David H. Peng, M.D., M.P.H., named chair of Department of Dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC

David H. Peng

By USC Health Sciences Public Relations and Marketing Staff

David H. Peng, M.D., M.P.H., has been named chair of the Department of Dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, effective April 1, 2013.

An outstanding clinician-scientist and innovative teacher with a proven track record as a dynamic builder of clinical and educational programs, Peng returns to the Keck School after spending the past three years at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is associate professor and director of the Department of Dermatology’s Residency Training Program, one of the nation’s most prestigious residency training programs in dermatology. He also serves as chief of the Stanford Dermatology Clinics, director of the Medical Dermatology Program and director of the Allergic Contact Dermatitis Program in the Department of Dermatology.

Peng’s goals for the Keck School’s Department of Dermatology include making the department a center for excellence in diseases of the skin for pediatric patients, establishing its faculty as leaders in complex medical dermatology, and becoming known nationally as one of the top residency training programs in the United States.

“I want to build this program into a top 10 Department of Dermatology in scholarship, teaching and patient care,” he said. “We will become the ‘go-to’ program in Los Angeles County for melanoma, basal cell cancer, blistering diseases of the skin and other conditions, and we will grow our presence at the USC Norris Cancer Hospital to become an integral part of the research going on in cancer therapeutics, genomics/epigenetics and epidemiology.”

Peng said he is particularly excited to return to the Keck School.

“Returning to USC represents a dream come true,” he said. “The teaching mission is built upon caring for the patients of Los Angeles and providing care for anyone who comes through our door.  The medical school affords us the chance to teach compassion and professionalism in real life situations.  The medical students here at USC are special – they work hard and understand the concept of ‘giving back’ to the community. I also look forward to working with so many outstanding colleagues who are leaders in their fields.”

Peng is a widely respected authority on melanoma, contact dermatitis and inpatient dermatological care. He is currently co-investigator for a major National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)–funded study that seeks to define the critical aspects of environmental ultraviolet exposure in melanogenesis.

“I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Peng back to USC,” said Carmen A. Puliafito, dean of the Keck School of Medicine. “Dr. Peng’s plans to integrate research and clinical care, as well as consulting with other departments to improve patient care, will help propel this department into a regional, national and international leader in treating and researching diseases of the skin.”

In 2008, Peng and colleague Myles Cockburn, associate professor in Preventive Medicine, spearheaded a unique study conducted in partnership with Kaiser Permanente Southern California to promote accurate skin self-examinations among its more than two million members.  He currently provides clinical expertise on melanoma and other skin cancer risk factors to the community-based SunSmart program, which targets more than 700,000 Los Angeles school children to teach them how to develop and maintain healthy sun exposure behaviors.

At Stanford, Peng also serves as director of Continuing Medical Education in the Department of Dermatology.

Peng received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and medical degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He completed his internship at UCLA, where he also earned a Master of Public Health degree before returning to UCSD for his residency in dermatology.  He joined the Keck School’s faculty in 2004 and was appointed visiting assistant professor of Clinical Medicine, Associate Residency Program director in the Division of Dermatology, and director of the Contact Dermatitis Clinic. He was appointed director of the Residency Training Program in 2008 and served as acting chair of the Department of Dermatology between November 2008 and July 2009.

As an educator, Peng has received numerous awards. At Stanford, he was named the 2011 Teacher of the Year in the Department of Dermatology. That same year, he received the Department of Medicine’s Chief Residents’ Award for outstanding teaching. While at USC, he garnered “Outstanding Teacher” awards four times between 2005 and 2009. In 2008, he received a USC Mellon Mentoring Award. He was named a master teacher of the Keck School of Medicine in 2009.

At USC, Peng also served with distinction as chair of the Student Affairs Committee, during which he was charged with writing the Keck School’s Code of Professional Conduct.

“We’re delighted to have someone with Dr. Peng’s expertise and energy lead our Department of Dermatology,” said Scott Evans, CEO of the Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. “I am confident he will usher in a new era of clinical excellence.”

A native of Pasadena, Peng is married to Chenning Peng and has four children, Matthew, Nathan, Aaron, and Lily Claire. 

Peng succeeds David Woodley, who will step down after serving as chair of the Department of Dermatology since 2005. 

University of Southern California University of Southern California