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Susana Ortiz-Urda, M.D., Ph.D.

Dermatologist and melanoma specialist

Dr. Susana Ortiz-Urda, co-director of the UCSF Melanoma Center, treats patients with early and advanced melanoma. Her lab has a broad expertise in human models of epithelial neoplasia and melanoma. She studies in depth cancer signaling to identify novel transcripts, their functions and the factors that promote resistance to drugs and/or cancer progression via transcriptome (RNA-Seq) to capture the implicated coding and non-coding elements in this process. These findings might serve as key biomarkers and/or new targets for therapeutics in melanoma.

Ortiz-Urda earned a medical degree and doctorate at the University of Vienna in Austria. She completed a residency in dermatology and a postdoctoral fellowship in epithelial biology, both at Stanford University, followed by a cutaneous oncology fellowship in dermatology at UCSF and an MBA at NYU. She is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Austrian Society of Dermatology and Venereology, and Dermatology Foundation. Ortiz-Urda has received several awards, including the Kardinal-Innitzer Award for Outstanding Science in Dermatology and the Unilever Award from the Austrian Society for Dermatology and Venereology. She is an assistant professor of dermatology at UCSF.

Learn more about Ortiz-Urda's research:

  • Hear an interview with Ortiz-Urda, who discusses new medications for the deadliest form of skin cancer.

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Dermatology Clinic
1701 Divisadero St., Third and Fourth Floors
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353–7800
Fax: (415) 353–7870

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Melanoma Center
1600 Divisadero St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353-9900
Fax: (415) 885-3802

