Meet the Board: Jean Bolognia

4 September 2018

Another instalment of our "Meet the Board" series from Jean Bolognia. Jean joined the ILDS Board in 2011 as an International Director. She is the Secretary-General of the ILDS and is Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee.


8. CoA Julia
Jean Bolognia presenting an ILDS Certificate of Appreciation to Julia Yu-Yun Lee

I have been an International Board Member of the ILDS since 2011 and am currently in my last year on the Board. For the past three years, I have served as Secretary-General of the ILDS, ensuring accurate summaries of board meetings and our monthly Executive Committee conference calls. Another responsibility is objective management of Board Members’ potential conflicts of interest. I also serve as a liaison to the International Society of Dermatology and am involved in the joint World Skin Health Day campaign.

One of the most gratifying aspects of being a Board Member of the ILDS has been the opportunity to visit the Regional Dermatology Training Centre (RDTC) in Moshi, Tanzania on two occasions, with a third visit planned for January 2020. The dedication of the staff physicians and the trainees is inspiring, along with the ongoing projects for Persons with Albinism. The latter include the local manufacture of sunscreens and the training of affected individuals to become seamstresses and tailors, so they can work indoors.

I have been a Professor of Dermatology in the Department of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine for the past two decades, having gone to medical school there as well as doing an internal medicine internship and residency, dermatology residency, and research fellowship at the same institution. Suffice it to say this does make for a short introduction before lectures – “went to Yale Medical School and never left”.

I think I am best known as the senior editor of the textbook Dermatology. Work on the book has consumed a major portion of my energies for the past 20 years, with the fourth edition published last fall. In addition to editing, I also enjoy caring for patients, lecturing, and attending meetings in which there is live patient viewing. As a result, one of my favorite meetings is the annual Atlantic Dermatological Conference, along with weekly Grand Rounds and quarterly New England Dermatological Society meetings. For the clinician, and most importantly the patient, live interactions are superior to powerpoint presentations as the latter can be biased towards the presumed diagnosis and often blunt opposing opinions. On a personal note, I like to grow flowers but stop short of growing vegetables (too healthy).