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Press Release

January 30, 2017

Kathleen Reichert
American Skin Association

American Skin Association Announces New President David Norris, MD

January 30, 2017 - New York, New York – Dr. David Norris, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has become the new President of American Skin Association (ASA). Dr. Norris will be taking over the position from Dr. Philip Prioleau, who has held the position since 2014. Prior to Dr. Prioleau’s tenure, the position of President was held by ASA Founder Dr. George W. Hambrick, Jr. for over 25 years.

Dr. Norris has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado for 39 years and has supervised 25 trainees, many of whom have entered academic careers. Dr. Norris has been continuously funded by the NIH since 1980. He is Director of the NIAMS-funded P30 Skin Diseases Research Core Center at the University of Colorado Denver and is co-Director, with Dr. Dennis Roop, of the NIAMS T32 training grant that has been funded for 34 years. This NIAMS supported Research Center is a consortium of 49 investigators. For 12 years, Dr. Norris has also been funded by a Department of Veterans Affairs Merit Award to study drug combinations that kill melanoma by overcoming anti-apoptotic defenses, especially in melanoma initiating cells.

"As Chairman of ASA, I would like to congratulate Dr. David Norris. He has been an integral member of the ASA team for twenty years and his insights and vision as our new President will help us to continue our most vital work of bettering the lives of those afflicted with skin cancers and diseases," said Howard P. Milstein.

Dr. Norris has been a part of ASA since 1997, serving on its Board of Directors and as the Chair of its Medical Advisory Committee (MAC). As Chair of ASA's MAC, which is composed of leading physicians and scientists, Dr. Norris has overseen the committee’s annual grant review and award process. Under his leadership, the program has supported the work of investigators ranging from gifted young researchers in the earliest phases of their careers to recognized leaders in the field. The program also supports medical students committing themselves to the study of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer.

Dr. Norris is an internationally renowned investigator in cutaneous immunology, cell biology and melanoma research. He began his research career studying mechanisms of cell death in photosensitive lupus and vitiligo, and made seminal discoveries regarding the role of ultraviolet light in inducing translocation of auto antigens to the plasma membrane in keratinocytes in photosensitive lupus. His interest in immune mechanisms in vitiligo led to many years of research in pigment cell biology, which eventually developed into studies of the resistance of melanocytes and melanoma to apoptosis. His current research, funded by NIAMS and the Department of Veterans Affairs, focuses on the network of anti-apoptotic defenses in the skin, how these defenses can be maintained in inflammatory and immunologic disease, and how they can be overcome in cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Dr. Norris has held many positions in academic dermatology. From 1989 to 1992, he was Editor of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, on the Program Committee from 1980-1985 and was President of the Society from 1998-1999. He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Melanoma Research Foundation from 2003-2005. He has been a long-standing member of grant review committees for multiple Foundations: Dermatology Foundation (1985-1987, 2000), National Psoriasis Foundation (1998-present), ASA (1997-present), and National Alopecia Areata Foundation (1993-2010). Dr. Norris is Chairman of the Medical and Scientific Review Committee of the National Psoriasis Foundation (2003-present), Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council of NAAF (2003-2010), and Chairman of the MAC of ASA (2012-present).


A unique collaboration of patients, families, advocates, physicians and scientists, ASA has evolved over thirty years as a leading force in efforts to defeat melanoma, skin cancer and other skin diseases. Established to serve the now more than 100 million Americans — one third of the U.S. population — afflicted with skin disorders, the organization’s mission remains to: advance research, champion skin health particularly among children, and drive public awareness about skin disease. For more information, visit