Boris Bastian Named Chair of the Department of Pathology


Physician-scientist Boris C. Bastian joined Memorial Sloan Kettering as Attending Physician and Chair of the Department of Pathology on April 1. A world leader in research on melanoma, Dr. Bastian is also a member of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program and the incumbent of the James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology.

“Dr. Bastian is an exemplary physician-scientist whose molecular research discoveries have direct clinical relevance,” said Robert E. Wittes, Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Hospital. “His expertise will be extremely valuable to the continuing evolution of cancer pathology at Memorial Sloan Kettering.”

Dr. Bastian comes to the Center from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he led the Cuta-neous Oncology Program and founded and co-directed the Center of Molecular Oncology. He had served at UCSF since 1999, with various appointments in its dermatology and pathology departments, and in the UCSF Melanoma Center.

Research in Dr. Bastian’s laboratory is focused on identifying genetic changes that occur in skin lesions and exploring how such alterations can be employed in the treatment and diagnosis of melanoma. The laboratory’s findings have led to a better understanding of the complex molecular mechanisms that underlie the disease and to the development of new diagnostics tools, which today have an important role in clinical decision making.

Dr. Bastian earned his MD degree and a PhD degree in medical sciences from the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, and subsequently completed his residency in dermatology at the University of Wurzburg, in Germany. He trained at UCSF as a postdoctoral research fellow and as a visiting scholar in dermatopathology before joining its faculty.

A committed educator, Dr. Bastian has lectured around the world and trained medical students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows. He currently serves as the President-Elect of the Society for Melanoma Research.


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Dear Dr. Bastian,

I noticed an itchy scab on my daughter's leg that when heales looks like a spitz nevus. It is definately new, she was not born with it, and it is itchy.

We are a Canadian family in Dubai at the moment. What do yiu advise me to do?


Dear Mona, it’s best if you follow up with a dermatologist there to evaluate the scab on your daughter’s leg. Thank you for reaching out to us.

My 10 yr old son was just diagnosed with dysplastic mole with spitzoid features. It was a small brown mole with red area surrounding it. It appeared probably 6-8 months ago and began to be itchy and appeared to be getting bigger. He was diagnosed from a shave biopsy and we are planning an excisional biopsy very soon. What should I request from his surgeons and pathology?. How concerned should I be? He's already had one dysplastic nevus removed about 4-5 yrs ago. It is being done at cchmc and I am a nurse there. P,lease provide any advice you can.
Many thanks!

Dear Sara, we’re sorry to hear that your family is going through this. Unfortunately we are not able to offer medical advice on our blog. If you’d like to bring your son to MSK for a consultation, you can call 800-525-2225 or go to for more information on making an appointment. If you are not in the New York City area and not able to come here, you may want to find a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center that is close to where you live. You can find a list at Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you and your family.

Thank you Dr. Bastion, our surgeon at CCHMC indicated that he will be sending his excisional slides to you for review as you are considered the best expert in these lesions. I thank you for your help and support. Depending on the findings we may follow up for opinion at MSKCC.

I have read and your name keeps popping up , hope you don't mind me asking you a couple of question.
my son has a Atypical Spitzoid tumour , he has had it for 3 years, we have had it shaved and he is getting it removed next week , sorry if i am bothering you ,, just my doctor and his practice can't answer my 2 question

1st my sons face goes blue ,, for no reason

2nd , my son has pea size lumps in his neck ,,

my doctor says its not connected but how can they say that when they have never heard of a Atypical Spitzoid because my son got tested

thanks for help

Dear Kaye, we’re sorry to hear your son is going through this. If your doctor is not able to answer your questions, you may want to seek a second opinion. If you are interested in coming to MSK, you can call 800-525-2225 or go to for more information on making an appointment. Thank you for your comment, and best wishes to you and your son.