Confirmed: The 2023 Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin will be hosted in-person.



Program subject to change


Visualizing the Future of Skin Biology and Dermatology

The 70th anniversary Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin, chaired by Dr. Dennis Roop, will take a broad look into the future of skin biology and Dermatology and include sessions on Skin Cancers, Tissue Repair and Fibrosis, Skin Inflammation and Keratinocyte – Immune Cell Cross-talk, and Emerging Therapeutic Approaches. Joe Gray, Ph.D. (OHSU) will provide the keynote speech.

Program Chair and Symposium Co-director
Dennis Roop, Ph.D.

Symposium Co-director
Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D.

Symposium Co-organizers
Stuart Yuspa, M.D.
Thomas Krieg, M.D., Ph.D.
Sabine Werner, Ph.D.

Session 1: Skin Cancer; Chair: Stuart Yuspa, M.D. (NIH)
Session 2: Tissue Repair and Fibrosis; Chair: Thomas Krieg, M.D., Ph.D. (Cologne)
Session 3: Keratinocyte – Immune Cell Cross-talk in Skin Inflammation; Chair: Sabine Werner, Ph.D. (ETH Zurich)
Session 4: Emerging Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches; Chairs: Dennis Roop, Ph.D. (Colorado), Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D. (OHSU)

*Note: The Montagna Sympsium is approved for Continuing Medical Education (CME). See bottom of this page for details*


Thursday, Oct 19

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.Shuttle Bus from PDX Leaves (reservation required)
4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.Arrival and Check-in
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.Welcome Reception and introductory comments
Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D. (OHSU) and Dennis Roop, Ph.D. (Colorado)Dinner Buffet
7:15 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.Keynote: Joe Gray, Ph.D. (OHSU)
“Rethinking precision cancer treatment for advanced cancers – a systems biomedicine approach”


Friday, Oct 20

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.Introductory Remarks

Dennis Roop, Ph.D. (Colorado) and Sancy Leachman, M.D. Ph.D. (OHSU)

8:15 a.m. – 8:25 a.m.Session 1: Advances in skin cancer research and therapy
Session Moderator: Stuart Yuspa, M.D. (NIH)
8:25 a.m. – 8:55 a.m.Allan Balmain, Ph.D. (UCSF)
“Squamous cancer, pre-cancer, insights on tumor promotion.” (CME)
8:55 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.Discussion
9:05 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.Andrzej Dlugosz, M.D. (Michigan)
“Cell fate reprogramming to drive Merkel cell carcinoma development in mice” (CME)
9:35 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.Discussion
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.Sergey Nikolaev, M.D. (Gustave Roussey, Paris)
“Basal Cell Carcinoma (From functional genomics to the mechanisms of treatment resistance)” (CME)
10:15 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.Discussion
10:25 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.Break
10:35 a.m. – 11:05 a.m.Brigitte Widemann, M.D. (NIH)
“Current understanding of pathogenesis and treatment of Neurofibromatosis 1 related peripheral nerve sheath tumors” (CME)
11:05 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.Discussion
11:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.Stephanie Goff, M.D. (NIH)
“Cell-based immunotherapy for melanoma” (CME)
11:45 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.Discussion
11:55 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.Paolo Vignali, Ph.D. (University of Pittsburgh)

“Hypoxia within melanoma tumors promotes an unappreciated suppressor function in exhausted T cells and limits antitumor immunity”

12:10 p.m. – 12:25 p.m.Stephanie Holtorf (University of Minnesota)

“Identifying a novel population of epithelial cells in the blood and bone marrow of normal mice and humans”

