Board Of Directors

Our Directors are well-respected individuals with a diverse range of views, experience and knowledge. They are responsible for governing the VRF, establishing policy, setting priorities, and making final grant decisions. All Directors are unpaid volunteers serving staggered five-year terms, for a maximum of ten years.

Mr. Dmitry Aksenov, MSc, MBA 

Founder

Aksenov D WDmitry Aksenov founded the Vitiligo Research Foundation in 2010, as a means of organizing and coordinating vitiligo research across the world. A self-made man, successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dmitry is often said to have revolutionized the Russian real estate development market. He graduated with the highest distinction and earned his MSc in physics in 1989. In the early 2000s, Dmitry introduced the first energy-efficient and affordable houses to the Russian market, and created thousands of jobs in the Moscow region. He actively promotes a cultural dialogue between East and West through the Vienna Art Fair, which he acquired in 2012 and has since turned it into an annual, must-see contemporary art event.

As the father of a child with vitiligo, he began his involvement in combating the disease by consulting with leading dermatologists and identifying recent breakthroughs in medical research that could cure his daughter. When he discovered that very little funding went towards new work in vitiligo, he spent two years identifying and recruiting the most visionary scientists in the field to work together.

Unwilling to accept the limited treatment options available to vitiligo patients, Dmitry established the Vitiligo Research Foundation. He teamed up with leading experts from academia and the biopharma industry to accelerate the basic science and create connections between academic scientists and those who commercially develop drugs. Since its inception, the VRF has become one of the leading supporters of vitiligo research and treatment in the world. Dmitry is now dedicated to the mission of the VR Foundation in preventing other families having to endure a similar battle with this distressing skin disease.

Prof. Torello Lotti, MD

Chair of the Board

Torello Lotti
Professor Lotti is our top scientific advisor. He is a world-renowned vitiligo expert, a keynote lecturer at major dermatology meetings, visiting professor at several universities in his homeland of Italy and abroad, chairman and director of dermatology societies, and co-author of the book ‘Vitiligo: Problems and Solutions’. He was Full Professor of the Dermatology and Venereology Division at University of Florence School of Medicine in Italy from 2006 to 2010 and is now Full Professor and Chair of Dermatology and Venereology at the Gugliemo Marconi University in Rome. His principal scientific investigations are focused on the study of neuropeptides in numerous skin diseases, of plasminogen activators in autoimmune dermatoses and in lichen planus, and the clinical aspects and treatment of psoriasis vulgaris - with particular emphasis on new therapies with biological agents. Of particular relevance is his research on the pathogenesis and innovative treatments for vitiligo. Professor Lotti is also an Honorary Professor of Dermatology at the China Medical University, Shenyang and a New York Academy of Sciences Howard Fox Awardee & Lecturer.

Prof. Jana Hercogova, MD

Jana HercogovaProf. Jana Hercogova is the past-President of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. Her positions include Chairwoman at the Department of Dermatology, Charles University Prague since 1995 and also Scientific Board Member of the 2nd Medical Faculty, since 1999, Secretary General of the Czech Academy of Dermatology and Venereology since 2012, Board Member of the European Society for Cosmetic and Aesthetic Dermatology since 2000, Professor of Dermatology, Venereology, Cell Biology and Psychocutaneous Medicine at the International Faculty of the "Centro Interuniversitario di Dermatologia Biologica e Psicosomatica", Italy since 2001, Visiting Professor University of Siena, Italy since 2003, Honorary Professor at the No 1 Hospital in Shenyang, China since 2011.

Prof. Mark Lebwohl, MD

Mark LebwohlPresident-elect of the American Academy of Dermatology, Prof. Lebwohl leads one of the most renowned dermatology programs in the nation. Under his direction, extraordinary recruits in medical dermatology have developed safer, more effective therapies in skin cancer, psoriasis, vitiligo, eczema, and many other dermatologic diseases. He is professor and chairman of the department of dermatology at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Lebwohl is president of the New York State Society of Dermatology and has served as president of the Manhattan Dermatologic Society and chairman of the Dermatology Section of the New York Academy of Medicine. He is also a member of the Medical Board of the National Psoriasis Foundation. Mark Lebwohl has chaired numerous symposia and has written or edited several books, including the leading book on dermatologic therapy, - Treatment of Skin Disease. He has authored or co-authored over 500 publications including articles, chapters and abstracts. Prof. Lebwohl is actively involved in clinical trials of many new dermatologic treatments.

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