“I’m so incredibly humbled and honored to be the recipient of this year’s Tripartite Award,” Paller said. “It’s particularly meaningful because I’ve been at Northwestern for a very long time and I’ve watched the rise of this institution as a premier research intuition.”
Paller is also the director of the Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-Based Center. Her laboratory focuses on cell-to-cell communication in inflammatory skin diseases and impaired wound healing, as well as on topically delivered gene regulation through nanotherapy. She has defined skin and blood biomarkers for children with atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis towards pathogenesis-directed therapy and has developed new patient-related outcomes scales for itch and stigma in children.
“My main focus in research has been on finding new targeted therapies for our patients with skin disorders that can allow both better efficacy, but also better safety because of their targeted nature.”
Paller is the author of more than 600 peer-reviewed publications and has been president of several organizations, among them the Society for Investigative Dermatology, Society for Pediatric Dermatology and Pediatric Dermatology Research Alliance.
“Dr. Paller has just had a tremendous influence on Northwestern University as a whole and she has built one of the strongest departments of dermatology academically in the country,” Brat said.
Bethany Perez White, PhD, assistant professor of Dermatology, expressed gratitude for Paller’s mentorship.
“Ever since I stepped in a lab as an undergraduate, my career goal was to be an academic researcher. Here at Northwestern, I have been able to realize that dream and that goal in large part due to Dr. Paller’s mentorship and advocacy,” Bethany Perez White said. “She really cares about her trainees, her mentees, her faculty, on a very deep level.”
Paller received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Brown University and her medical degree from Stanford University. She completed residency training in both Pediatrics and Dermatology at Northwestern University and her postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of North Carolina. She served as chief of Pediatric Dermatology at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago) until she became chair of Dermatology at Northwestern in 2004.
She is currently president of the International Society for Pediatric Dermatology. She has served on the council and the Board of Scientific Councilors for the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, is a section editor for the Journal of Investigative Dermatology and is active as a board member for several patient advocacy organizations. She has received several honors for her scholarship, leadership and mentorship, among them election to the American Association of Physicians and the American Dermatological Association.
About the Tripartite Prize
The Tripartite Legacy Faculty Prize is given annually to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in research that emphasizes translational approaches, teaching and mentoring, and leadership. The award is sponsored and supported by the Office of the Dean and is made possible through the generous support of family members and friends of Geoffrey Kent, MD, PhD.
The prize was established to commemorate the medical teaching legacies of Abraham Albert Hijmans van den Bergh, MD; Isadore Snapper, MD; Hans Popper, MD; Fenton Schaffner, MD; and Kent. European-born and educated, their lives were forever changed by the Holocaust and war: all but Hijmans van den Bergh reached the United States to continue their careers and briefly worked together at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Through their prolific collaborations and publications, Snapper, Popper, Schaffner and Kent emerged as international leaders in the study of liver disease.
Gina Bazer contributed to this article.