R. Rox Anderson
R. Rox Anderson, is an interdisciplinary researcher in photomedicine, the combination of the physics of light with medicine. Anderson is the director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, MA, and faculty at the Harvard Medical School in the department of Dermatology. His contributions include laser hair removal, photodynamic therapy (use of light-activated localized drugs for cancer and macular degeneration), and basic research into the free electron laser for the selective destruction of lipids (i.e. fats) for possible treatment of acne, cellulite, and atherosclerosis, as well as various uses of photothermolysis using pulsed dye lasers.
Dr. Anderson graduated from MIT, and then received his MD degree magna cum laude from the joint MIT-Harvard medical program, Health Sciences and Technology. After completing his dermatology residency and an NIH research fellowship at Harvard, he joined the faculty where he is now Harvard Medical School Professor in dermatology, Director of the Wellman Center for Photomedicine; and adjunct Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at MIT. Dr. Anderson conceived and developed many of the non-scarring laser treatments now widely used in medical care. These include treatments for birthmarks, microvascular and pigmented lesions, tattoo and permanent hair removal. He has also contributed to treatment for vocal cords, kidney stones, glaucoma, heart disease, photodynamic therapy for cancer and acne, and optical diagnostics.
Dr. Anderson's research has advanced the basic knowledge of human skin photobiology, drug photosensitization mechanisms, tissue optics, and laser-tissue interactions. In addition to research at the Wellman Center, he practices dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital and teaches at Harvard and MIT. Active research includes diagnostic tissue imaging and spectroscopy, photodynamic therapy, mechanisms of selective laser-tissue interactions, adipose tissue biology and novel therapy for skin disorders. Dr. Anderson has been awarded over 60 national and international patents, and has co-authored over 250 scientific books and papers. Anderson's peers in his laboratory and department include dermatologists such as Thomas B. Fitzpatrick (one of the fathers of Dermatology), Madhu Pathak (discoverer of PABA as a sunscreen), John Parrish, and Nikiforos Kollias (the resident light physicist).