March 26, 2020

Christopher K. Bichakjian, M.D., appointed chair of Department of Dermatology

A professor of dermatology with a special interest in Merkel cell carcinoma, he has served as interim chair since November 2018

Christopher K. Bichakjian, M.D.

The Board of Regents today (March 26) approved the appointment of Christopher K. Bichakjian, M.D., as chair of the Department of Dermatology, effective April 1, 2020. He has served as interim chair since November 2018.

A professor of dermatology in the University of Michigan Medical School (UMMS), Dr. Bichakjian is chief of the Division of Cutaneous Surgery and Oncology, director of the Multidisciplinary Melanoma Program in the Rogel Cancer Center, and medical director of the Cutaneous Surgery and Oncology Mohs Ambulatory Care Unit. He is a foremost expert in the field of cutaneous surgery and oncology, with a special interest in Merkel cell carcinoma. In 2006, he established the Multidisciplinary Merkel Cell Carcinoma Program — one of the first multidisciplinary programs in the world for this rare skin cancer — and served as director for more than a decade.

Bichakjian received his medical degree from Radboud University in The Netherlands. He then completed his dermatology residency and fellowship in Mohs micrographic surgery and dermatologic oncology at the University of Michigan. Following his departure to private practice and Cornell University Weill Medical College in New York City, he returned to Ann Arbor and joined the U-M cutaneous surgery and oncology faculty in 2004. Recipient of the Outstanding Clinician Award through the UMMS Dean’s Awards Program in 2016, he has presented more than 100 national and international invited lectures and visiting professorships, and authored or co-authored nearly 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters with a primary focus on cutaneous oncology.

On a national level, Bichakjian continues to be involved with the development and optimization of clinical practice guidelines and staging systems for a variety of skin cancers for the American Joint Committee on Cancer, National Comprehensive Cancer Network, and American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), for which he was awarded the AAD Presidential Citation Award in 2018. He is president-elect of the Michigan Dermatological Society and currently serves a nine-year term on the board of directors of the American Board of Dermatology.