Cutaneous Oncology Program

**In the News:
Couple Benefits from Skin Check Event – Read this remarkable story of how a local couple’s trip to the beach changed their perception and habits of a favorite pastime.

The Brown Dermatology Skin Cancer Program is excited to announce its new…

WAM (War against Melanoma) initiatives

This is a multi-faceted effort with Lifespan, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in RI consisting of multi-prong initiatives:
A. Prevention/Education
Prevention is by far the best treatment! 1 in 5 people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and approximately 1 person dies per hour from melanoma. If melanoma is caught early, it is highly treatable. We are dedicated to reducing the burden of skin cancer. We are currently devoting our efforts in a number of key areas:

-Patient Education about risk factors, sun protection, and what to look for. We are especially excited about the possibility of increasing education in our schools. We are happy to work with any group, in schools or otherwise, to help provide skin cancer prevention education. Please contact Kelly Smith at the RI Department of Health if you are interested in developing a partnership.

-Provider Education through training Brown Medical Students, Bryant Physician Assistant students, and Internal Medicine / Family Medicine / Dermatology residents who are training to be physicians. We are also working closely with the Department of Medicine to provide education to practicing physicians and healthcare providers, through offering our Annual Dermatology for the Primary Care Provider Conference at Brown Medical School. Click here for the announcement of the upcoming inaugural event.

-Working to provide Shade Structures at parks and schools.

-Working with the RI Dermatology Society to promote tanning bed legislation to regulate and restrict its harmful effects, as well as to pass legislation allowing for sunscreen usage in schools.

B. Early Detection
-As described above, we are excited to help provide training in early detection to patients and our primary care provider colleagues

-We also offer acute care clinics to ensure patients with a concern of skin cancer are seen right away. Please call Rhode Island Hospital office at 401-444-7959 to schedule an appointment. We also have offices located at the Miriam Hospital (401-793-3376), Warwick (401-738-4323), Westerly (401-348-0660), Providence—North Main Street (401-521-7300), and Warren (401-521-7300).

-We are working with the Department of Corrections to provide skin cancer screenings to inmates

-And finally, in conjunction with the Department of Health, Lifespan, Channel 10, and the Partnership to Reduce Cancer in RI, we are proud to offer free skin cancer screenings every summer at RI beaches. We have provided this service for over 20 years, screening approximately 500-600 beach-goers every summer. Click here for the 2017 schedule.

C. World-Renowned Cancer Research
These efforts are lead by Dr. Martin Weinstock (see below for full bio) and his team.
Dr. Weinstock’s clinical interests include melanoma and nevi (moles), and his research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of melanoma and other skin cancers. He is author of over 400 publications and has delivered over 200 invited lectures in the United States and other countries on five continents.

D. State-of-the-art treatment with multidisciplinary teams

-Multidisciplinary Melanoma Clinic
Comprised of an experienced team of doctors from different specialties including doctors from the Departments of Dermatology, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgery and Dermatopathology. Our multidisciplinary team meets on a weekly basis to provide comprehensive care to individuals with melanoma. The physicians on the team include Drs Martin Weinstock (dermatology), Joanna Walker (dermatology), Maria Constantinou (oncology), Michael Vezeridis (surgery), Yakub Puthawala (radiation oncology), Leslie Robinson Bostom (dermatopathology), Gladys Telang (dermatopathology), and Christopher Elco (dermatopathology).

-Multidisciplinary Carcinoma Clinic
Dedicated to the management and treatment of various skin cancers including squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, Merkel cell carcinoma, atypical fibroxanthoma, pleomorphic dermal sarcoma, porocarcinoma and other rare adnexal and skin tumors. Comprised of a team of doctors from different specialties including doctors from the Departments of Dermatology, Oncology, Radiation Oncology, Surgery, and Dermatopathology. Our multidisciplinary team includes Drs Joanna Walker (dermatology), Martin Weinstock (dermatology), William Higgins (Dermatology, Mohs surgery), Maria Constantinou (oncology), Michael Vezeridis (surgery), Yakub Puthawala (radiation oncology), Leslie Robinson Bostom (dermatopathology), Gladys Telang (dermatopathology), and Christopher Elco (dermatopathology).

