ABOUT Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Avatar of Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Lowell A. Goldsmith, MD has over 40 years of experience in treating patients with skin diseases and in basic research related to the skin. He has been on the faculty at Harvard, Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, where he both founded the Department of Dermatology and was Dean of the School for five years. He has been a meeting-goer and organizational official, and he received the Stephen Rothman Gold Medal of the Society for Investigative Dermatology. He has destroyed many trees while publishing frenetic numbers of journal articles and editing textbooks, and he was Editor of the Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2002-2007. He has written a series on “Bridging the Laboratory and the Clinic” for the Archives of Dermatology and on “ Dermatology Far Afield” for Journal Watch, with the aim of enhancing interest and expertise in the basic sciences of skin for diverse audiences. The JID Jottings blog is a logical extension of these previous efforts, and his way of looking at the world will become clear to those who follow and contribute to this blog.


Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings: All Posts


Reflectance Confocal Microscopy: An Elegant, Revolutionary Technique with Boundless Possibilities

Posted 14 May 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

by guest blogger Joshua Davyd Fox, University of Miami, MD class of 2016   At the 2015 American Academy of Dermatology Annual Meeting, I serendipitously discovered Reflectance Confocal Microscopy (RCM). I sat mesmerized, watching the presenters quickly flip through black-and-white mosaic images of in vivo skin at microscopic resolution in what may best be described as a fusion between radiology and dermatology. As a fly in a room filled with experts of a drastically underutilized technology, I felt as though... Read more

March is Mitochondria Month for Melanoma and Hair—A Trifecta

Posted 18 March 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Without energy, metabolism collapses; aerobic metabolism in eukaryotes requires mitochondria. In medical school, in ancient days, our study rooms displayed large charts explaining the Krebs mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle, like religious icons to be venerated . I was  imprinted with the importance of those "good & plenty"- appearing  mitochondrial organelles, and this month I am reminded of them by a trio of publications.   First was the triparental egg conceived in Great Britain (sorry for the pun) as treatment for a... Read more

Eyelash Physiology and Extensions

Posted 11 March 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

I must  confess I do not read the Journal of the Royal Society Interface regularly, but luckily, the ECONOMIST devoted two thirds of a page to describing how eyelashes work. Eyelashes were last discussed in this blog on Oct 29, 2013, showing a dogged  persistence and perseveration about this skin appendage, which is often relegated solely  to the cosmetic domain. The basic finding in the study is that the average length of the eye lashes is about one  third of... Read more

Go to College, Get a Tan, Get Melanoma (For the Lucky Ones: You Can Look Like 50 at Age 30)

Posted 29 January 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

In the university town where I live, several of the apartment complexes, where many of the students rent, provide free access to tanning beds. Wow . . . it takes a long while for the RISK/benefits of tanning to reach students. In the Jan 14, 2014 post, Guest Blogger Liza Engstrom discussed exercise clubs in our community providing tanning as an extra membership benefit .   Now, a University of North Carolina junior, Alaina Zeitany, who is majoring in nutrition,... Read more

Too Much Fat, Too Little Fat

Posted 16 January 2015 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Everyone wants to lose weight at the beginning of the year, and fat’s role in overall metabolism is a popular topic in the scientific and popular press. I see numerous computer popups advertising how to decrease my girth. I never click. Now, Science and Arthritis and Rheumatology report intriguing physiological and pathological roles of fat, increasing our respect for and interest in the adipocyte. Bleomycin injections have been used for many years to model systemic sclerosis. Recent findings show that... Read more

Homo Celebrans Secundus — HPV Prevention: Persistence Conquers Warts

Posted 18 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

More celebrations of science and scientists. HPV, human papillomavirus virus vaccine has had a major effect on improving human health and preventing death from cervical cancer. The long-standing team of Douglas Lowy and John Schiller from the National Cancer Institute, NIH, received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation from US President Barack Obama November 20, 2014 in the White House. Doug Lowy first published on viruses in 1971; he kept studying and understanding viruses, and eventually his team developed... Read more

Homo Celebrans — Man: the only animal that celebrates its accomplishments

Posted 16 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

What distinguishes man from other creatures? Certainly the religious and philosophical implications of that question have created terabytes of information and many of the world’s religions. The British Blue Tit in England learns and remembers that shiny caps on milk bottles can be punctured with its beak to yield a rich, fatty meal. Your pet remembers many events and behaviors, although it does not have a great internal clock for celebrating its birthday, or its winning of the Westminster Kennel... Read more

Pseudofolliculitis Barbae (Ingrown Hairs) and Dental Cavities

Posted 9 December 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

Pseudofollicultis Barbae (PFB) is a vexing chronic disorder common in those of African descent and often exacerbated by shaving. Those African Americans who must be clean shaven for their occupation may suffer disproportionally.  PFB is very highly associated with a polymorphism in keratin of the hair sheath, KRT75. KRT75 is in the companion layer of the root sheath and also in the medulla. (A different mutation is responsible for the loose anagen syndrome.) Duverger et al report that teeth, and especially... Read more

Skin Cancers — Causes and Treatment

Posted 24 November 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

The JID Milestone Series allows both experts and non-experts to delve into the broader context of diseases and their biology in a comprehensive fashion. Now, the Milestones series has a new posting on the biology and etiology of skin cancers. There are wonderful time lines for understanding the effects of the immune response, viruses, DNA repair, and external agents in causing and modifying skin cancers. Copy the time lines with proper attribution for lectures to both scientists and the general... Read more

Controversy: A Dermatology TED Conference: A Lot in Storrs for You

Posted 10 November 2014 by Lowell Goldsmith - JID Jottings

by guest blogger Sancy Leachman, M.D., Ph.D., Oregon Health & Science University   This year’s Storrs Lectureship is undoubtedly one of the most unusual meetings I have ever attended.  I don’t want you to interpret “unusual” as a code word for “bad,” but you can interpret it as “unconventional.” The typical didactic format was abandoned in favor of short, TED-type presentations followed by abundant discussion. The lectureship is designed to reflect “Fran Storrs’ mission” in a “Fran Storrs’ way.” For... Read more