Keith Choate, MD, PhD, is a professor of dermatology, genetics and pathology at Yale School of Medicine and a medical dermatologist who treats patients with a variety of skin conditions, including skin cancer, severe acne, psoriasis, and other conditions upon referral by a dermatologist. His expertise in genetic skin disorders leads to referrals from across the country and around the world. Regarding the complex cases he sees, Dr. Choate says, “There's nothing better than solving a medical mystery, and it’s enormously gratifying to see patients get better.”
He reports that some patients have seen many other doctors before coming to Yale Medicine Dermatology, and that they are surprised to discover how things are done differently at Yale Medicine. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Choate and others in the department bring insights from scientific investigation and clinical trials to patient care. “At the end of the day, there's always an answer to complex skin problems if we are willing to work together toward finding a solution,” says Dr. Choate.
Dr. Choate is co-chief of dermatology at the Saint Raphael campus, director of research of the Yale Medicine Department of Dermatology, and an associate director of the Yale Medical Scientist Program. He reports that “having the opportunity to train the next generation of clinicians and physician-scientists who will shape medicine is an inspiring part of what I do.”
In his own research, Dr. Choate employs genetic tool and biologic investigation to find solutions for other genetic disorders such as ichthyosis, palmoplantar keratoderma and disorders appearing in patches or stripes on the skin. These include mosaic manifestations of acne, lichen planus, lupus and psoriasis.
To that end, Dr. Choate has recently published research on a group of severe, genetic skin conditions called ichthyosis, which cause dry, scaly or thickened skin. They affect about 200,000 people and can be disfiguring. In his new research, he and colleagues found a commonly used acne medication called isotretinoin (Accutane), counteracts the effects of the genetic mutations the disorder causes. “In two patients who’ve utilized it, the medication has cured the disease,” Dr. Choate says.
“Yale Medicine’s approach to patient care, disease-centered research, and education gives me a unique opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives. This is why I come to work every day,” Dr. Choate says.