-Multidisciplinary Cutaneous Lymphoma Clinic
Our staff is composed of a multidisciplinary team including doctors from the Departments of Dermatology, Hematology-Oncology, Radiation Oncology, and Dermatopathology. Our multidisciplinary team provides comprehensive care to patients with a wide range of cutaneous lymphomas–including B cell lymphoma, mycosis fungoides, and Sezary syndrome. The team of doctors include Drs John Kawaoka (dermatology), John Reagan (hematology-oncology), Leslie Robinson Bostom (dermatopathology), Gladys Telang (dermatopathology), and Christopher Elco (dermatopathology)

-Mohs Micrographic Surgery
The Mohs Micrographic Surgery Unit at Brown Dermatology has an experienced team of doctos and nurses who have treated over 15,000 cases of skin cancers in Rhode Island with Mohs surgery. Our 3 board-certified, fellowship-trained Mohs surgeons are Drs Victor Neel, William Higgins, and J. Suzanne Mosher. The Mohs surgery unit is comprised of five surgery suites, an internal lab for rapid processing of specimens, and a dedicated patient waiting area for privacy. An additional off-campus site will be available soon.

-Multidisciplinary Dermatology Transplant Clinic
Individuals who have received a solid organ transplant have a high risk for skin cancer. We offer dedicated attention to skin cancer screening and skin health in our specialty dermatology transplant clinics run by Drs Leslie Robinson Bostom and Joanna Walker. Additionally, we offer a dermatology-transplant multidisciplinary clinic for renal transplant recipients with Drs Joanna Walker (dermatology) and Basma Merhi (renal transplant). We are running a clinical trial for skin cancer prevention in transplant recipients.

William Higgins, MD, MBe

Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Mohs Surgeon

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Dr. Higgins graduated from Connecticut College, and received his medical degree from Florida State University College of Medicine where he graduated at the top of his class as a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society. He then completed internship in internal medicine at Yale University, dermatology residency at Brown University, and Mohs micrographic surgery fellowship at Yale University. While at Brown, he served as Chief Resident and was awarded the prestigious Haffenreffer Housestaff Excellence Award. He also served on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology, as a clinical instructor.

Dr. Higgins is Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery. He currently practices Mohs microscopically controlled surgery, laser and cosmetic dermatology. He served as the Resident Representative to the Board of Directors of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and has been appointed to numerous leadership positions, including the American Academy of Dermatology’s Leadership Development Forum.

His interests include cutaneous oncology, complex surgical management of skin cancers, and melanoma. He has authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr. Higgins has also presented at numerous national meetings on skin cancer epidemiology.

John Kawaoka, MD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Director, Dermatology Residency Training Program
General Dermatology

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Dr. Kawaoka graduated Brown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology. He received his medical degree from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and completed his internship and dermatology residency at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital. Dr. Kawaoka supervises weekly in the General Dermatology Resident Clinic at Rhode Island Hospital and is currently the Director of the Dermatology Residency Training Program. Dr. Kawaoka’s clinical interests include mycosis fungoides, bullous diseases, psoriasis, acne and atopic dermatitis. His practice focuses on general dermatology in pediatric and adult patients.

(Jessica) Suzanne Mosher, M.D.

Specializes in Mohs Micrographic and
Dermatologic Surgery

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(Jessica) Suzanne Mosher specializes in Mohs Micrographic and Dermatologic Surgery.

Dr. Mosher completed her BA at Harvard and her MD at Stanford. She completed residency at the Harvard Combined Dermatology program and her Mohs surgical fellowship at Lahey Clinic under the direction of Suzanne Olbricht, MD. Prior to joining Brown Dermatology, Dr. Mosher served as the Director of Mohs at Atrius Health.

Dr. Mosher lives in Massachusetts with her husband and 3 children. She is an avid skier and runner.

V Neel

Victor A Neel, MD, PhD

Director, Division of Dermatologic Surgery

Mohs Surgeon

Tel: 401-444-7024

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Victor A. Neel, MD, PhD, is a board-certified dermatologist and has completed nearly 14,000 Mohs procedures.

Dr. Neel is the Director of Brown Dermatologic Surgery Unit. He graduated from Princeton University; received his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College; and his Ph.D. in genetics from Rockefeller University. He completed his dermatology residency at Brown University School of Medicine. Afterwards, he became a fellow in Mohs Micrographic Surgery and Cosmetic Dermatology at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Professionally, Dr. Neel is a member of several professional associations including American College of Mohs Surgery (ACMS) and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS), where he is a preceptor (teacher) for several procedures. Dr. Neel is also Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School. He is a co-author of numerous peer-reviewed and non-peer reviewed publications in print, online media, and other media regarding issues such as skin cancers and Mohs surgery, as well as minimally invasive procedures to help aging skin. He has a particular interest in the biology of skin cancer and the genetics of aging, and has several ongoing clinical studies and basic research projects.

