Kristen Kelly named interim chair of UCI Department of Dermatology

Dr. Michael Stamos, dean of UCI School of Medicine, announced today that Dr. Kristen Kelly is now the interim chair of the Department of Dermatology.  Kelly is currently a dermatologist at UCI Health Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, and professor of dermatology at the UCI School of Medicine.  Kelly’s clinical and research specialties include cutaneous angiogenesis, vascular birthmarks and photodynamic therapy of cutaneous lesions.

Kelly replaces Christopher B. Zachary, MD, MBBS, FRCP, who is stepping down from the position after serving three, five-year terms as chair of the Department of Dermatology.  Zachary plans to continue full-time as part of the dermatology faculty, and at the time of stepping down was the longest serving chair in the UCI School of Medicine.

Zachary was recruited by Dean Thomas C. Cesario, MD in 2005 to restore the department to its position of prior excellence.  He was faced with a need to rebuild the administrative structure, the ambulatory clinic facilities, improve research output and work on improving the dermatology residency, which was on probation.

One of Zachary’s first decisions was to appoint incoming interim chair Kristen M. Kelly, MD, as residency program director. Within six months, the department was given full accreditation by ACGME.

Zachary led the UCI Dermatology Clinical Research Center to become one of the most highly recognized, leading dermatologic clinical research programs in the U.S.

In addition, he recruited two very productive clinician scientists to the department and was highly supportive of the new UCI Skin Biology Resource Center and the Medical Scientists Training Program (MSTP).

He also built formidable divisions within the dermatology department including dermatopathology, inpatient consultation service, bullous diseases program, imaging center, hair, photobiology and vitiligo, and complex dermatology, and supported countless other clinical programs.

Zachary is noted for speaking his mind, which, when combined with British humor and the associated accent, was generally given some latitude.  A highly productive clinician and speaker, he is very well published, has worked extensively with colleagues at the UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, and is co-founder of InfraDerm LLC, a start-up company he created along with Dr. Mihaela Balu, an associate researcher at the UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic, and Bruce J. Tromberg, former institute director and professor in the UCI Departments of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering.

Regularly involved in translational research, Zachary is probably best known for the development of the Fraxel Repair CO2 laser. He is an educational innovator who, nearly 25 years ago, started the web-based teaching program, which is currently used by thousands of dermatology and pathology residents in 65 countries worldwide.