Keyoumars Soltani, MD Receives Named Professorship

President Robert Zimmer has named Keyoumars Soltani, MD as the Allan L. Lorincz Professor effective July 1, 2018. Dr. Soltani, Professor of Medicine (Section of Dermatology) is an authority on the treatment of skin cancers, cutaneous surgical procedures, graft-versus-host disease and blistering conditions who has served the Department of Medicine, Biological Sciences Division and the University of Chicago with distinction and dedication for nearly 50 years.

Dr. Soltani earned his MD in 1965 from the University of Tehran, followed by a residency in 1971 at Temple University, and research fellowship training at the University of Chicago. In 1972 he was appointed to the faculty as an assistant professor in the Section of Dermatology. He was promoted to associate professor in 1979 and full professor in 1987.   Dr. Soltani served as Chief of the Section of Dermatology for five years (1992-1997) and  currently serves as the director of the immunodermatology laboratory for the Section.

As a scientist, Dr. Soltani was the first to show that lymphocytes, not polymorphonuclear leukocytes, were initial inflammatory/immune cells to attack the epidermis in early lesions of psoriasis. Among other discoveries, he developed a new immune diagnostic method for cutaneous lesions of syphilis, introduced the term pemphigoid nodularis, showed that Herxheimer reaction was not complement dependent, and demonstrated that cutaneous lesions in congenital lupus may develop without sun-exposure. His recent work includes a collaborative effort investigating autophagy regulation of inflammation and skin tumorigenesis. Over the course of his career he has contributed to the literature with more than 145 scientific papers , 113 abstracts and 7 book chapters. In addition to his investigative work, he has been instrumental in supporting the establishment of a bench research program in the Section of Dermatology. He also serves on the international panel for updating cutaneous Diagnostic Criteria and Treatment of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex.

Clinically, Dr. Soltani provides expertise in complex procedural services. He is triple board certified (dermatology, dermatopathology, and dermatologic immunology/diagnostic and laboratory immunology).

As an educator, Dr. Soltani has inspired and encouraged generations of aspiring students to pursue the specialty of dermatology, in some cases guiding them as undergraduates through to advanced clinical fellowships, and teaching not only the skills necessary for practice but also the enthusiasm and intellectual curiosity vital to the spirit of learning. He has consistently supported the investigative efforts of students and junior researchers, helping to create new opportunities for them, collaborating on research, and connecting them with resources.

In 2011 he was the recipient of the Department of Medicine Distinguished Service Award. Institutionally, Dr. Soltani has served as a member of the Council of the University Senate, the Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee, the UC Medical Alumni Committee, among other positions. Within the dermatologic community, he has chaired numerous committees for the Illinois Dermatology Society, the American Society for Dermatopathology, and the Chicago Dermatology Society, among others. Additionally he has served as the President of the Chicago Dermatology Society, and was the recipient of their Founder’s Award in 2004 and their 40-Year Service Award in 2013.

Dr. Allan Lorincz, the professorship’s namesake who died in 2010, was a pioneer in the field of investigative dermatology. This endowed chair was funded through a generous gift by Dr. Kang-Ihnn Paik and his family. Dr. Paik, a former dermatology resident at the University who trained with both Drs. Soltani and Lorincz, is now in private practice in Los Angeles, California