12:25 – 1:15 p.m.Lunch
1:15 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.Session 2: Tissue Repair and Fibrosis
Session Moderator: Thomas Krieg, M.D. (Cologne)
1:20 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.Thomas Krieg, M.D. (Cologne)
“Regulation of Fibroblast Activities – Implications for Tissue Repair and Fibrosis” (CME)
1:50 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.Discussion
2:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.Maksim Plikus, Ph.D. (UC Irvine)
Use of palmo-plantar fibroblasts to reprogram stump skin in amputees to enhance prosthetic use
2:30 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.Discussion
2:40 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.Michael Longaker, M.D. (Stanford)
“Fibroblasts subsets, and the identification of specific signatures and their involvement in scar formation”
3:10 p.m. – 3:20 p.m.Discussion
3:20 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.Break
3:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.Sabine Eming, M.D. (Cologne)
“Macrophage subsets and the role of reparative macrophages in remodeling the extracellular matrix” (CME)
4:00 p.m. – 4:10 p.m.Discussion
4:10 p.m. – 4:40 p.m.Alexander Marneros, M.D., Ph.D. (Harvard)
“Aplasia cutis pathogenesis reveals mechanisms regulating skin formation and tissue fibrosis” (CME)
4:40 p.m. – 4.50 p.m.Discussion

4:50 p.m. – 5:20 p.m.

Xiao-Jing Wang, M.D., Ph.D. (UC Davis)
“Therapeutic effects of Smad7-based protein on dermatitis through upregulation of IL22RA2”
5:20 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.Discussion
5:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.Suneeti Madhavan (Case Western)
“WNT signaling activation causes early decline of de novo lipogenesis leading to lipid depleted dermal adipocytes”
5:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.Ian Odell, M.D., Ph.D. (Yale)
“IL-6 Trans-Signaling in a Humanized Mouse Model of Scleroderma”
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.Dinner

Awards Presentation

·      Society of Investigative Dermatology Eugene M. Farber Travel Awards for Young Investigators

·      Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology Travel Award

·      Korean Society for Investigative Dermatology Travel Award

·      Taiwanese Society for Investigative Dermatology (TSID) Award

·      European Society for Dermatological Research: ESDR Travel Award

·      Director’s Award for Diversity

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.Poster Reception

(Dessert and wine tasting)


Saturday, Oct 21

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.Announcements
8:05 a.m. – 8:10 a.m.Session 3: Keratinocyte – Immune Cell Cross-talk in Skin Inflammation

Session Moderator: Sabine Werner, M.D. (ETH, Zurich)

8:10 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.Sara Brown, M.D. (Edinburgh)
“Keratinocytes are immunologically-active cells in their own right: evidence from genetic studies and primary cell culture” (CME)
8:40 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.Discussion
8:50 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.Michel Gilliet, M.D. (Lausanne) 
“Reciprocal immune-keratinocyte interactions in the pathogenesis of psoriasis” (CME)
9:20 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.Discussion
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.Shruti Naik, Ph.D. (NYU)
“Targeting immune-epithelial circuits in inflammatory skin disease” (CME)
10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.Discussion
10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.Break
10:20 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.Sabine Werner, M.D. (ETH, Zurich)
“Keratinocytes: key regulators of stromal and immune cell functions in tissue repair and cancer” (CME)
10:50 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.Discussion
11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.Ricardo Cibotti, Ph.D. (NIH)
“NIH/NIAMS Funding Opportunities
11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.Benjamin Klein, M.D. (Michigan)
“Mitochondrial Z-DNA and ZBP1 Drive Autoimmune Photosensitivity”
11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.Jared Simmons (UC San Diego)
“Dermal fibroblasts have a critical role in skin immunity through responses to keratinocyte interleukin-1”
11:45 a.m.Lunch (on your own)
11:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.FREE TIME / GOLF / CASCADE HIKE

–          Group Hike: Meet in the lobby at 12:30pm

–          Golf and Activities:

4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.Round Table Discussions

All attendees are welcome to participate. Please sign up for your top two choices, we will organize to keep the groups appropriately small, and there will be a chance to move to a new group halfway through.

  • Joe Gray, Ph.D. (OHSU): “Rethinking precision cancer treatment for advanced cancers – a systems biomedicine approach”
  • Shruti Naik, Ph.D. (NYU): “Career Advancement. Discuss goal driven strategies that are essential for career advancement at all stages including self-advocacy, mentoring-up, networking, identifying opportunities and decision making”
  • Erwin Tschachler M.D. (JID) and Annalisa VanHook, Ph.D. (Science Signaling): “Choosing the right journal for your publication”
  • Ricardo Cibotti, Ph.D. (NIH/NIAMS): “How to maximize your chances to get the first R01/21 award”
  • TBD: “FDA procedures for application and review of biological therapeutics”
  • Dennis Roop, Ph.D. (Colorado): “PhD Career Development Decision Making: Academia and Industry”
  • Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D. (OHSU): “Weighing ‘the good’ of moving diagnostic tests or treatments into clinical care vs the need for more research data”
  • Richard Blair, Pharm. D. (Pfizer): “How Industry Funding works”
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.Dinner

