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The Department of Dermatology deals with all aspects of the biology and diseases of the skin.

Department of Dermatology

David A. Norris, M.D.

Dr. David Norris

Professor and Chairman
Department of Dermatology

Dr. David Norris is an internationally renowned investigator in cutaneous immunology, cell biology, and melanoma research. He has been on the faculty of the University of Colorado for 37 years and has supervised 25 trainees, many of whom have entered academic careers. He is Director of the NIAMS-funded P30 Skin Diseases Research Core Center at the University of Colorado Denver. This NIAMS supported Research Center is a consortium of 49 investigators, managed by Drs. Norris and Roop. 

As Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at University of Colorado, he has built a strong research program with focus on cutaneous oncology, immunodermatology and stem cell research. He has expanded the teaching and clinical missions of the department, and maintained his own active practice at the VA and University Clinics. Dr. Norris is also an active member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the National Psoriasis Foundation. As a committee member, Dr. Norris advises the Foundation on research projects and advocates for federal research support.

Dr. Norris began his research career studying mechanisms of cell death in photosensitive lupus and vitiligo. He made seminal discoveries regarding the role of ultraviolet light in inducing translocation of autoantigens to the plasma membrane in keratinocytes in photosensitive lupus. His interest in immune mechanisms in vitiligo led to many years of research in pigment cell biology, which eventually developed into studies of the resistance of melanocytes and melanoma to apoptosis. His current research, funded by NIAMS and the Department of Veterans Affairs, focuses on the network of anti-apoptotic defenses in the skin, how these defenses can be maintained in inflammatory and immunologic disease, and how they can be overcome in cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.