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Department History

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – Establishes Department of Dermatology
Published in October 26, 2006, UMDNJ News/ Events
Contact Person: Patricia M. Hansen 732-235-6307

New Brunswick — UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School recently established a Department of Dermatology, providing state-of-the-art clinical dermatology in an academic environment. Along with skin protection and skin cancer protection, the department's services include medical dermatology and dermatologic surgery.

"I am pleased to announce that Robert Wood Johnson Medical School now has a Department of Dermatology as another premier clinical academic department," explains Peter S. Amenta, MD, PhD, interim dean. "We are committed to integrating the department into our four missions to provide excellence in education, research, patient care and community health."

To establish a much-needed center for academic dermatology in New Jersey, Babar K. Rao, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine, spearheaded the development of the new department. Dr. Rao has been appointed acting department chair. Dr. Rao says that Middlesex County is among the nation's most underserved counties from a dermatology standpoint, citing findings of the American Academy of Dermatology, adding; "This makes central New Jersey a perfect location for our department." Dr. Rao joined the RWJMS Department of Medicine in 2000 and established the Dermatology Residency Program in 2002. Dermatology was previously in the division of the Department of Medicine.

Dr. Rao is a nationally noted specialist in dermatoscopy, which uses polarized, magnified light to distinguish between various benign and malignant patterns in pigmented lesions (moles), providing early diagnosis of skin cancer. He is working on the development of computer-assisted technology that may reduce the need for invasive biopsies.

Amy S. Pappert, MD, assistant professor of medicine, has been with the dermatology division the longest. "The department's creation was not possible without her," says Dr Rao. Dr. Pappert, a specialist in medical dermatology, serves as the department's program director. David Wrone, MD, clinical assistant professor of medicine, is director of dermatologic surgery. The department is supplemented by a pediatric dermatologist and by the dermatopathology services of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.