Leslie Robinson-Bostom, MD

Professor of Dermatology
Director, Division of Dermatopathology
General Dermatology and Dermatopathology

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Dr. Leslie Robinson-Bostom, a graduate of SUNY Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY, interned at Rhode Island Hospital and completed her dermatology residency in the department of dermatology at Brown Medical School. She went on to complete the Brown Medical School dermatopathology fellowship at Roger Williams Medical Center (affiliated with Brown through 1997) and subsequently joined the department of dermatology staff at Brown Medical School. She is board certified in dermatology and dermatopathology. Dr. Robinson-Bostom started the division of dermatopathology at Rhode Island Hospital, organizing the dermatopathology slide library and teaching curriculum for dermatology and pathology residents. Presently, she is the Director of the Division of Dermatopathology and the Director of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University Dermatology Elective. She serves on the Post Graduate Referral Committee, advising medical students interested in pursuing dermatology careers, and is a member of the Medical School Admissions Committee. Her research interests include elastic tissue disorders, ichthyosis, panniculitis and cutaneous manifestations of renal disease. She has published numerous articles on these topics as well as on many other dermatologic conditions. She also has a very active role in the Dermatology Foundation, a national organization which raises funds for dermatology–related research, as a member of the Dermatology Foundation Board of Trustees and as the RI State Chair of the Leader’s Society. Dr Robinson-Bostom’s clinical interests include panniculitis, elastic tissue disease, cutaneous manifestations of end stage renal disease and skin disease in solid organ transplant recipients.

Gladys Telang, MD

Associate Professor of Dermatology
General Dermatology and Dermatopathology

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Dr. Telang is a graduate of S.U.N.Y. Health Sciences Center at Syracuse and completed an internal medical residency at University of Pittsburgh, followed by dermatology residency and dermatopathology fellowship at Hahnemann University/ Medical College of Pennsylvania. She is board certified in dermatology and dermatopathology. She currently practices clinical dermatology at the Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island and is also the staff dermatopathologist in the Dermatopathology Division of University Dermatology at Rhode Island Hospital. Her interests include pathology of skin, hair and nail disorders, cutaneous malignancy, immunohistochemistry and patient care of all ages, youth through the elderly.

Joanna Walker, MD

Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Clinician Educator

Director, Cutaneous Carcinoma Clinic

General Dermatology

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Dr. Joanna Walker earned a Medical Doctor degree with Distinction in Research from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. She participated in both community service and academic research tracks and completed a one-year research fellowship through the NIH’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute. After an internship in internal medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Dr. Walker successfully completed her residency in dermatology at Brown University in Providence, RI. She served as chief resident in her senior year.

Dr. Walker is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. She directs the Cutaneous Carcinoma clinic as part of Brown University’s Cutaneous Oncology Program. Dr. Walker’s research and clinical interests are in skin cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, merkel cell carcinoma, melanoma, and other rare cancers of the skin. She also focuses on dermatologic surgery, medical and in-patient dermatology and delivering medical care to underserved individuals. She plans to start medical outreaches to her home-state Alaska and abroad.

Martin A. Weinstock, MD, PhD

Professor of Dermatology, Brown University
Professor of Epidemiology, Brown University
Director, Cutaneous Oncology Program and Pigmented Lesions
General Dermatology

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Dr. Weinstock graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts Summa Cum Laude with Highest Honors in Mathematics. He then was awarded his Ph.D. degree in Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and M.D. degree at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, both at Columbia University in the City of New York. He completed his internship at the University of Pittsburgh Affiliated Hospitals (Presbyterian-University and Oakland V.A. Hospitals) and his residency in Dermatology at the Harvard University Affiliated Hospitals, followed by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation fellowship in Clinical Epidemiology at Harvard Medical School. He is board certified in dermatology. His research has been supported by multiple research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, and non-profit foundations. Dr. Weinstock holds a dual appointment at Brown in both the Department of Dermatology and in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Weinstock’s clinical interests include melanoma and nevi, and his research focuses on the epidemiology of cutaneous malignancies and dysplasias. He is author of over 400 publications and has delivered over 200 invited lectures in the United States and other countries on five continents.
Recent Awards
2013 Lila and Murray Gruber Memorial Cancer Research Award and Lectureship
2010 American Skin Association Achievement Award
2010 American Academy of Dermatology Presidential Citation
2007 Medical All-Star (chosen by Boston Red Sox to honor medical research)
2007 American Academy of Dermatology Astellas Award (for contributions to public health in dermatology through scientific research, first to win this award)