John E. Harris, MD, PhD
Year elected: 2019
Current membership category: Active
University of Massachusetts
Department of Dermatology
1010LRB, 364 Plantation Street
Worcester, MA 01605
United States of America
Phone: 508-856-1982

Biographical statement

John E. Harris, MD, PhD, is a Tenured Associate Professor of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, MA. He serves as Director of the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMMS, focusing both on the clinical management of vitiligo patients as well as research into new therapeutic strategies. His approach includes basic, translational, and clinical studies that incorporate the use of mouse models, human tissues, and small clinical trials that determine disease mechanisms of vitiligo, identify quantifiable markers of disease activity, and test new treatments. Previous work from his research team revealed that the IFN-g signaling pathway is central to both the progression and maintenance of vitiligo, and recent studies in both mice and humans have demonstrated efficacy of new immunotherapies that target this pathway. More recent data determined that IL-15 promotes maintenance of the disease, and targeting IL-15 signaling may prove to be a new, even durable, treatment strategy. Ongoing research seeks to better characterize the mechanism of action of these new treatments and to identify new targets in order to design an optimal therapeutic strategy for vitiligo patients, who currently have no FDA-approved treatment options. Long-term goals are to bring new treatments with better safety and efficacy into the clinic and ultimately to find a cure for this psychologically devastating disease.

Institutional affiliations

University of Massachusetts Medical School (Primary)
Jane E. Freedman, MD is the representative at this institution.