• Press Release

Mount Sinai Health System Names New Chair of Dermatology and Announces Dean for Clinical Therapeutics

  • New York, NY
  • (July 31, 2020)

Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD, a world-renowned expert in the molecular and cellular pathomechanisms of inflammatory skin diseases, has been named Chair of the Kimberly and Eric J. Waldman Department of Dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Mount Sinai Health System, effective Friday, January 1, 2021.

Dr. Guttman-Yassky will be the first woman to serve as Chair of a Department of Dermatology in New York City. She is currently the Sol and Clara Kest Professor of Dermatology, Vice Chair of Research, Director of the Center for Excellence in Eczema, and Director of the Laboratory of Inflammatory Skin Diseases at Mount Sinai. She will retain her Center and Laboratory roles after her new appointment.

Dr. Guttman-Yassky will replace Mark Lebwohl, MD, who is stepping down after 24 remarkable years of building the Department of Dermatology into one of the largest in the nation. Dr. Lebwohl has been promoted to the new position of Dean for Clinical Therapeutics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and will focus on generating new clinical research programs throughout the Mount Sinai Health System in his new position. 

During his time as Chair, Dr. Lebwohl, the Waldman Professor of Dermatology, created Mount Sinai’s first phototherapy center, and added divisions of dermatopathology, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. Under his leadership, the clinical trials in Mount Sinai’s dermatology department became some of the most well known in the United States, with groundbreaking work in the use of topical immunomodulators to treat precancerous and cancerous skin lesions, topical calcineurin inhibitors for the treatment of psoriasis and, most recently, topical phosphodiesterase inhibitors for the treatment of psoriasis. TNF blockers were first introduced by the Department for the treatment of pyoderma gangrenosum, a debilitating skin disease, as was the use of oral phosphodiesterase inhibitors for the treatment of vitiligo. The Department has also led the nation in the research and development of nearly all biologic therapies for psoriasis. 

“I am both excited and humbled by the opportunity to serve as System Chair for the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai,” said Dr. Guttman-Yassky. “I would like to thank Dr. Lebwohl for his leadership, passion, and outstanding achievements during his time as Chair at Mount Sinai. Under his leadership, Mount Sinai has participated in groundbreaking clinical trials in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis and has become a leader in inflammatory skin disease. I look forward to continuing his excellent and meaningful work.”

In her new role as Chair, Dr. Guttman-Yassky will continue her inflammatory disease research program focusing on eczema/atopic dermatitis (AD), which has also recently expanded to other inflammatory skin diseases, including alopecia areata, scarring alopecia, keloids, and ichthyosis. She has developed comprehensive molecular maps of AD, defining skin differentiation and immune circuits characterizing this disease. Using a translational bench-to-bedside-and-back approach, Dr. Guttman-Yassky seeks discoveries that will lead to novel immune pathway-specific drugs that can be tested in patients with inflammatory skin diseases. 

“Dr. Guttman-Yassky is an exceptional clinician and researcher whose transformative work in inflammatory skin diseases is changing the lives of millions of patients around the world,” said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs, Mount Sinai Health System. “She is very committed to making a difference in the lives of her patients and will serve as an outstanding teacher and mentor to the next generation of dermatologists at Mount Sinai and around the globe.”

Board certified in dermatology in the United States and Israel, Dr. Guttman-Yassky earned her medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, and her PhD from Bar-Ilan University Ramat-Gan, both in Israel. She completed a dermatology residency at the Rambam Medical Center/Technion Institute in Haifa, a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University, and a second dermatology residency at Weill-Cornell Medicine in New York. She joined the Icahn School of Medicine faculty in 2011 upon completion of her training.

Dr. Guttman-Yassky is co-founder and current President of the International Eczema Council, which has grown to more than 100 world leaders in eczema. She has received many national and international awards, most recently the prestigious research achievement award of the American Skin Association, and the Bettina C. Hillman lectureship and award for therapeutic innovation from the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology. Dr. Guttman-Yassky publishes in high-impact journals including The New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Immunology, and the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. She is frequently invited to give keynote lectures, both domestically and globally.

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with 48,000 employees working across eight hospitals, more than 400 outpatient practices, more than 600 research and clinical labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time—discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 9,000 primary and specialty care physicians and 11 free-standing joint-venture centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida. Hospitals within the System are consistently ranked by Newsweek’s® “The World’s Best Smart Hospitals, Best in State Hospitals, World Best Hospitals and Best Specialty Hospitals” and by U.S. News & World Report's® “Best Hospitals” and “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The Mount Sinai Hospital is on the U.S. News & World Report® “Best Hospitals” Honor Roll for 2023-2024.

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