The University of Florida College of Medicine has appointed Vladimir Vincek, M.D., Ph.D., a professor and director of dermatopathology, to become the founding chair of the new department of dermatology, effective Jan. 1.
“Dermatology is an important specialty in medicine, and it the right time in our UF history to create a department of dermatology, one that will provide needed care to our community and to the citizens of Florida, and one that will train the next generation of much needed dermatologists,” said Michael L. Good, M.D., dean of the College of Medicine.. “As founding chair and an accomplished physician, scientist and educator, Dr. Vincek has a vision to create a world-class department, and the drive, determination and leadership skills to realize that vision.”
Currently, dermatology is a division under the department of medicine. The new designation allows UF to join the ranks of other top academic medical centers that have established dermatology departments and also allows for the dedication of more staff and resources to the specialty, Vincek said.
There is a growing clinical need for dermatology services. Skin cancer is the most common of all cancers, and Florida has the second highest rate of melanoma cases in the nation. Melanoma cases are also becoming more common in young people.
“My goal is to reorganize clinical operations,” said Vincek, who is both a practicing clinical dermatopathologist and a researcher in the area of melanoma and genetics.
Vincek joined UF as a professor and director of its Dermatopathology Program in 2007. He also has served as the medical director for the UF Pathology Laboratories since 2009.
Vincek’s goals include doubling the number of dermatologists to serve more patients with prompt appointments, plus offering additional state-of-the-art equipment to perform specialized procedures. It’s also important for UF to offer subspecialties, such as pediatric dermatology, and treat complex conditions that community dermatologists don’t handle and may need to refer, he said.
“We want to provide both routine care and highly subspecialized care for the most challenging and complex conditions,” he said.
Academically, Vincek wants to increase educational and research opportunities as well as provide more community outreach from the new department.
An educator, clinician and researcher, Vincek earned his medical and doctorate degrees from the University of Rijeka, Croatia, and later became a postdoctoral fellow and research associate in the department of immunogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tubingen, Germany. During that time, he published more than 30 publications related to the structure and evolution of the major histocompatibility complex.
Vincek completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology and fellowship training in dermatopathology at the University of Miami while actively operating a research laboratory, where he studied the genetics of skin cancer, wound-healing and tissue preservation. In 1990, Vincek was appointed as an assistant professor at UM, where he received tenure and promotion to full professor in the departments of microbiology and immunology and pathology.
Vincek’s research focuses on the genetics of melanocytic lesions of skin. He is a prolific author with more than 100 peer-reviewed publications in dermatopathology, dermatology and pathology and was awarded several research grants by the National Institutes of Health, American Cancer Society and National Science Foundation. He serves as a scientific reviewer for the NIH and ACS, and is a reviewer for several industry-leading scientific journals.
Continuing in his academic tradition, Dr. Vincek actively teaches in dermatology and pathology training programs as well as in UF’s dermatopathology fellowship program. He also continues to pursue his research interest in gene expression analysis of melanocytic lesions and study of abnormal wound healing.
He has received several teaching awards, including The Hydra Award from UF’s department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine in 2007-2008.