Hours: Monday to Friday
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

More about Susana Ortiz-Urda

Additional Languages



University of Vienna School of Medicine 1998


UCSF Medical Center, Dermatology 2010
Stanford Medical Center, Dermatology 2010

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Posch C, Cholewa BD, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Ma J, Kim ST, Kleffel S, Schatton T, Rappersberger K, Gutteridge R, Ahmad N, Ortiz-Urda S. Combined Inhibition of MEK and Plk1 has Synergistic Anti-Tumor Activity in NRAS Mutant Melanoma. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 May 27.
  2. Curl P, Vujic I, van 't Veer LJ, Ortiz-Urda S, Kahn JG. Correction: Cost-Effectiveness of Treatment Strategies for BRAF-Mutated Metastatic Melanoma. PLoS One. 2015; 10(4):e0126988.
  3. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Cleaver JE, Quaglino P, Ortiz-Urda S. The Risk of Melanoma in Pilots and Cabin Crew: UV Measurements in Flying Airplanes. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Apr 1; 151(4):450-2.
  4. Algazi AP, Cha E, Ortiz-Urda SM, McCalmont T, Bastian BC, Hwang J, Pampaloni MH, Behr S, Chong K, Cortez B, Quiroz A, Coakley F, Liu S, Daud AI. The combination of axitinib followed by paclitaxel/carboplatin yields extended survival in advanced BRAF wild-type melanoma: results of a clinical/correlative prospective phase II clinical trial. Br J Cancer. 2015 Apr 14; 112(8):1326-31.
  5. Posch C, Latorre A, Crosby MB, Celli A, Latorre A, Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Green GA, Weier J, Zekhtser M, Ma J, Monico G, Char DH, Jusufbegovic D, Rappersberger K, Somoza Á, Ortiz-Urda S. Detection of GNAQ mutations and reduction of cell viability in uveal melanoma cells with functionalized gold nanoparticles. Biomed Microdevices. 2015 Feb; 17(1):9908.
  6. Vujic I, Sanlorenzo M, Posch C, Esteve-Puig R, Yen AJ, Kwong A, Tsumura A, Murphy R, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Metformin and trametinib have synergistic effects on cell viability and tumor growth in NRAS mutant cancer. Oncotarget. 2015 Jan 20; 6(2):969-78.
  7. Sanlorenzo M, Wehner MR, Linos E, Kornak J, Kainz W, Posch C, Vujic I, Johnston K, Gho D, Monico G, McGrath JT, Osella-Abate S, Quaglino P, Cleaver JE, Ortiz-Urda S. The Risk of Melanoma in Airline Pilots and Cabin Crew: A Meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2015 Jan 1; 151(1):51-8.
  8. Sanlorenzo M, Choudhry A, Vujic I, Posch C, Chong K, Johnston K, Meier M, Osella-Abate S, Quaglino P, Daud A, Algazi A, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S. Comparative profile of cutaneous adverse events: BRAF/MEK inhibitor combination therapy versus BRAF monotherapy in melanoma. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014 Dec; 71(6):1102-1109.e1.
  9. Vujic I, Posch C, Sanlorenzo M, Yen AJ, Tsumura A, Kwong A, Feichtenschlager V, Lai K, Arneson DV, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda SM. Mutant NRASQ61 shares signaling similarities across various cancer types--potential implications for future therapies. Oncotarget. 2014 Sep 15; 5(17):7936-44.
  10. Curl P, Vujic I, van 't Veer LJ, Ortiz-Urda S, Kahn JG. Cost-effectiveness of treatment strategies for BRAF-mutated metastatic melanoma. PLoS One. 2014; 9(9):e107255.
  11. Vujic I, Marker M, Posch C, Mühlehner D, Monshi B, Breier F, Steiner A, Ortiz-Urda S, Rappersberger K. Merkel cell carcinoma: mitoses, expression of Ki-67 and bcl-2 correlate with disease progression. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Mar; 29(3):542-8.
  12. Latorre A, Posch C, Garcimartín Y, Celli A, Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Ma J, Zekhtser M, Rappersberger K, Ortiz-Urda S, Somoza Á. DNA and aptamer stabilized gold nanoparticles for targeted delivery of anticancer therapeutics. Nanoscale. 2014 Jul 7; 6(13):7436-42.
  13. Latorre A, Posch C, Garcimartín Y, Ortiz-Urda S, Somoza Á. Single-point mutation detection in RNA extracts using gold nanoparticles modified with hydrophobic molecular beacon-like structures. Chem Commun (Camb). 2014 Mar 21; 50(23):3018-20.
  14. Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Posch C, Dajee A, Yen A, Kim S, Ashworth M, Rosenblum MD, Algazi A, Osella-Abate S, Quaglino P, Daud A, Ortiz-Urda S. Melanoma immunotherapy. Cancer Biol Ther. 2014 Jun 1; 15(6):665-74.
  15. Vujic I, Shroff A, Grzelka M, Posch C, Monshi B, Sanlorenzo M, Ortiz-Urda S, Rappersberger K. Mycoplasma pneumoniae-associated mucositis--case report and systematic review of literature. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2015 Mar; 29(3):595-8.
  16. Posch C, Weihsengruber F, Bartsch K, Feichtenschlager V, Sanlorenzo M, Vujic I, Monshi B, Ortiz-Urda S, Rappersberger K. Low-dose inhalation of interleukin-2 bio-chemotherapy for the treatment of pulmonary metastases in melanoma patients. Br J Cancer. 2014 Mar 18; 110(6):1427-32.
  17. Posch C, Ortiz-Urda S. NRAS mutant melanoma--undrugable? Oncotarget. 2013 Apr; 4(4):494-5.
  18. Posch C, Moslehi H, Feeney L, Green GA, Ebaee A, Feichtenschlager V, Chong K, Peng L, Dimon MT, Phillips T, Daud AI, McCalmont TH, LeBoit PE, Ortiz-Urda S. Combined targeting of MEK and PI3K/mTOR effector pathways is necessary to effectively inhibit NRAS mutant melanoma in vitro and in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 5; 110(10):4015-20.
  19. Chong K, Daud A, Ortiz-Urda S, Arron ST. Cutting edge in medical management of cutaneous oncology. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2012 Jun; 31(2):140-9.
  20. Reuter JA, Ortiz-Urda S, Kretz M, Garcia J, Scholl FA, Pasmooij AM, Cassarino D, Chang HY, Khavari PA. Modeling inducible human tissue neoplasia identifies an extracellular matrix interaction network involved in cancer progression. Cancer Cell. 2009 Jun 2; 15(6):477-88.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.