History and Future of Montagna  

7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.Molly Kulesz-Martin, Ph.D., Director Emeritus, Retirement Celebration


Sunday, Oct 22

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Breakfast
8:00 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.Announcements
8:05 a.m. – 8:10 a.m.Session 4: Emerging Diagnostic and Therapeutic Approaches
Session Moderator: Dennis Roop, Ph.D. (Colorado)
8:10 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.Tony Oro, M.D., Ph.D. (Stanford)
“A Spatiotemporal and Machine-Learning Platform to Accelerate hPSC-derived Tissue Replacement” (CME)
8:40 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.Discussion
8:50 a.m. – 9:20 a.m.Ganna Bilousova, Ph.D. (Colorado)
“An Autologous iPSC-based Therapy for Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Delivered via Cell Suspension” (CME)
9:20 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.Discussion
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.Peter Marinkovich, M.D. (Stanford)
Bench to bedside development of the first FDA approved gene therapy for dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa” (CME)
10:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.Discussion
10:10 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.Break
10:20 a.m. – 10:35 a.m.Martin Alphonse, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
“Inflammasome-mediated host defense against Staphylococcus aureus skin infections is mediated by neutrophil-intrinsic NLRP12 and caspase-8 signaling”
10:35 a.m. – 10:50 a.m.Jenna Bowman (OHSU)
“Patient-Specific Targeting of the T-Cell Receptor Variable Region as a Therapeutic Strategy in Clonal T-Cell Diseases”
10:50 a.m. – 11:20 a.m.


Luis Garza, M.D., Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins)
“In human use of fibroblasts to modify skin identity” (CME)
11:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.Discussion
11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.Christoph Ellebrecht, M.D. (UPenn)
“Leveraging asymmetric cell division in CAR/CAAR T cells for optimized precision immunotherapy of pemphigus and other autoimmune conditions” (CME)
12:00 p.m. – 12:10 p.m.Discussion
12:10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.Lunch

David Hyams, M.D., F.A.C.S.

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.David Huang, M.D., Ph.D. (OHSU)
“Optical coherence tomography and angiography: technology development and potential applications in the skin” (CME)
2:00 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.Discussion
2:10 p.m. – 2:25 p.m.Favour Akinjiyan (Washington University in St. Louis)
“Exploring DDR2’s role in CAF extracellular matrix production and tumor progression”
2:25 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.Meagan Branch (Mount Sinai)
The epigenetic control of re-epithelialization during adult skin wound healing”
2:40 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.Panel Discussion
Visualizing the Future of Dermatology and Skin Biology: Industry Perspectives
3:40 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.Open Time – Option to take the shuttle (5 minutes) to the beach

Program Committee Business Meeting

4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.Salmon Bake Dinner at the Beach House


Monday Oct 23

6 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.Breakfast and depart
8:30 a.m.Bus departs for PDX Airport
~11:30 a.m.Bus arrives at PDX Airport


Sponsor Acknowledgement

The Montagna Symposium on the Biology of Skin is made possible due to NIH Grant Number 2 R13 AR009431-56 from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and our generous sponsors:

Champion Level Sponsors

Castle Bioscience
LEO Foundation


Sustainer Level Sponsors

Pfizer Dermatology


Benefactor Level Sponsors

David M.C. Ju Foundation


Patron Level Sponsors


Associate Level Sponsors


Knight Cancer Institute
CTA Pathology
Biology of Skin Foundation
Lumo Imaging
Sklip Inc.


Travel Awards made possible thanks to:

  • Society for Investigative Dermatology (Eugene Farber Awards)
  • Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • Korean Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • Taiwanese Society for Investigative Dermatology
  • European Society for Dermatological Research
  • Montagna Symposium Director’s Award for Diversity
Continuing Medical Education:
Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
OHSU School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 16.75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.