History

Tufts College was founded in 1852 as a non-sectarian institution of higher learning in Medford, Massachusetts, about five miles from Boston. It is now organized into 10 schools on four campuses. The Medical Sciences campus is in Boston’s Chinatown adjacent to Tufts Medical Center (formerly New England Medical Center), the primary teaching hospital of Tufts University School of Medicine. The Medical School and the Dermatology Department were founded in 1893. Initially the Dermatology Department was centered at the Boston City Hospital. It was a Tufts Service and the major site of dermatology teaching for Tufts medical students. Important leaders of the Department in the modern era were Dr. John Downing (1944-1952), Dr. Bernard Appel (1952-1961), and Dr. Walter Lever (1961-1977). Dr. Lever, an eminent German-born dermatologist and dermatopathologist, was a pioneer in understanding and managing blistering diseases of the skin such as pemphigus vulgaris and bullous pemphigoid. Under his leadership dermatology at Tufts grew remarkably, with generous NIH support for research and training.

In 1980, Dr. David S. Feingold, boarded in internal medicine, infectious disease and dermatology, was appointed Professor and Chair of Dermatology at Tufts University School of Medicine and Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Feingold was given the charge of building a vibrant academic dermatology presence at Tufts. In the 1980s and 90s dermatology at Tufts prospered. Dr. Donald Grande set up a strong surgical division with a Mohs surgery fellowship. The surgical program remains very strong today. The Department has remained very busy and financially successful with over 13,000 outpatient visits yearly. Dr. Feingold stepped down as Chair in 2003 although he served as interim chair until 2006.

In March 2006, Dr. Alice B. Gottlieb, boarded in internal medicine, rheumatology and dermatology, and an internationally recognized expert and leader in the field of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, joined Tufts Medical Center as its Chair of Dermatology. Her research using targeted immunobiologics as pathogenic probes, provided new understanding of the pathogenesis of psoriasis and provided the foundation for biologic drug development in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. As a direct result of Dr. Gottlieb’s work, many biotechnology-engineered immunomodulators are FDA and /or EMEA-approved for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Dr. Gottlieb stepped down as Chair in 2016

In February 2018, Dr. F. Clarissa Yang, a Harvard-trained dermatologist, was recruited into the position of Chairman of Dermatology at Tufts Medical School and Dermatologist-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center. Dr. Yang brings with her more than a decade of experience at Harvard Medical School where she served in many leadership roles both at the Medical School and in the Harvard Combined Residency Program.  In addition, she was both the Outpatient Medical Director of the Department of Dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital which had 11 outpatient locations and was the Director of Brigham Dermatology Associates, their flagship practice. She is known to be a thought-leader and innovator in clinical care redesign with a strong dedication to the patient experience.  Dr. Yang is well-respected for her clinical acumen, her talent in procedural skills, and her commitment to supporting a positive and supportive culture for growth and learning.