The American Society of Dermatopathology

Founders' Award

Established by The American Society of Dermatopathology in 1983 in honor of the Founding Members of the Society, this endowed award is conceived to recognize individuals who have made outstanding original and significant contributions to the field of dermatopathology.

Congratulations to the 2021 Founders’ Award Recipient

Klaus J. Busam, MD
Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University; Director of ‎Dermatopathology, Dept of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. ‎

Dr. Busam’s investigative work is largely focused on improvements in the diagnostic accuracy ‎and prognosis of melanocytic tumors through clinicopathologic correlations and the use of ancillary ‎methods, including immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, and sequence analysis. He leads the ‎pathology core of the NIH-funded InterMel international melanoma research consortium and is a ‎member of the international GEM (genes, environment and melanoma) study group.

‎Important contributions to Dermatopathology include the concept of pure versus mixed ‎desmoplastic melanoma along with the observation that regional lymph node metastases are ‎significantly less common in patients with pure tumors. He was also instrumental in the discovery that ‎desmoplastic melanomas frequently harbor NF1 mutations.  Collaborative efforts helped characterize ‎Spitz tumors and he pointed out various diagnostic pitfalls, such as metastatic melanoma simulating ‎the appearance of a blue nevus. Recent work of his team has paved the way for immunohistochemical ‎testing of PRAME expression as a new tool to aid in the distinction of nevi from melanoma. Relevant ‎novel findings outside of melanocyte pathology include the observation that the Merkel cell ‎polyomavirus is absent in combined squamous and neuroendocrine carcinomas of the skin, and the ‎first description of the acneiform rash associated with EGF-R inhibitor therapy.  
‎Dr. Busam has more than 400 publications in journals. He has edited, co-edited or contributed ‎chapters to leading textbooks in melanocyte tumor pathology, general Dermatopathology, and the ‎WHO skin tumor book. He serves on the International Collaboration on Cancer Reporting (ICCR) expert ‎committee for melanoma and chairs the expert committee for Merkel cell carcinoma. ‎

Past Recipients of the Founders' Award

2020 Joan Guitart, MD
2019 Philip H. McKee, MD, FRCPath
2018 James W. Patterson, MD
2017 Clifton R. White, MD
2016 Christopher R. Shea, MD
2015 Lorenzo Cerroni, MD
2014 Thomas D. Horn, MD
2013 Dirk M. Elston, MD
2012 Ronald P. Rapini, MD
2011 Raymond L. Barnhill, MD
2010 Daniel J. Santa Cruz, MD
2009 Antoinette F. Hood, MD
2008 Jag Bhawan, MD
2007 Wilma F. Bergfeld, MD, FACP
2006 Ronald J. Barr, MD
2005 David D. Weedon, AO, MD, FRCPA
2004 Philip E. LeBoit, MD
2003 Ernst H. Beutner, PhD
2002 John C. Maize, MD
2001 Franz M. Enzinger, MD
2000 Waine C. Johnson, MD
1999 Loren E. Golitz, MD
1998 Martin C. Mihm, Jr., MD
1997 Edward Wilson Jones, FRCP, FRCPath
1996 John R. Haserick, MD
1995 Herbert Z. Lund, MD
1993 Richard J. Reed, MD
1992 John T. Headington, MD
1991 Robert G. Freeman, MD
1990 James H. Graham, MD
1989 A. Bernard Ackerman, MD
1988 Wallace H. Clark, Jr., MD
1987 Richard K. Winkelmann, MD
1986 Walter F. Lever, MD
1985 Elson B. Helwig, MD
1984 Hermann Pinkus, MD