Since our founding in 1979, The Skin Cancer Foundation has set the standard for educating the public and the medical community about skin cancer. We are committed to decreasing the incidence and mortality of the world’s most common cancer, now occurring at epidemic levels.
Who We Are
Désirée Ratner, MD
Editor-in-Chief, Carcinomas & Keratoses
To explain why I wanted to be part of this publication, I have been fascinated by cutaneous oncology since my third year of medical school. I still can’t think of a more interesting subspecialty, and I have been fortunate enough to devote my entire professional career to it. I spent more than 20 years as a full-time academic dermatologic surgeon, initially at Columbia University Medical Center, and later at Mount Sinai Beth Israel, specializing in Mohs micrographic surgery, cutaneous oncology and reconstruction. Part of my role was to teach medical students, and later I provided training and mentorship to residents and fellows in these areas. I have now transitioned into private practice and am committed more than ever to clinical care and teaching. I see this publication as a golden opportunity to keep a broad range of professionals informed about new and important developments in the prevention, detection, diagnosis and management of these skin cancers.
Looking even further back, I was once a comparative literature major; I’m happiest with my nose in a book or manuscript, reading, writing or editing. I’ve been able to indulge that passion by serving as coeditor of the journal Dermatologic Surgery since 2007, and as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology since 2008, as well as a few other editorial boards along the way. I jumped at the chance to serve as the medical editor of this new publication, which is devoted to giving nonmelanoma skin cancers the attention they deserve.
Senior Director of Science & Education
When I was a kid, growing up in Iowa and Minnesota, my dad called me “Waterbug.” You could not keep me out of any body of water, whether a magnificent lake or a flooded storm drain. Trying to get “tanning lotion,” a T-shirt or a hat on me was futile, and I had the miserable sunburns to prove it. Now, 10 BCCs, 3 SCCs and many Mohs surgeries later, I am a devotee of hats as well as every other weapon in the sun protection arsenal. I came to the Foundation in 2015 after a long career as an award-winning health and medical writer and editor for The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Ladies’ Home Journal, Web MD, NYU Langone and other outlets. As senior director of science & education, I make sure we provide the latest, most accurate and compelling information to the public and medical community on the prevention, early detection, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. I live in New York City (surrounded by water!), where you can always find me on the shady side of the street.