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 2020 Walter R. Nickel Award Recipient

Rossitza Z. Lazova, MD
Director of Dermatopathology
California Skin Institute


Rossitza Lazova, MD, graduated from Sofia Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria. She trained and became board certified in clinical pathology in Bulgaria, immigrated to the United States, and completed a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York, in 1996. Dr. Lazova trained in Dermatopathology with Dr. Bernard Ackerman, at the Institute for Dermatopathology at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After completion of her fellowship she joined the Department of Dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine, where she worked and taught for almost 20 years.

Dr. Lazova was the Director of the Yale Dermatopathology Fellowship Training Program for 14 years. Under her leadership the Yale Dermatopathology program has distinguished itself as one of the best in the United States and in the world. Over the course of her career she has taught more than 150 fellows, residents, visiting physicians and medical students. Dr. Lazova created an international program to train visiting physicians from all over the world in the field of Dermatopathology. She has mentored more than 50 foreign physicians from 26 countries.

Dr. Lazova has more than 100 publications in journals. At least 70 of these involved her trainees and students. She is a co-author of two textbooks and authored or co-authored 19 chapters. She has held many leadership positions, such as member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP), chair of the Mentorship Committee and chair of the ASDP Membership Committee, Vice President of the International Society of Dermatopathology (ISDP), chair of the ISDP Travel Award Committee, member of the Executive Committee and the ISDP Organizing Committee, and member of the ISDP Education.

Dr. Lazova has directed or moderated over 100 courses and sessions at national and international meetings. She has been an invited speaker for more than 200 domestic and international lectures in more than 20 countries. She is on the editorial boards of more than 10 prestigious journals and is a reviewer for many peer-reviewed journals.

Past Recipients of the Walter R. Nickel Award

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
92007 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