Samuel T. Hwang, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience as a physician scientist investigating immunological diseases of the skin, has been named chair of the UC Davis Department of Dermatology. The Harvard-trained professor will serve as chair for a five-year term. He comes to Sacramento from the Medical College of Wisconsin.
Hwang now leads one of the largest dermatology departments in the nation, with approximately 200 employees who help provide care for more than 30,000 clinic visits last year. The department includes a team of 17 clinical and research faculty, as well as staff physicians, residents, nurses and other clinical and administrative staff. In addition to having its main clinic facility in East Sacramento, and satellite services at primary care sites around the region, the department also offers teledermatology consultations. That service uses secure video conferencing to enable patients with mobility issues or living in remote areas to be examined and treated by UC Davis dermatologists without the need to travel to Sacramento.
Like the department he now leads, Hwang has strong clinical and basic science research expertise in a range of skin diseases, as well as a special interest in skin cancers such as melanoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Hwang served for over a decade as a senior investigator in the Dermatology Branch of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of leukocyte and cancer-cell trafficking, and has had a long standing interest in the role of chemokine receptors, including CCR6 and CXCR4 in immune cells, as well as cancer cells.
“Over the last five years, the UC Davis Department of Dermatology, Comprehensive Cancer Center and School of Veterinary Medicine have produced some exciting immunotherapy research,” said Ralph de Vere White, cancer center director. “We greatly look forward to Dr. Hwang’s addition of new scientific strength and his years of experience in this developing area.”
As a major referral center for Northern California and Nevada, Hwang’s Department of Dermatology enables patients to tap into a team of board-certified dermatologists, who can handle common conditions such as acne, eczema and skin allergies, as well as complex and uncommon skin disorders such as cutaneous lymphoma, hair loss, lupus, psoriasis, rosacea, scleroderma, skin discoloration and skin ulcers.
“I am excited to be part of a vibrant clinical department and the stellar academic community of UC Davis,” said Hwang, who noted that his department also collaborates closely with the university’s stem cell researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Cures. “Given that our research efforts totaled more than $6 million in NIH funding last year, we expect to be among the nation’s top 10 of dermatology departments very soon.”
Hwang received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed his dermatology residency at UC San Francisco. This year, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, and he serves as section editor for the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and the Journal of Dermatological Sciences. Hwang has published more than 65 original and review articles in publications that include the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Cancer Research, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and the Archives of Dermatology. He was elected by his peers to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2007, and has lectured internationally and nationally.
As department chair, Hwang receives an annual base salary of $235,100. Additional compensation information is available upon request.