Meet the Councilor | Sandipan Dhar, MBBS MD DNB FRCP (Edin.)

This issue’s ‘Meet the Councilor’ features IEC Councilor Sandipan Dhar, MBBS MD DNB FRCP (Edin.). Dr. Dhar is a professor and the head of the Department of Pediatric Dermatology at the Institute of Child Health in Kolkata, India. He has been key in establishing pediatric dermatology as a subspecialty in India.

In March, he helped found the Society for Eczema Studies, the first organization of its kind in Southeast Asia, and serves as its president. In 2003, he wrote the first book on pediatric dermatology in skin of colour, which is on its fourth edition. He was president of the Indian Society for Pediatric Dermatology for nearly 10 years and served as editor in chief of the Indian Journal of Paediatric Dermatology for 9 years.

Dr. Dhar is also a member of the IEC Education Committee. In 2021, he spoke on skin infections in AD for the IEC symposium at the World Congress of Paediatric Dermatology virtual meeting, and in September 2022, he presented “Filaggrin gene mutations & AD in children: A focus and observations from the first study of its kind in India” as part of the IEC symposium “Customizing the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis for Diverse Populations” at the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) meeting.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the atopic dermatitis (AD) space to date?

My proudest accomplishment is to put the atopic dermatitis work and research of India on the global map. 

What do you value most about being involved with the IEC?

The opportunity of interacting with lead researchers on AD across the globe, working with them and sharing a dais with them, and in the process learning various aspects of AD with wide geographic diversity—I consider myself lucky for getting such a unique opportunity through the IEC.

What do you think will garner the most attention over the coming year in the AD field?

Determination of genotype-phenotype variants of AD and identification of various biomarkers of eczema activity/severity, which have high specificity and sensitivity. These will determine more targeted therapy of AD in the future.

What do you see as the biggest need among AD patients?

To understand their disease properly—its course, treatment, comorbidities, dos and don’ts, and long-term disease outcome—and their quality-of-life issues.