Lee E. Wheless, M.D., Ph.D.

Instructor in Dermatology


Dr. Wheless grew up in Durham, North Carolina and attended Davidson College.  From there, he pursued a combined MD/PhD program at the Medical University of South Carolina.  He earned his PhD in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, as well as a Masters in Clinical Research while there.  He then completed an internship in internal medicine and a residency in dermatology at Vanderbilt University.  When not working, he is an avid runner, and he and his wife enjoy trying new restaurants and finding live music.  

Education

M.D. - Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
Ph.D.- Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina
M.S.C.R. – Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

Postgraduate Training

Internship 

Internal Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Residency 

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee

Clinical Interest 

  • Dermatological Surgery
  • Melanoma and Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer
  • Immunosuppressed Patients
  • Organ Transplant Patients

Research Description 

My research involves using big data to examine patterns of skin cancer risk among patients already at high risk.  Specifically, I focus on organ transplant recipients, who are known to have a 30-100-fold increased risk of skin cancer compared to patients without transplants.  There is a wide range of the number of skin cancers they will get, though.  Most will have zero, one, or just a few, while some can develop more than one hundred.  My research seeks to determine causes for the difference in this risk, and tries to identify ways to reduce it.  

Board and Certifications 

Dermatology - American Board of Dermatology

Professional Affiliations 

International Transplant Skin Cancer Collaborative

Honors and Awards 

Chief Resident, Society for Investigative Dermatology PhD Retreat

Publications