Joseph Merola, M.D., M.M.Sc.

  • Mary Kay Inc. Distinguished Chair in Dermatology
  • Dermatology - General
  • Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Spondyloarthritis
  • Connective Tissue Disease

Biography

Joseph F. Merola, M.D., M.M.Sc., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology, Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Rheumatic Diseases, and Professor in the Peter O’Donnell Jr School of Public Health at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He holds the Mary Kay Inc. Distinguished Chair in Dermatology. He’s an international expert in psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis; connective tissue diseases, including lupus and dermatomyositis; and complex medical dermatology, including atopic dermatitis requiring systemic therapy.

Dr. Merola earned his medical degree at the New York University School of Medicine and his Master of Medical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a residency in dermatology at New York University Medical Center, where he was Chief Resident. He continued with a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in rheumatology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

One of only a handful of physicians in the country who are triple board-certified in dermatology, internal medicine, and rheumatology, Dr. Merola joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2023.

Previously, he was Vice Chair of Dermatology and Founding Director of the Unit for Clinical Trials and Innovation at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he also directed the Center for Skin and Related Musculoskeletal Diseases.

At UT Southwestern, Dr. Merola is the Director of Clinical Trials and Innovation and continues clinical translational research in inflammatory and autoimmune skin disease, pharmacoepidemiology, and the development of novel outcome measures, including digital health measures for use in both clinical research and clinical care.

He serves as the founding President of the Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Clinics Multicenter Advancement Network (PPACMAN) Consortium. He is also the current President of the Medical Dermatology Society (MDS), Treasurer and board member of the International Dermatology Outcome Measures Group (IDEOM), and President-Elect of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA).

Additionally, he is a member of the medical and scientific boards of the National Psoriasis Foundation and the Lupus Foundation of America, and President-Elect of the Rheumatologic Dermatology Society.

Dr. Merola is also a member of the International Eczema Council and the International Psoriasis Council. He’s served on multiple national committees, including the Guidelines Committee for the American Academy of Dermatology.

He has published more than 300 peer-reviewed publications and received numerous awards, including the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Outstanding Educator Award, the Winter Clinical Educator of the Year Award, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Distinguished Clinician Award, and the Mass General Brigham Pillars of Excellence Award in Research Leadership. He was named one of Boston’s Top Doctors for nearly a decade.

Dr. Merola will be honored in 2024 at the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Commit to a Cure Gala in Dallas.

Personal Note

When he’s not at work, Dr. Merola enjoys spending time with family, traveling, cooking, and playing the piano.

Education & Training
  • Undergraduate - New York University, Biology
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Academy of Dermatology
  • American College of Rheumatology
  • American Dermatological Association
  • Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine
  • Association of Professors of Dermatology
  • Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis
  • International Eczema Council
  • International Psoriasis Council
  • Lupus Foundation of America
  • Medical Dermatology Society
  • National Psoriasis Foundation
  • Noah Worcester Dermatological Society
  • Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Clinics Multicenter Advancement Network
  • Rheumatologic Dermatology Society
  • Society for Investigative Dermatology
Honors & Awards
  • Honoree 2024, National Psoriasis Foundation Gala
  • Distinguished Clinician Award 2022, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School
  • Outstanding Educator in Psoriatic Disease Award 2022, National Psoriasis Foundation Annual Meeting
  • Educator of the Year Award 2022, Winter Clinical Dermatology Conference
  • Nominee, Senior Faculty Mentorship Award / Pillars of Excellence Award 2022, Mass General Brigham
  • Pillars of Excellence Award in Research Leadership 2020, Brigham and Women’s Hospital
  • Nominated for Multiple Teaching Awards, Including Bernard Lown Award, Harvard Mentoring Award, and Charles McCabe Award
  • Boston Top Doctor for 8 Consecutive Years
Books & Publications
Research
  • Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis
  • Cutaneous and systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Atopic dermatitis
  • Connective tissue disease and autoimmune skin diseases
  • Clinical trials, clinical trial design
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Outcome measures development, validation

Clinical Focus

  • Psoriasis, Psoriatic Arthritis, and Spondyloarthritis
  • Connective Tissue Disease
  • Atopic Dermatitis
  • Lupus
  • Dermatomyositis
  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Complex Medical Dermatology

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