Thomas M. Ruenger, MD, PhD



Professor of Dermatology

Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

Director, Inpatient Consultative Dermatology Service

Director, Phototherapy Service

Boston University School of Medicine


To Schedule A Clinical Appointment: 617-638-7420

Shapiro Ambulatory Care Center

725 Albany Street, Suite 8B, Boston, MA 02118
Fax: 617-638-7289


Administrative Office:

Boston University School of Medicine, Dept of Dermatology

609 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
Tel: 617-638-5500
Fax: 617-638-5515




1992 Dermatology Residency Julius-Maximilian-University, Würzburg, Germany: Board Certification for Dermatology and Venerology
1986 – 1989 Postdoctoral Fellowship Laboratory of Molecular Carcinogenesis, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland
1985 MD Christian-Albrecht University Kiel, Germany

Clinical Specialties and Research Interests

Clinical Interests:

  • General Dermatology
  • Photodermatology and Phototherapy
  • Cutaneous Oncology (Melanoma, Lymphoma)
  • Complex Medical Dermatology (including Rheumatologic Dermatology, Psoriasis, Biologics, etc.)
  • Allergy/Occupational Dermatology

Research Interests:

  • Photobiology of the skin, including photocarcinogenesis, UV-induced cellular signaling, DNA repair, UV-mutagenesis, photoaging.
  • Biology of the extracellular matrix, including wound healing, skin fibrosis, tumor invasion


Dr. Ruenger is an academic physician-scientist with an extensive track record in patient care, research, teaching, and administration. He has held many leadership positions, both in his native Germany, and in the US since 1999. Most recently, he was the Chair of the Dermatology Department at Roger Williams Medical Center in Providence, RI. He considers himself a generalist in medical dermatology, but also has several areas of special expertise. As an internationally recognized expert in photobiology and photodermatology, Dr. Ruenger has received several research awards. His laboratory has had 23 years of independent research funding and published more than 100 research articles. He has served on several Editorial Boards of scientific journals and is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine. Dr. Ruenger is also proud about his accomplishments in teaching the next generation of physicians and dermatologists. He served as the Director of the International Graduate Training Program in Dermatology at Boston University from 2007 to 2013 and as the Director of the Residency Training Program in Dermatology at Roger Williams Medical Center from 2014 to 2016.


Selected Publications

  1. Sarkar P, Vergilis I, Sharpless NE, DePinho R, Rünger TM (2004) Loss of p16INK4a or p19ARF confers deficient repair of DNA photoproducts. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 96, 1790 – 1793
  2. Kappes UP, Luo D, Potter M, Schulmeister K, Rünger TM (2006) Short- and long-wave ultraviolet light (UVB and UVA) induce similar mutations in human skin cells. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 126, 667 – 675
  3. Dunn J, Potter M, Rees A, Rünger TM (2006) Activation of the Fanconi anemia/BRCA pathway and recombination repair in the cellular response to solar ultraviolet light. Cancer Research 66, 11140 – 11147
  4. Rünger TM, Quintanilla-Dieck MJ, Bhawan J (2007) Role of cathepsin K in the turnover of the dermal extracellular matrix during scar formation. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 127, 293 – 297
  5. Rünger TM, Adami S, Benhamou CL, Czerwinski E, Farrerons J, Kendler DL, Mindeholm L, Realdi G, Roux C, Smith V (2012) Morphea-like skin reactions in patients treated with the cathepsin K inhibitor Balicatib. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology 66, e89 – 96
  6. Takeuchi H and Rünger TM (2013) Longwave ultraviolet light induces the aging-associated progerin. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 133, 1857 – 1862
  7. Yo K and Rünger TM (2016) UVA and UVB induce different sets of long non-coding RNAs. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, in press