The Marvin A. Karasek Lectureship

The Marvin A. Karasek Lectureship in Dermatology at Stanford was established in 2016 by a generous gift from Stanford Dermatology Faculty Member, Professor Marvin A. Karasek, with a goal to advancing progress in cutaneous biology and medicine.

Melanoma Milestones

Where We'we Been & Where We're Headed

There’s never been a more hopeful time for researchers and physicians dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma—or for the patients they’re committed to helping. Treatment options have improved dramatically from the days of interferon, which can cause significant side effects, to the targeted medications and immunotherapies available today. 

Please join us for the 4th Annual Marvin A. Karasek Lecture in Dermatology,* featuring Susan Swetter, MD, professor of dermatology and co-director of Stanford’s Pigmented Lesion/Melanoma and Cutaneous Oncology Programs. You’ll hear about the breakthroughs we continue to make—and the work that has yet to be done—to improve early detection, care, and outcomes for so many.

Monday, May 20th from 5:00-7:00pm 
Cardinal Hall Lecture Hall 
505 Broadway | Redwood City

RSVP at this link, or contact: 
Michela Pilo at 650.498.6295

*Established in 2016 by the estate of Marvin A. Karasek, PhD, this annual lecture in dermatology explores the latest breakthroughs in cutaneous biology and investigative dermatology to accelerate the pace of translational research and transform human health.

Advancing Research in Dermatology Through an Estate Plan

As a young biochemist, Marvin Karasek, PhD, wanted to know if there was a connection between viruses and skin diseases. After he finished his postdoctoral studies in viral research in Germany, his work came to the attention of Arthur Kornberg, MD, chair of the Stanford Department of Biochemistry and winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize for illuminating how DNA is built.

Dr. Kornberg believed that Stanford needed a better program in developmental dermatology and recommended Dr. Karasek to the chairman of the Department of Dermatology, Eugene M. Farber, MD.

“Dr. Farber invited me to become an assistant professor. I accepted and we hit it off immediately,” says Dr. Karasek, now emeritus professor of biochemistry in dermatology.

“I became enamored with the possibilities of making progress in dermatology and establishing the department as a leader in dermatology research. I was hooked.” (Read More)

2024 Lecturer - Susan Swetter, MD

Susan M. Swetter, M.D., is a Professor of Dermatology, Assistant Chief of the Dermatology Service at the VA Palo Alto, Director of the Pigmented Lesion and Melanoma Program and Physician Leader of the Cancer Care Program in Cutaneous Oncology at Stanford University Medical Center and Cancer Institute. Her research interests encompass both primary and secondary melanoma prevention, including therapeutic prevention strategies in patients with atypical nevi and targeted screening/education of high-risk groups for improved melanoma awareness and early detection. Her clinical interests are in cutaneous oncology (focused on pigmented lesions/melanoma) and adult general medical dermatology (at VA Palo Alto). Dr. Swetter joined the Stanford Dermatology faculty in 1994 following dermatology residency/chief residency at Stanford and internal medicine internship at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Swetter received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and her BA with Distinction from the University of Virginia. (Lean more about Dr. Swetter)

2019 Lecturer - Anthony E. Oro, MD, PhD

Anthony Oro, MD, PhD, the Eugene and Gloria Bauer Professor of Dermatology, is a recognized leader in skin regeneration and cancer. For Dr. Anthony Oro, the skin offers a window to the inner workings of the human body. In his lab, Dr. Oro uses skin as a model for Precision Health, to understand the genetic basis of diseases and develop novel therapies for tissue regeneration, cancer and autoimmune conditions. (Learn more about Dr. Oro.)


2023 Lecturer - Jean Y. Tang, MD, PhD

Jean Tang, M.D., Ph.D., is a Professor of Dermatology and her research focuses on genetic skin diseases such as Basal Cell Nevus Syndrome and Epidermolysis Bullosa. She studies new ways to treat and prevent NSMC and melanoma. Dr. Tang has led or co-led the conduct and completion of 6 investigator initiated clinical trials in BCC and EB. She received her MD/PhD from Stanford (Biophysics), completed her dermatology residency at Stanford, and then went to UCSF for a 3 year post-doc in mouse genetics, while simultaneously pursuing formal coursework in biostatistics, epidemiology, and clinical trial design in the KL2 CTSI program. (Learn more about Dr. Tang.)

2018 Lecturer - Howard Y. Chang, MD, PhD

Howard Chang, MD, PhD, the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Professor of Cancer and Genomics, directs the NIH Center of Excellence in Genomic Science: Center for Personal Dynamic Regulome at Stanford University. He has dedicated his career to understanding the system of switches that controls when and where a gene will turn on. His groundbreaking work promises to open a new world of RNA-based strategies against disease. (Learn more about Dr. Chang)

If you would like to learn more about including a gift in your will or trust to benefit a particular program or department at Stanford, please contact Katharyn Israel (formerly Kat Walsch) at 541.961.7826 or