Department of Dermatology
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 295-9802
Leonard Sperling, M.D., has taught hundreds of USU students important lessons about diagnosing and treating skin and hair diseases, especially alopecia, his research focus for more than 20 years. A leading expert in the field, Sperling has also written two books about alopecia, including a recently published 2nd edition work called, "An Atlas of Hair Pathology with Clinical Correlations." Sperling's publication is a comprehensive resource for dermatologists and other physicians with questions about hair disorders.
Thomas Darling, M.D., Ph.D., is crossing distant boundaries to study tuberous sclerosis complex, a genetic condition that causes tumors in early childhood.
Darling is collaborating with researchers at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan to find better solutions for the troublesome disease.
Research interests at USU span many areas of dermatology, from tuberous sclerosis complex to hair disease and proteus syndrome. This work moves science in exciting new directions and makes the world a healthier place for people with skin-related problems and diseases.
Read on to learn more about the researchers in USU's Department of Dermatology.
Leonard Sperling, M.D.
Chairman and Professor
Dr. Leonard Sperling, a retired Army colonel with 31 years of service, graduated from Yale College in Conneticut before earning his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed dermatology residency training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and a dermatopathology fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. Dr. Sperling has authored more than 70 publications, and he is regarded as an international authority on the subject of hair disease.
Thomas Darling, M.D., PhD.
Associate Professor and Director of the Sulzberger Laboratory for Dermatologic Research
Dr. Thomas Darling earned a Doctor of Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy from Duke University in North Carolina. He completed a medicine internship at University of North Carolina Hospitals, a dermatology residency at Duke University, and a research fellowship at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. Dr. Darling's clinical studies focus on the skin manifestations of tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) and Proteus syndrome. His laboratory investigates the molecular and genetic basis for tumor formation in TSC, exploring cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions that contribute to the tumor microenvironment. Dr. Darling's lab showed that mTOR signaling is activated in TSC skin tumors. His team is also studying rapamycin treatment in patients with TSC.
Shaowei Li, M.D., Ph.D.
Research Assistant Professor
Dr. Shaowei Li earned a Doctor of Medicine, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy from Norman Bethune University of Medical Science in China. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Biochemistry and Cellular Biology at the National Institute of Neuroscience in Japan, he travelled to the United States as a visiting fellow in the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland. While there, Dr. Li discovered TSC1 (hamartin) and TSC2 (tuberin) form a complex that promotes protein stability and function. At USU, Dr. Li is studying TSC skin hamartomas focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of hamartoma formation and potential therapies. He has received funding as principal investigator by the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance and has been a recipient of travel awards from the TS Alliance in the US and the Tuberous Sclerosis Association in the United Kingdom. Dr. Li developed and characterized a novel xenograft mouse model of TSC skin hamartomas that shows de novo hair follicle neogenesis.
LTC Jon Meyerle, M.D.
LTC Jon Meyerle is an active duty dermatologist. He graduated from Princeton University in New Jersey before earning his Doctor of Medicine from Yale University School of Medicine. He completed dermatology residency training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center before completing an immunodermatology and research fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine. LTC Meyerle's clinical interests are in immunodermatology, telemedicine and skin diseases in patients with amputations. His research interests are in cellular-based therapies, the immunopathology of pemphigus and melanoma susceptibility and progression. LTC Meyerle has served in operational capacities as a group surgeon, brigade surgeon, battalion surgeon and officer-in-charge during both hostile and non-hostile deployments over the past 13 years. He comes to USU after his tenure as the clinic chief for the Section of Dermatology at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.