Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 295-9802
From common diseases to complicated ones, faculty members in USU'S Department of Dermatology teach medical students, residents and staff physicians important lessons about skin. This knowledge is harnessed inside the military's best hospitals to treat a host of skin-related problems, from psoriasis and rosacea to immune disorders and cancer.
Besides educating the next generation of uniformed physicians, faculty members at USU also push research boundaries through original investigations that happen on campus and through collaborations with leading dermatologists in the world's best laboratories. This cutting-edge work continues improving all levels of skin care, from earlier diagnoses for troubling, sometimes life-threatening diseases to better, more comprehensive treatments for healthier uniformed forces.
Explore these web pages to learn more about dermatology education and research at USU.
Dr. Rajesh Thangapazham recently published a paper that was featured on the cover of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2014 Feb; 134(2):538-40). He found that cultured human dermal papilla cells have the capacity to induce complete human hair follicles and sebaceous glands in grafted bioengineered dermal-epidermal composites. This work could lead to technologies for restoration of hair to bald scalp and the development of next-generation skin substitutes that promote hair follicle neogenesis. The model system can also be used to study human hair follicle neogenesis and regeneration with cultured adult cells, evaluate hair loss therapies, and may be adaptable to examine the regeneration of other skin appendages. Cover of the JID.
Jon H. Meyerle, MD, LTC MC, USA, joined USU in September 2011 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Dermatology.
Dr. Meyerle's primary research interests are in the areas of amputee skin care, melanoma and blistering skin diseases.
He is currently developing a therapeutic to alter the skin identity at the amputee stump. The goal of this research is to allow the skin at the stump to take on the properties of skin found on the palms and soles.
Dr. Meyerle became interested in amputee skin care as a result of his interaction with amputees returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of his mentors, Dr. (COL-retired) Chuck Scoville is a strong advocate for amputees and directed the Military Advanced Training Center (MATC) at Walter Reed who encouraged him to pursue ways to address skin disease in this population.
Research in skin disease in amputees is important because over half of amputees develop skin disease at the stump site. This skin disease is often overlooked and not easy to treat. As a result, the amputee cannot wear the prosthesis or use more advanced prosthesis devices.
In addition to research in amputee skin care, Dr. Meyerle also has an interest in better ways to diagnose melanoma. His research in melanoma focuses on the genetic and environmental risk factors for developing melanoma in military personnel. Melanoma is the most significant cancer to affect an active duty military population. It strikes young adults in their 20-40s and, if not diagnosed in time, is fatal.
As a trained immunodermatologist, Dr. Meyerle has a clinical interest in blistering diseases such as pemphigus and pemphigoid. Dr. Meyerle's clinical interests in immunodermatology have been nurtured since fellowship by his mentor, Dr. Grant Anhalt at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Meyerle continues to supervise the only skin immunofluorescence laboratory in the Department of Defense at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.