Vincent Falanga, MD, FACP, has been appointed the Barbara A. Gilchrest Professor of Dermatology as well as the director and vice chair of research in the department of dermatology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) effective July 1. He also is a professor of biochemistry and the director of the Dermatology Residency Program and an attending dermatologist at Boston Medical Center (BMC).
Falanga’s research began with cell and molecular biology and has evolved over the years to human-based translational research. BUSM currently is constructing a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility where he will oversee groundbreaking research and develop treatments that harness the power of stem cells to care for patients with chronic wounds, particularly in the lower extremities. Currently, the American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 60 percent of the 25.8 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes will undergo a non-traumatic lower limb amputation due to the weakening of the peripheral vascular system. Falanga’s novel approach will treat chronic wounds caused by disorders such as diabetes, autoimmune disease, infection or other types of vascular insufficiencies. This research is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as collaborative industry research programs.
In addition, in his new role Falanga will coordinate many of the research activities related to tissue injury and repair in the department of dermatology. “It is hoped that this coordination and his expertise will serve to galvanize related activities in other specialties at BUSM,” said Rhoda Alani, MD, the Herbert Mescon Professor and Chair, department of dermatology, BUSM and Dermatologist in Chief at Boston Medical Center. Falanga spearheaded the effort to deliver bone marrow-derived autologous mesenchymal stem cells to human chronic wounds. He developed a special fibrin spray delivery system, and his team may have been the first in the world to use this treatment.
Falanga has been a professor of dermatology and biochemistry at BUSM for 15 years. He also served as the assistant dean of Clinical and Faculty Affairs for Roger Williams Medical Center and director of the Boston University Medical Students Ambulatory Medical Clerkship at Roger Williams Medical Center. His previous research involved the first ever use of a recombinant growth factor in human chronic wounds and making possible the Food and Drug Administration approval of living bioengineered skin for venous and diabetic ulcers.
A dedicated teacher, Falanga has held professorships at Roger Williams Medical Center, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, in addition to his appointments at BUSM. He also served as the assistant chief of dermatology at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center as well as vice president and president of the University Medical Group at Roger Williams Medical Center.
Falanga has received numerous honors, including being listed on the “Best Doctors in America” and “Top 12 Authors Cited in Dermatology.” He has been involved in a number of professional and scientific societies and committees focused on dermatology, including serving as president of the Wound Healing Society. The author of more than 350 publications, 70 books and book chapters Falanga also has received more than $35 million in National Institute Health grants since 1990.
After completing his undergraduate degree in chemistry at the College of the Holy Cross, Falanga earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami, and is board certified in internal medicine. He went on to complete a residency in dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania where he was clinical research chief resident. In 2005, Falanga completed his dermatopathology fellowship at Roger Williams Medical Center.