Our Team of Experts
In addition to their role as physicians at Boston Medical Center, our experts are faculty at Boston University School of Medicine. They bring their specialty expertise in melanoma to the diagnosis and treatment of all stages of the disease. They coordinate a program that offers rapid access to appointments and careful coordination of care to minimize time and cost. They work in collaboration with the patient's referring physician, maintaining communication at key steps in the care process, including follow-up.
Many of the physicians on our team are also engaged in research and clinical trials, thus providing access to promising new approaches to patients and their physicians who are interested in exploring available clinical trials.
Department of Dermatology
Rhoda M. Alani, MD is the Herbert Mescon Professor and Chair of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center. She received her MD degree with Honors and Distinction in Research from the University of Michigan and completed her internship in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital and a residency in dermatology at Harvard Medical School. From 1999-2009 Dr. Alani was the Director of the Laboratory of Cutaneous Oncology and Director of the Melanoma and Pigmented Lesion Clinics in Dermatology at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Alani's research focus is in understanding the molecular basis of melanoma development and progression with the aim of translating her laboratory findings to better prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of melanoma. Dr. Alani is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Societies, the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the American Association for Cancer Research and was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2005. She is the author of numerous scientific publications and is the owner of several US patents related to melanoma biomarkers, novel melanoma therapies, and imaging systems for improved melanoma detection.
Jag Bhawan, MD is the Vice-Chairman of Administration and Financial Affairs, Head of the Dermatopathology Section and Professor of Dermatology and Pathology. Dr. Bhawan graduated from Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, India, and trained in pathology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and in the combined Boston University-Tufts University Dermatology Program. He is Board Certified in Dermatology, Pathology and Dermatopathology. His primary interests include general dermatology and the disorders of pigmentation.
Deborah L. Cummins, MD is the Director of Mohs and Dermatologic Surgery at Boston Medical Center. She graduated from Brown University and received her M.D. degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine with academic honors including membership in Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Societies. She completed her internship in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins-Bayview Medical Center and residency in dermatology at Harvard Medical School-Massachusetts General Hospital. She also received fellowship training in Mohs Dermatologic Surgery and Cutaneous Oncology at Tufts Medical Center. She is a member of the American College of Mohs Surgery and the American Academy of Dermatology. Her clinical and research interests include surgical dermatology and skin cancer. She is the author of multiple publications related to surgical reconstruction, basal cell carcinoma, tanning, and melanoma.
Lynne Goldberg, MD is an Associate Professor of Dermatology and Pathology. She is an Alpha Omega Alpha graduate from Downstate Medical Center in New York. She completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at New York University Medical Center prior to her Dermatology Residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Goldberg subsequently completed a Fellowship in Dermatopathology at Boston University. Dr. Goldberg is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Dermatology and Dermatopathology and has a special interest in hair disorders.
Meera Mahalingam, MBBS, PhD, FRCPath is Professor of Dermatology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her medical degree in India (MBBS) and trained in pathology initially in the UK and subsequently in the USA. She is a board certified pathologist (UK and USA) and a board certified dermatopathologist (USA). She joined the Dermatopathology Section, Department of Dermatology, BUSM in 2007 prior to which she was at UMASS Medical School (Associate Professor of Pathology and Medicine) and Director of Dermatopathology (UMASS Memorial Health Care, 2005-2007) and Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, Cambridge (2000-2005). She has served on the Board of the American Society of Dermatopathology since 2003, serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Cutaneous Pathology and has several publications, oral presentations and invited lectures to her credit.
Thomas Ruenger, MD received his MD PhD from Christian-Albrecht University in Kiel, Germany. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Health in the Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, he completed a dermatology residency training at the University of Würzburg, Germany, with board certification in dermatology and allergology. He was Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Dermatology at Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany, and now is Professor and Vice-Chairman for Clinical and Academic Affairs of the Department of Dermatology at Boston University.
While practicing general medical dermatology, including pediatric dermatology, his main clinical interests are in photodermatology, in particular phototherapy and skin diseases with photosensitivity, and skin oncology. He serves as the clinical director of outpatient clinical services and the director of the International Graduate Training Program in Dermatology.
In the research laboratory, he is interested in photobiology of skin cells, including UV-induced DNA damage, DNA repair, and other cellular DNA damage responses. He is the recipient of several academic, scientific, and teaching awards. He is fluent in German and Spanish.
Deon Wolpowitz, MD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Pathology and the Dermatopathology Section of the Department of Dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine after both successfully completing both his dermatology residency and a two-year dermatopathology fellowship at BU in 2008. Dr. Wolpowitz received his MD and PhD from Columbia University and also did post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School. He has already published several articles and has co-authored a textbook chapter on osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency and photoprotection. Dr. Wolpowitz is board certified in Dermatology and Dermatopathology.
Maureen Kavanah, MD is a graduate of Tufts University School of Medicine, the General Surgery Residency Training Program at Saint Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston, and Surgical Oncology Fellowship Program at Boston University School of Medicine. She has been a member of the Section of Surgical Oncology at Boston University Medical Center since 1981 and is an Associate Professor of Surgery. During her early formulative years as faculty, she received specialized training from Edward Krementz, MD, in New Orleans, who developed the heated chemotherapeutic limb perfusion procedure for patients with recurrent melanoma on an arm or leg. Dr. Kavanah has been performing this complex procedure at Boston Medical Center with a dedicated team of anesthesiologists, perfusionists, pharmacists, and operating room nurses who provide high quality care for these patients.
Omar Eton, MD is attending medical oncologist at Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Eton attended New York University School of Medicine and completed an internal medicine residency at Parkland Memorial Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. He then served as an American Cancer Society fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center training in oncology, hematology and tumor immunology.
Dr Eton has made major contributions to the clinical management of patients with melanoma. He refined the staging of advanced melanoma to reduce selection bias in the design and interpretation of clinical trials. He was also a protagonist for the development of combined biochemotherapy, among the first reliably active regimens for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma – now listed in the NCCN guidelines. Dr. Eton has experience administering several versions of biochemotherapy which require adherence to dose and schedule intensity for optimal outcomes in properly selected patients. Dr Eton also helped usher in the era of personalized medicine for melanoma by screening patients' melanomas for expression of exploitable molecular targets.
At BMC, Dr. Eton serves as a solid tumor oncologist with a special interest in melanoma, targeted therapies and clinical trials. Dr. Eton has been a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology.
Adam Lerner, MD is Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. He is a noted skin oncologist, with expertise in the treatment of both melanoma and cutaneous T cell lymphoma. He has conducted ground-breaking research in leukemia and lymphoma. Dr. Lerner is a graduate of Yale University School of Medicine, received his residency training at Boston Medical Center, and his fellowship training in oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Among his current responsibilities, he serves as Program Leader of the T1 Translational Cancer Research Program in the Cancer Research Program at BUSM.