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.
Scientific Director, The Skin Cancer Foundation
As a kid, I ran around shirtless and hatless all day in summer on the beaches of Los Angeles, starting every summer with a sunburn and never giving a thought to my skin. How far I’ve come! Since 1992 I’ve worn a variety of hats (in actuality and figuratively) at The Skin Cancer Foundation, and my wife now thanks my influence for helping her keep her skin sun-safe, cancer-free and young. As SCF’s scientific director, I want you to do the same. I make sure we provide the latest, most accurate information to the public and medical community alike on the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of skin cancer. In my life before the Foundation, my career swung between nonprofit health foundations and magazines, and my last gig was executive editor at Health magazine, where I won the American Psychology Association’s annual award for magazine writing. When I’m not at the office, I’m reading, watching movies, writing fiction, doing The New York Times daily crossword or playing tennis on increasingly creaky knees.