NEWS | May 29, 2020

Hwang recognized for advancing the field of dermatology

National honor for research into inflammatory skin disease


The American Skin Association has recognized Samuel Hwang, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Dermatology, with a 2020 Research Achievement Award in Psoriasis for helping advance the field of dermatology.

Samuel Hwang Samuel Hwang

Hwang is a board-certified dermatologist, with extensive training as a physician and scientist. His clinical and research interests include skin cancers and immunological diseases of the skin such as psoriasis.

His most recently published study investigated how the Western diet, one rich in fats and sugars, may lead to psoriasis. The condition is a common and chronic inflammatory disease that causes skin cells to form scales and red patches that are itchy and sometimes painful.

“I’m honored that my dermatology peers have recognized the work my laboratory team and I have done over the years, in collaboration with wonderful colleagues at UC Davis and around the world,” said Hwang. “This university has an incredible number of talented psoriasis researchers, all doing significant work in the field. My success is certainly linked to working with such a stellar group of experts.”

Hwang launched his career as a true physician-scientist by combining his medical degree program at Harvard Medical School with a doctoral program at the University of Basel in Switzerland.

He accelerated his research interests after residency and fellowship training at UCSF by working at the National Institutes of Health for nearly 12 years, first as an investigator and then as a senior investigator. Along with his work in psoriasis, he has spent nearly two decades exploring the field of leukocyte and cancer cell trafficking, which are crucial for understanding the human body’s immune response to tumors.

Hwang has published more than 75 original and review articles in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, Lancet, Cancer Research, Journal of Immunology, Journal of Investigative Dermatology, Archives of Dermatology, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

He was elected to the board of directors of the Society for Investigative Dermatology and has served as section editor for the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and the Journal of Dermatological Sciences. He was elected by his peers to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2007 and has lectured internationally and nationally.

Along with his research and academic endeavors, Hwang also maintains a busy clinical practice. He provides patients with the latest in treatments and offers them tips on how best to control psoriatic disease.

The American Skin Association’s Research Achievement Awards were instituted in 1989 to identify established scientists in investigative dermatology and cutaneous biology.

Normally, Hwang would receive the prestigious research award at this year’s annual meeting of the Society of Investigative Dermatology. With the COVID-19 pandemic, and concerns about safety and health, the event has been cancelled. The group hopes to be able to recognize Hwang – in person – at the next scheduled annual gathering of dermatologists, which is planned for 2021.