Current Topics in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: Atopic Topics in Dermatology

Almost every serious problem can be evaluated from multiple viewpoints, and when those viewpoints are combined, a fuller picture emerges. On Friday, Sept. 28, at the hotelVetro in downtown Iowa City, members of the Division of Immunology and the Departments of Dermatology and Pediatrics came together to present their viewpoints on atopic dermatitis, a common but persistent condition with a variety of presentations, and other intersections between allergy, immunology, and dermatology. (Last year, the Current Topics series focused on food allergies, collaborating with members of Pediatrics.)

After welcoming remarks from course director and moderator Ben Davis, MD, PhD, the morning began with a keynote from Emma Guttman-Yassky, MD, PhD. The Sol and Clara Kest Professor of Dermatology at the Icahn Medical School at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Dr. Guttman-Yassky detailed the connections between cytokine activity underlying atopic dermatitis and the therapeutic possibilities these connections reveal. She was followed by Janet Fairley, MD, Chair and DEO of the Department of Dermatology. In discussing the triggers and treatment of the blistering skin disease bullous pemphigoid, Dr. Fairley explored its connections with neurological diseases. Diana Bayer, DO, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, closed out the morning with a detailed comparison of primary autoimmunodeficiency disease’s dermatologic manifestations.

At lunch the immunologists and the dermatologists split for society meetings and to focus in on more specialty-specific topics for the rest of the afternoon. The Iowa Society of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ISAAI) held its business meeting while non-members attended a workshop on patch testing led by Amy Dowden, MD, and three immunology fellows, Robert Szalewski, MD; Bani Kaur, MD; and Javen Wunschel, DO.

Those same three fellows led the rest of the afternoon once the ISAAI members rejoined their colleagues. Each of them engaged the audience with interactive questions and discussion. Dr. Szalewski presented a variety of cases including a 23-month-old with a multitude of food allergies, which led to a conversation about the role of specific drugs in treatment of atopic dermatitis. Dr. Kaur then hosted a version of Allergy/Immunology Jeopardy with categories like “Name That Syndrome” and “Drug Reaction.” Dr. Wunschel tested attendee knowledge on pressing topics in allergic skin diseases, dispelling myths, and leading discussion with multiple-choice questions.

Congratulations to Dr. Davis and the other members of the planning committee on a successful interdisciplinary event!

Planning Committee
Ben Davis, MD, PhD
Zuhair Ballas, MD
Mary Beth Fasano, MD
Amy Dowden, MD
Bharat Kumar, MD
Lana Dolovcak, MD
Jennifer Twombley, RN




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