Aimee Payne Appointed Chair of the Department of Dermatology

Aimee Payne, MD, PhD

Aimee Payne

Aimee Payne, MD, PhD, has been named chair of the Department of Dermatology at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and dermatologist-in-chief at NewYork-Presbyterian/CUIMC and will begin her new roles on Dec. 4. She succeeds David Bickers, MD, the Carl Truman Nelson Professor and Chair of the Department of Dermatology at VP&S and director of the dermatology service at NYP/CUIMC who stepped down last July after 28 years in these leadership positions.

Payne is professor of dermatology and director of the Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a highly respected physician-scientist whose clinical and research expertise focuses on mechanisms and treatments of autoimmunity. Her laboratory invented a targeted immunotherapy approach for antigen-specific B cell depletion known as chimeric autoantibody receptor T (CAAR-T) cells and performed key studies leading to FDA clearance of two Investigational New Drug applications for CAAR-T technology. These studies have enabled the first precision cellular immunotherapies for autoimmunity to enter clinical trials in mucosal pemphigus vulgaris and muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) associated myasthenia gravis. The lab’s work was recognized with a Clinical Research Forum Achievement Award in 2017 and has been published in Science, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Nature Biotechnology.

Payne’s clinical practice focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with autoimmune blistering skin diseases, including pemphigus and pemphigoid. At Penn, she also serves as associate director of the Medical Scientist Training Program, faculty adviser for the Association of Women Student MD-PhDs, and co-chair of admissions for the dermatology research residency program. She is core director of the Penn Skin Biology and Diseases Resource-based Center, an NIH-funded initiative that helped launch the Penn Dermatology BioBank.

Beyond Penn, Payne is president-elect of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, has served as chair of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Board of Scientific Counselors, and is co-founder and co-chair of the scientific advisory board of Cabaletta Bio, a publicly traded biotechnology company that focuses on engineering cellular immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases.

She is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the American Dermatological Association and serves on the Medical Advisory Council of the International Pemphigus and Pemphigoid Foundation.

Payne received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University and is a graduate of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where she earned her MD and a PhD in molecular and cellular biology. She completed her dermatology residency and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.