When it comes to caring for the Orlando community, Dr. Steppie’s work with patients is only the tip of the iceberg.
The president and medical director of Associates in Dermatology, Dr. Steppie is also involved in studies that can benefit patients, such as Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute’s work on vitiligo, recently published in Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Along with lead author Ranjan Perera, PhD, scientific director of Analytical genomics & Bio informatics at SBP (Sanford Bunham Prebys) Lake Nona and 11 colleagues, Dr. Steppie investigated the molecular mechanisms that govern the development and progression of vitiligo.
This condition, which causes skin to gradually lose its pigmentation, is fairly common, but scientists do not completely understand what causes vitiligo or how it develops. Dr. Steppie and his colleagues looked at genetics and metabolism to get a clearer picture. They discovered that in vitiligo, some mitochondrial behaviors are defective. Mitochondria are the organelles in cells responsible for respiration and energy production.
Interesting in itself, this discovery has positive clinical implications for the treatment of vitiligo, as it might suggest “biomarkers and therapeutic targets,” according to the abstract in Journal of Investigative Dermatology. Right now, treatments of vitiligo are often unreliable, and it may take several months to find out whether treatments, such as drugs or light therapy, are working. The promise of a treatment that cures vitiligo, as opposed to treating symptoms alone, is particularly exciting.
A well-published dermatologist who has completed residencies in internal medicine, dermatology and dermatologic surgery, Dr. Steppie constantly goes beyond clinical practice to pursue dermatologic research, keep up with the latest in his field, and share his findings with patients. Dr. Steppie constantly seeks to broaden his horizon through conversation with top medical researchers, in dermatology and across the board. For example, he recently attended the 2017 Lake Nona Impact Forum, a symposium on health, sustainability and education. Since 2012, the Lake Nona Impact Forum has gathered researchers, innovators and philosophers whose backgrounds unite medicine, business and holistic thought. Well-known speakers at the forum included Deepak Chopra, MD, FACP, whose work combines medicine with spirituality, and Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy, MD, MBA, 19th Surgeon General of the United States. This year, the forum closed with a discussion of the future of medicine and a presentation on the convergence of healthcare technologies and human need. With his combined focus on research and patient care, Dr. Steppie reflects this theme in his work every day.
By staying current with international experts in medicine and related fields, Dr. Steppie is always aware of recent developments in medicine. Not content only to learn or research, he seeks out ways to communicate his findings and experience with patients across the Orlando metropolitan area. For example, Associates in Dermatology has sponsored informative material for the public on Orlando’s Fox 35, including articles on skin cancer and sun safety.
To learn more or make an appointment at Associates in Dermatology, visit dermorlando.com or call 800-827-SKIN (7546).