The American Society of Dermatopathology

Walter R. Nickel Award
for Excellence in Teaching of Dermatopathology

Established by The American Society of Dermatopathology in 1997 in honor of Walter R. Nickel, this award was conceived to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the teaching of dermatopathology.

Congratulations to the 2022 Walter R. Nickel Award Recipient

Leonard C. Sperling, MD
Sulzberger Professor of Dermatology and Professor of Pathology
Uniformed Services University
Bethesda, Maryland

A native of Connecticut, Dr. Leonard Sperling graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale College, followed by medical school at the University of Pennsylvania where he was awarded Alpha Omega Alpha membership. He completed dermatology residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and his first years after training were spent as Chief of the Dermatology Service at Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany where he honed his skills and developed an appreciation for fine craft beers. He later completed dermatopathology fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Professor of Dermatology and Pathology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), holder of the Sulzberger Endowed Chair, and Vice-Chair of Dermatology, Dr. Sperling is a dedicated teacher of medical students, residents, fellows and a frequent rotation of visiting mentees. Dr. Sperling initiated and received AGCME approval to found the first dermatopathology fellowship within the National Capital Consortium and was appointed as its first Program Director. He has also previously served as the Chair of the Department of Dermatology, USUHS. Dr. Sperling has made a tremendous mark in the understanding and diagnosis of alopecia thanks to his prolific number of publications, his frequent speaking engagements, his mentorship of so many students, and his text, “An Atlas of Hair Pathology with Clinical Correlations” which has served as a touchstone for many in the study of alopecia. Dr. Sperling’s life is enriched by many loves: first and foremost, his wife and daughter; his passion for teaching the art and practice of dermatology, dermatopathology, and specifically the study of alopecia; his adorable cats; his woodworking; and finally, a great fondness for ice cream. 

Past Recipients of the Walter R. Nickel Award

2021 Steven D. Billings, MD
2020 Rossitza Z. Lazova, MD
2019 Tammie C. Ferringer, MD
2018 Victor G. Prieto, MD, PhD
2017 M. Angelica Selim, MD
2016 Rosalie Elenitsas, MD
2015 Philip E. LeBoit, MD
2014 Omar P. Sangueza, MD
2013 Lori Lowe, MD
2012 Ronald J. Barr, MD
2011 Jennifer M. McNiff, MD
2010 Hideko Kamino, MD
2009 James W. Patterson, MD
2008 Dirk M. Elston, MD
2007 Bernett L. Johnson Jr., MD
2006 Jag Bhawan, MD
2005 Ronald P. Rapini, MD
2004 Bruce R. Smoller, MD
2003 Terence J. Harrist, MD
2002 N. Scott McNutt, MD
2001 Antoinette F. Hood, MD
2000 Wilma F. Bergfeld, MD
1999 James H. Graham, MD
1998 A. Bernard Ackerman, MD
1997 Elson B. Helwig, MD