Due to ongoing COVID-19 limitations, we have POSTPONED the 69th Annual Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin until Fall of 2022.



Robert L. Modlin, M.D.

Symposium Chair

Robert L. Modlin, M.D.
Distinguished Professor, Chief
University of California, Los Angeles, Dermatology

Robert Modlin, M.D. is Chief, Division of Dermatology, and Professor of Dermatology, Department of Medicine and Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular Genetics, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his medical degree from New York University and residency training from Los Angeles County/ University of Southern California Medical Center.

Dr. Modlin’s lab is interested in the immunology of microbial infection. Infectious disease poses a major health problem worldwide. Essential to control of these diseases is the elucidation of immune mechanisms that result in resistance versus susceptibility to infection. The laboratory’s focus is the identification of novel mechanisms by which the innate and adaptive immune system combat microbial pathogens.

Niroshana Anadasabapathy, M.D., Ph.D.


Niroshana Anadasabapathy, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Dermatology, Weill Cornell Medicine

Niroshana Anandasabapathy, Ph.D., M.D. is Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Department of Dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College, Vice-Chair of research in Dermatology, and is actively involved in immunooncology at the Meyer Cancer Center.

A practicing physician scientist in dermatology with a focus in melanoma, her translational and basic science laboratory researches immune barrier homeostasis and the influence on tumor immune surveillance in both mouse and humans.

Daniel Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D.


Daniel Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Dermatology and Immunology
University of Pittsburgh

Daniel Kaplan, M.D., Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Dermatology and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Kaplan completed his undergraduate degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale University, and received his medical degree and Ph.D. in Immunology from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He went on to complete his dermatology and fellowship training at Yale University.

His lab focuses on understanding how skin resident immune cells (e.g. dendritic cells, T cells) interact with specific pathogens and other non-immune cells (e.g. keratinocytes and neurons) in the skin to contribute to the development of both innate and adaptive immune responses that provide host protection.

John O'Shea, M.D.


John O’Shea, M.D.
Chief, Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch
NIAMS Scientific Director
NIAMS, National Institutes of Health

John O’Shea, M.D. started his own group in the National Cancer Institute in 1989, and then moved to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) in 1994 as Chief of the Lymphocyte Cell Biology Section of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch. He was appointed Chief of the Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch in 2002, and became Scientific Director and Director of the NIAMS Intramural Research Program in 2005. Dr. O’Shea also served as Acting Director of the NIH Center for Regenerative Medicine from 2009-2011.

Dr. O’Shea is also an adjunct Professor in the Department of Pathology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Symposium Co-Director

Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D.
Professor & Chair, OHSU Dermatology
John D. Gray Endowed Chair in Melanoma Research, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute

Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist who chairs the Department of Dermatology at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) and is the director of the Melanoma Research Program at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The inaugural recipient of the John D. Gray Endowed Chair in Melanoma Research and Chair of the Southwest Oncology Group Melanoma Prevention Working Group, she is a dermatologist using basic science research and state-of-the-art technology to combat skin cancer.

Leachman’s research examines the role of genetic predisposition and differential gene expression in the development of melanoma, with an emphasis on the familial melanoma syndrome. She is interested in prevention, early detection, and chemoprevention of melanoma, particularly in genetically predisposed melanoma families.

Leachman is passionate about fighting the “War on Melanoma” and has led the effort in building one of the largest national melanoma patient registries and launching a skin cancer public health campaign.

Symposium Co-Director

Dennis Roop, Ph.D.
Professor of Dermatology
Director, Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

Dennis Roop, Ph.D. is a professor of dermatology and the director of the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus.

Roop is one of the first investigators to begin using molecular techniques to study how the skin forms during normal embryonic development.  He has identified many of the genes required for normal skin development and discovered that defects in some of these genes cause inherited skin diseases characterized by a very fragile skin, which blisters easily and may result in neonatal death.

His current, primary research focuses on generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from patients with inherited skin diseases, genetically correcting these cells and differentiating them into a skin stem cell lineage, which can be returned to the same patient.  This seminal research led to the 2016 formation of the EB iPS Cell Consortium with research teams from Colorado, Stanford and Columbia Universities uniting to fight the rare and debilitating genetic skin blistering disease Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

Symposium Director Emerita

Molly Kulesz-Martin, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus of Dermatology
OHSU Dermatology

Molly Kulesz-Martin, Ph.D., has directed the Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin since 2004. During her 16-year directorship, over 1,700 scientists and clinicians have gathered at this historic meeting for presentation and discussion of the latest findings in skin and skin-related research, and over 150 young investigators have received travel awards to attend and present at the meeting. Dr. Kulesz-Martin, an expert in squamous cell carcinogenesis, trained at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and NCI. In her early career, Dr. Kulesz-Martin established the first colony-based cell transformation assay of primary cultured murine epithelial cells and developed one of the few clonal lineage models of initiated, benign, and malignant and metastatic keratinocytes/squamous cell carcinoma. Recruited to OHSU in 1999, Dr. Kulesz-Martin led the Dermatology Research Division expansion from 1 to 7 primary and joint basic/translational science faculty. The Kulesz-Martin laboratory currently examines the roles of innate immunity protein Trim32 in inflammatory skin disease and squamous cell carcinoma and develops assays for functional assessment of individual HNSCC and skin SCC patient tumors in primary/early passage cultures. As founding director of an IRB-approved tissue and clinical data repository founded in 2001 (Molecular Profiling Tissue Resource), Dr. Kulesz-Martin fosters collaborations at OHSU and beyond by providing primary epidermal and mucosal cell cultures, fresh frozen tissues of inflammatory lesions and cancers, and an outcomes database for research.