Dermatologist Ian D. Odell, MD, PhD, enjoys improving the quality of his patients’ lives. “If it's a minor complaint, I strive to help make it go away,” he says. “If it’s a complex or difficult medical problem, I aim to find the best treatment that has the least risk.”
Dr. Odell also learns from the people he cares for each day. “I love that while I take care of patients, they also teach me about their conditions,” Dr. Odell says. “Patients themselves teach us so much about how the body works. The skin problems they run into shed light on fundamental biological concepts that we wouldn't otherwise know about.”
As a clinician, he treats a wide variety of skin concerns, including skin cancer, acne, eczema and rare autoimmune diseases that manifest themselves in the skin. He's also researcher and an instructor at Yale School of Medicine where he studies autoimmune diseases in the laboratory, including scleroderma (systemic sclerosis) and chronic graft-versus-host disease. His research focuses on the role of the immune system in these two diseases, which cause hardness and tightening of the skin and can progress to the internal organs without proper treatment.