Zelmira Lazarova, MD
Zelmira Lazarova, MD, is an Associate Professor of Dermatology at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Director of Dermatologic Research Laboratories.Dr. Lazarova attended Comenius University in Slovakia where she received a Doctor of Medicine degree and was board certified in dermatovenerology. She finished her training as a Fogarty International Visiting Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Dermatology Branch, where her research interest was focused on autoimmune bullous diseases.
Currently Dr. Lazarova’s interest is concentrated on three areas of skin pathology:
- The role of microRNAs in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma progression and metastasis. Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) is the second most common human skin cancer, and it is reported to be within the top five most costly cancers in the US Medicare population. The clinical problem of cSCC is especially severe in immunocompromised individuals such as solid-organ transplant recipients. These patients have 65 to 250 times the normal incidence of cSCC and more importantly a significantly higher risk of metastasis. In order to design new targeted treatment modalities, it is imperative to identify the specific molecules involved in cSCC invasion and metastasis.
- The mechanism of ionizing radiation-induced skin injury. The skin is frequently exposed to ionizing radiation either accidentally or as a consequence of cancer treatment. Wound-healing complications are well recognized in patients receiving ionizing radiation before surgical resection of malignancies. In fact, thousands of patients have to delay their surgical tumor removal because of the delayed wound healing of irradiated skin. Dr. Lazarova studies the effects of ionizing radiation on skin wound healing as well as the role of the epidermal basement membrane in irradiated skin. In addition, her lab tests novel, experimental drugs which can prevent or reduce radiation-induced skin injury, improve wound healing of irradiated skin, and decrease the risk of skin cancer.
- Immunodermatology where she provides laboratory support for the diagnosis of bullous, vascular, connective tissue and inherited skin diseases. She has more than 20 years of expertise in immunodermatology and she is readily available to discuss a case.
Dr. Lazarova is a member of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the Radiation Research Society, and the International Transplant Skin Cancer Collaborative. Dr. Lazarova has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the field of autoimmune skin diseases.
Education / Training
- Medical Doctor, Comenius University, Medical School Martin, Czechoslovakia – (1979 – 1983)
- Board Certified in Dermatovenerology, Comenius University, Bratislava – (1983 – 1985)
- Fogarty International Visiting Fellow, Dermatology Branch, National Institutes of Health, NCI, Bethesda, MD – (1993 – 1998)