Veronica Rotemberg, M.D., PH.D.

Director of the Tow Foundation Informatics Program in the Dermatology Service


Project Title

Quantifying the Impact of Skin Tone on Diagnostic Prediction

Named Award

Vic Fazio Memorial Fund


Director of the Tow Foundation Informatics Program in the Dermatology Service


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y.

My “Why”

I spent my first year as a physician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. During this time, I witnessed firsthand how impactful cancer research is on the lives of patients and their families impacted from cancer. This led to my pursual of a career in cancer research, right back where I started, but this time as a physician scientist in dermatology research.

My Mission

As a dermatologist, our clinical mission is to detect cancer as early as possible, without causing undue harm. Research in early detection, including how to improve early detection of skin cancer and reduce potential harms of screening or biases in screening tools, will directly impact our dermatology patients and our profession.

Research Overview

Over the course of this project, we will research how to objectively measure skin tone in a reproducible way, how to label skin tone at scale and how skin tone affects artificial intelligence performance for skin cancer detection. We hope that this will help us better understand when and how to use automated tools for skin cancer detection, and what types of information will make those tools work better in a generalizable way.

Why Funding Matters

As a junior faculty physician scientist, funding from the Prevent Cancer Foundation will be critical toward building collaborations for long-term scientific endeavors and laying the groundwork for a fulfilling and impactful research career.

My Hope

I hope that we will be better able to understand potential bias in artificial intelligence algorithms for skin cancer detection after this project is completed.