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Internationally Renowned Dermatologist and Physician Scientist Shawn Kwatra, MD, Named New Chair of Dermatology at the UM School of Medicine and Chief of Service of Dermatology at UM Medical Center

September 12, 2023 | Deborah Kotz

Shawn Kwatra, MD

University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) Dean Mark T. Gladwin, MD, announced today that Shawn Kwatra, MD will become the next Chair of the UMSOM’s Department of Dermatology and Chief of Service of Dermatology at the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC), following an extensive national search. Dr. Kwatra, who will begin the new role in early 2024, will hold the Joseph W. Burnett Endowed Professor and Chair in Dermatology.

Dr. Kwatra joins UMSOM from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he served as the Founding Director of the Johns Hopkins Itch Center. He is an internationally renowned dermatologist and clinical leader in  skin of color research, as well as chronic inflammatory skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis, prurigo nodularis, and chronic pruritus of unknown origin. He also has expertise in managing cutaneous adverse events associated with immunotherapy.

Mark T. Gladwin, MD“We are delighted to have recruited such an exceptional and highly-accomplished international leader in Dermatology to be our new Department Chair,“ said Dean Gladwin, who is also Vice President for Medical Affairs, University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor.

“I want to thank Dr. Jason Rose for his outstanding service as Interim Dean. I am confident that Dr. Kwatra has the leadership skills and vision to lead the Department and UMMC's Dermatology Clinical Service through expansion to a higher level of excellence.”

Jason Rose, MD, MBAIn his new position, Dr. Kwatra will provide visionary and strategic leadership for expanding the clinical practice through Faculty Physicians, Inc. (FPI), with the goal of expanding outpatient services in collaboration with UMMC and UMMS hospitals and physician practices.

He will continue to enhance the department’s research initiatives through recruiting new physician scientists and building collaborations with other programs and institutes within the UMSOM.

Bert O'Malley, MD"I am pleased to welcome such a well-regarded clinician, researcher and leader in the field of inflammatory skin diseases,” said Bert W. O'Malley, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Maryland Medical Center.

“I’m particularly enthusiastic about Dr. Kwatra’s commitment to discovery and innovation around unmet health care needs. I look forward to working with him in the years ahead to further strengthen our dermatology program to serve more people with complex skin conditions from across the state and the region.” 

Zaineb Makhzoumi, MD, MPHZaineb H. Makhzoumi, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Section Head of Dermatologic Surgery and Oncology, and Director of Clinical Services in the Department of Dermatology added: “I am thrilled to have Dr. Kwatra join our department and lead us as our next Chair.”

“Having known Dr. Kwatra both personally and professionally for nearly a decade I can confidently say that he possesses both the vision and knowledge to take our department to an even higher level of clinical excellence and recognition both locally and nationally. He has established himself as a leader and visionary in our field and I look forward to expanding our department even further under his guidance. I also want to thank Dr. Jason Rose for his outstanding leadership and dedication to our department over the last year while serving as interim chair.”

Dr. Kwatra will continue to improve on the educational experience for UMMC’s Dermatology residents and UMSOM medical students, and will strive for diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the Department, including faculty, staff and trainees.

Dr. Kwatra is an NIH funded investigator whose research focuses on precision medicine-based techniques to uncover new patient endotypes, designing and leading Phase 2 and Phase 3 clinical trials, and studying racial disparities in the pathogenesis of inflammatory skin diseases.

Dr. Kwatra runs both a basic science laboratory and clinical trials unit and has published over 200 peer-reviewed publications in high impact journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature Medicine, JAMA Dermatology, the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology, and the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. His research is supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Dermatology Foundation, Skin of Color Society, and Society for Investigative Dermatology.

“It is an honor to be the next Chair of Dermatology at such a prestigious medical school,” said Kwatra. “I am excited to work alongside Dean Gladwin, a visionary and dynamic leader to build the Department of Dermatology’s clinical footprint throughout the state of Maryland, enhance educational programs, and develop a thriving research enterprise.”

Dr. Kwatra has served on the Board of Directors of the Skin of Color Society, and currently serves as the National Secretary/Treasurer. He is a member of the National Eczema Association’s Scientific and Medical Advisory Council. He was also inducted into the Johns Hopkins Distinguished Teaching Society for his bedside teaching and mentorship of medical students, residents, and fellows.

He earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his medical degree from Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

About the University of Maryland School of Medicine

Now in its third century, the University of Maryland School of Medicine was chartered in 1807 as the first public medical school in the United States. It continues today as one of the fastest growing, top-tier biomedical research enterprises in the world — with 46 academic departments, centers, institutes, and programs, and a faculty of more than 3,000 physicians, scientists, and allied health professionals, including members of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, and a distinguished two-time winner of the Albert E. Lasker Award in Medical Research. With an operating budget of over $1.3 billion, the School of Medicine works closely in partnership with the University of Maryland Medical Center and Medical System to provide research-intensive, academic, and clinically based care for nearly 2 million patients annually. The School of Medicine has nearly $600 million in extramural funding, with most of its academic departments highly ranked among all medical schools in the nation in research funding. As one of the seven professional schools that make up the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, the School of Medicine has a total population of nearly 9,000 faculty and staff, including 2,500 students, trainees, residents, and fellows. The combined School of Medicine and Medical System (“University of Maryland Medicine”) has an annual budget of over $6 billion and an economic impact of nearly $20 billion on the state and local community. The School of Medicine, which ranks as the 8th highest among public medical schools in research productivity (according to the Association of American Medical Colleges profile) is an innovator in translational medicine, with 606 active patents and 52 start-up companies. In the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of the Best Medical Schools, published in 2021, the UM School of Medicine is ranked #9 among the 92 public medical schools in the U.S., and in the top 15 percent (#27) of all 192 public and private U.S. medical schools. The School of Medicine works locally, nationally, and globally, with research and treatment facilities in 36 countries around the world. Visit


Deborah Kotz
Senior Director of Media Relations
Office of Public Affairs & Communications
University of Maryland School of Medicine
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t: @debkotz2