’s tenure, the position of President was held by ASA Founder Dr. George W. Hambrick, Jr, MD, for over 25 years.
Dr. Norris has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado for 39 years and has supervised 25 trainees, many of whom have entered academic careers. Dr. Norris has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1980. He is Director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)–funded P30 Skin Diseases Research Core Center at the University of Colorado Denver and is Co-Director, with Dennis Roop, PhD, of the NIAMS T32 training grant, which has been funded for 34 years. This NIAMS-supported Research Center is a consortium of 49 investigators. For 12 years, Dr. Norris has also been funded by a Department of Veterans Affairs Merit Award to study drug combinations that target melanoma by overcoming antiapoptotic defenses, especially in melanoma-initiating cells.
Dr. Norris has been a part of the American Skin Association since 1997, serving on its Board of Directors and as the Chair of its Medical Advisory Committee, which is composed of leading physicians and scientists. Dr. Norris has overseen the committee’s annual grant review and award process. Under his leadership, the program has supported the work of investigators ranging from gifted young researchers in the earliest phases of their careers to recognized leaders in the field. The program also supports medical students committing themselves to the study of melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer.
Research Interests and Positions
Dr. Norris is an internationally renowned investigator in cutaneous immunology, cell biology, and melanoma research. He began his research career studying mechanisms of cell death in photosensitive lupus and vitiligo and made seminal discoveries regarding the role of ultraviolet light in inducing translocation of autoantigens to the plasma membrane in keratinocytes in photosensitive lupus. His interest in immune mechanisms in vitiligo led to many years of research in pigment cell biology, which eventually developed into studies of the resistance of melanocytes and melanoma to apoptosis. His current research focuses on the network of antiapoptotic defenses in the skin, how these defenses can be maintained in inflammatory and immunologic diseases, and how they can be overcome in cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Dr. Norris has held many positions in academic dermatology. He was Editor of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and served on the Board of Directors of the Society for Investigative Dermatology and as President of the Society from 1998 to 1999. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Melanoma Research Foundation. Dr. Norris is Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Review Committee of the National Psoriasis Foundation, Past Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council of the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of the American Skin Association. ■