Class of 2015

Dr. Bruce Ragsdale (Western Dermatopathology) was trained in Dermatopathology by some of this field’s most notable names - Wallace Clark, Martin Mihm, George Murphy, Bernie Ackerman and David Elder.   He has been a pathologist for 46 years.

While on faculty at Georgetown University, he was the Principal Investigator in the 5 year congressionally mandated CDC study to determine the risks for selected cancers among Vietnam veterans.  This is better known to most of us in this room as the “Agent Orange” Study. In 1997, Bruce returned to the California Central Coast and founded Western Dermatopathology. 

He has authored chapters in the last 4 editions of Lever’s Histopathology of the Skin, and published numerous dermatopathology papers in peer-reviewed journals.  Bruce has a special interest in skeletal and soft tissue diseases and has published much original work in these fields.   As depicted in this picture, Bruce is a true “explorer.”

For most PDA members, Bruce Ragsdale is synonymous with the popular CPC that we hold at this meeting each year.  For a decade between 2005 to 2014, he chaired the CPC and oversaw the preparation and presentation of almost 250 cases – many of which were his special “Area 51” cases.

Rags’ many achievements would not have been possible without the love and support of Holly, his wife.


Dr. Anita Gilliam (Palo Alto Medical Foundation) got into medicine in the mid 1980s to help try to save the life of her husband, James, who was suffering from aggressive prostate cancer. She earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1988.

Her career proves that it is “never too late to do what you want to do”.  She was a medical student at 42, got her first real job at Case Western Reserve University at 47 and her first NIH RO1 at 60.

Teaching dermatopathology to residents and fellows has always been a great love of Anita’s.  In her own words she says, “We always had fun at the microscope together and I have always learned as much from trainees as I have taught them.”

Anita became a clinical professor at Stanford University when she moved west in 2007 to take a position at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. 

She has been a successful researcher as well, perhaps best known for refining a mouse model for sclerodermatous GVHD that is now a well-accepted model for human scleroderma.

Anita has contributed greatly to the PDA as Secretary-Treasurer for the past 5 years (2010-2015).  

We honor Bruce and Anita’s contributions to the PDA and the field of dermatology with induction into PDA’s inaugural Fellow class.  We also thank the members and leaders who nominated Anita and Rags for Fellow status in 2015 and who made contributions to the PDA Foundation to support that nomination.