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Melanoma Surgery »  Faculty »  Dermatology »  Susana Ortiz-Urda, M.D. Ph.D.
Susana Ortiz-Urda, M.D. Ph.D.

Susana Ortiz-Urda, M.D. Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Dermatology
Department of Dermatology
Co-Director, UCSF Melanoma Center
UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

Contact Information

415-476 8502
415-476 8218  Fax  

Clinic Appointments
Melanoma Center
1600 Divisadero St., Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-9900
Fax: (415) 885-3802

Dermatology Clinic
1701 Divisadero St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-7800
Fax: (415) 353-7870
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  • MD PhD: University of Vienna, Austria
  • Stanford University, Stanford, Dermatology
  • Cutaneous Oncology Fellowship: University of California, San Francisco, Department of Dermatology
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University, Epithelial Biology
  • American Board of Dermatology
  • Department of Dermatology
  • UCSF Melanoma Center
  • Member, UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma
  • Cutaneous Oncology
  • General Dermatology
  • Kaposi's sarcoma
  • Melanoma
  • Merkel Cell Carcinoma
  • Skin adnexal tumors
  • Skin Cancer in Immunosuppressed Patients
  • Skin sarcomas
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Epigenetics
  • Mechanisms of cancer progression: signal transduction pathways
  • Molecular therapeutics in cancer
  • Xenograft models of cutaneous neoplasia

Dr. Ortiz-Urda is the Co-Director of the UCSF Melanoma Center which treats patients with early and advanced melanoma. She also leads a research laboratory focused on identifying the mechanisms of early melanoma progression. The laboratory uses epithelial tissue as a model system to study stem melanoma progression and new molecular therapeutics. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Austrian Society of Dermatology and Venerology, and the Dermatology Foundation. Dr. Ortiz-Urda has received several awards, including the Kardinal-Innitzer Award for Outstanding Science in Dermatology and the Unilever Award from the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venerology.

My research interest is centered in the mechanisms involved in cancer progression. In recent studies we studied the role of tumor-stroma interactions in epithelial tumorigenesis. Our goal now is to identify the earliest melanoma precursors and to study the mechanisms of intraepidermal melanoma progression taking advantage of a human tissue model of human melanoma.

Our laboratory is currently pursuing studies of the signaling and gene regulatory networks that control this process. Our studies are designed to identify potential biomarkers in unresected occult melanoma, establish improved methods to identify occult intraepidermal melanoma, rationalize resection margins, and find treatments to reduce melanoma recurrence at the primary site. My lab is also interested in the epigenetic mechanisms involved in cancer progression and in expression analysis between consecutive stages of tumor progression. These studies are designed to identify targets for genes involved in the migration, proliferation, and invasion of mutant melanocytes.

  1. Ortiz-Urda S, Garcia J, Lin Q, Green C, Chen L, Veitch DP, Sakai LY, Lee H, Marinkovich PM, Khavari PA. Type VII collagen is required for Ras-driven human epidermal tumorigenesis. Science 307: 1773-1776, 2005
  2. Reuter JA, Ortiz-Urda S, Scholl F, Poosmoij A, Cassarino D, Chang HY, Khavari PA, Modeling human tumor-stroma coevolution identifies an interactive extracellular matrix gene network required for cancer progression. Cancer Cell 2009 15:477-88, 2009
  3. Ortiz-Urda S, Lin Q, Green C, Keene DR, Marinkovich PM, Khavari PA. Injection of genetically engineered fibroblasts corrects regenerated human epidermolysis bullosa skin tissue. Journal of Clinical Investigation 111: 251-255, 2003
  4. Ortiz-Urda S, Thyagarajan B, Keene DR, Lin Q, Fang M, Calos MP, Khavari PA. Stable nonviral genetic correction of inherited human skin disease. Nature Medicine 8: 1166-1170, 2002
  5. Ortiz-Urda S, Thyagarajan B, Lin Q, Keene DR, Calos MP, Khavari PA. phiC31 Integrase-mediated nonviral genetic correction of junctional epidermolysis bullosa. Human Gene Therapy 14: 923-928, 2003.



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