Rossitza Lazova, MD
California Skin Institute – Director of Dermatopathology in San Jose
Dr. Rossitza Lazova is a nationally and internationally-recognized, board-certified dermatopathologist and is the Director of Dermatopathology. She graduated from Sofia Medical University, Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1985. She trained and became board certified in Clinical Pathology in Bulgaria, immigrated to the United States, and completed a residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, New York in 1996. Dr. Lazova trained in Dermatopathology with one of the best dermatopathologists in the world, Dr. A. Bernard Ackerman, at the Institute for Dermatopathology at Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After completion of her fellowship Dr. Lazova joined the Department of Dermatology at Yale University School of Medicine, where she worked and taught for almost 20 years.
Dr. Lazova is well known worldwide in the field of Dermatopathology. She has over 100 publications in journals and is a co-author of two textbooks: Differential Diagnosis in Dermatopathology II, Second Edition, and Atlas of Practical Mohs Histopathology. Dr. Lazova’s main interest is melanocytic lesions, in particular Spitzoid neoplasms. She founded and was the principal investigator of the Yale Spitzoid Biospecimen and Data Repository, which is an international biospecimen and data collection bank and an invaluable resource for researchers and collaborators within Yale as well as from other institutions. Dr. Lazova continues to do ground breaking research in the area of Spitzoid melanocytic neoplasms applying mass spectrometry as an ancillary diagnostic test and conducting genomic studies of Spitz nevi and Spitzoid malignant melanomas. She is currently conducting a study using mass spectrometry imaging in the diagnosis of benign and malignant melanocytic lesions, which has resulted in a patent.
A reflection of her leadership is her many leadership positions, such as member of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Dermatopathology (ASDP), Chair of the Mentorship Committee and Chair of the Membership Committee of the ASDP, Vice President of the International Society of Dermatopathology (ISDP), chair of the Travel Award Committee of the ISDP, member of the Executive Committee and the Organizing Committee of the ISDP.
Dr. Lazova has taught many courses and directed numerous sessions at national and international meetings throughout the US, Europe, South America, and Asia and has lectured in many countries including France, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Bulgaria, Italy, Bolivia, Switzerland, Chile, Austria, Turkey, Thailand, India, England, The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Peru and South Korea. She is also on the editorial boards of many prestigious journals: American Journal of Dermatopathology; Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology; International Journal of Dermatology and Clinical Research; Journal of Modern Human Pathology; Clinical & Experimental Pathology; F1000 Research; Clinical & Experimental Dermatology Research; Journal of Cancer Therapeutics and Research; International Journal of Dermatology and Skin Biology; Dermatology Research and Practice; the American Journal of Dermatology; The Scientific Pages of Dermatology; and the American Journal of Contemporary Dermatology, and is also a reviewer for many peer-reviewed journals.
Dr. Lazova was the Director of the Yale Dermatopathology Fellowship Training Program for 14 years. Under her leadership the Yale Dermatopathology program has distinguished itself as one of the best in the US and in the world. She developed an international program to train visitors from all over the world in the field of Dermatopathology. Dr. Lazova has mentored over fifty foreign physicians from twenty-six countries throughout the world in the last decade.
Dr. Lazova is the recipient of the 2020 Walter R. Nickel Award for excellence in teaching of dermatopathology. Established by The American Society of Dermatopathology in 1997 in honor of Walter R. Nickel, this award was conceived to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the teaching of dermatopathology.