Dr. Voorhees is the Duncan and Ella Poth Distinguished Professor at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, where he is Chairman of the Department of Dermatology. He qualified as M.D. summa cum laude from the University of Michigan in 1963, followed by internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Dermatology at the same institution, including two years of postdoctoral training as the Carl Herzog Fellow in Biochemistry. He was appointed Instructor in Dermatology in 1969, in 1974 became full Professor, and in 1975, was appointed Chairman of the Department.
Dr. Voorhees has received many awards and honors including election to Alpha Omega Alpha, the Henry Russell Research Award of the University of Michigan in 1973, and the Distinguished Achievement Award of the University of Michigan Medical Center Alumni Society in 2004. He is the only individual to receive the Taub International Memorial Award for Research in Psoriasis twice (1973 and 1986). He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 1974, the Association of American Physicians in 1993, fellowship in the Royal College of Physicians of London in 2000, fellowship in the Royal Society of Medicine in 2002, Honorary Member of the European Dermatology Forum in 2011, and Honorary Member of the Society for Investigative Dermatology in 2012.
In 2005, he received the Stephen Rothman Memorial Award of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the highest award of this society. Dr. Voorhees delivered the Rudi Cormane Memorial Lecture at the Annual Meeting of the European Society for Dermatological Research in September 2005. In 2007, Dr. Voorhees received the David Martin Carter Mentor Award of the American Skin Association. Dr. Voorhees was presented with the American Academy of Dermatology Eugene Van Scott Award for Innovative Therapy of the Skin and provided the Phillip Frost Leadership Plenary Lecture for the American Academy of Dermatology in March 2009. Dr. Voorhees was honored with the Master Dermatologist Award of the American Academy of Dermatology at the 68th Annual Meeting in Miami in March of 2010.
He has been President of the Society for Investigative Dermatology, President of the Dermatology Foundation, President of the Association of Professors of Dermatology, President of the Michigan Dermatological Society, President of the American Dermatological Association, and is or has been on the board of directors and executive committees of several national and international dermatology organizations. Dr. Voorhees was a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the American Academy of Dermatology from 1982-1984. In 1993, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the National Psoriasis Foundation and in 1994, the Psoriasis Research Award of the American Skin Association.
In 1998, he received the Research Award of the European Society for Dermatological Research in recognition of substantial contributions to the progress of dermatological research. Dr. Voorhees is/has been on the editorial board of eight scholarly journals and has authored 653 full publications that are published or in press. His publications have been quoted in the medical literature more often than any other dermatologist in the world (data contained in Stern, RS and Arndt, KA: Top Cited Authors in Dermatology. Archives of Dermatology 135: 299-302, 1999). During his career (as of May 2014) his publications have been cited 27,724 times (data obtained through ISI Web of Knowledge). Dr. Voorhees’ Hirsch-Index (as of 5/1/14) is 82.
Dr. Voorhees has given invited lectures in the United States, Europe, Africa, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia, South America and China. These many lectures include the Dohi Memorial Lectureship (Japan, 1996) and the Arthur Rook Oration (Great Britain, 2004). He is an honorary member of 16 foreign dermatological societies including the Canadian Dermatological Association, Finnish Dermatologic Association, European Academy of Dermatology, Chilean Dermatologic Association, German Dermatological Society, French Dermatologic Society, Danish Society of Dermatology, Swedish Dermatological Society, British Association of Dermatologists, Hong Kong Dermatological Society, Polish Association of Dermatologists, Japanese Dermatological Association, Korean Society for Investigative Dermatology, Netherlands Society of Dermatology and Philippine Dermatological Society.
Dr. Voorhees divides his time among medical research, patient care, education of medical students and physicians training to become dermatologists, and chairing the department. His research focuses on psoriasis and premature aging of the skin. The demonstration of psoriasis as a disease mediated by an overactive immune system, treatable by immunosuppressive drugs, has been his major accomplishment in the study of psoriasis. In sun-induced premature skin-aging and in natural aging, he and his colleagues have unraveled mechanisms whereby UV light and the passage of time destroy the skin’s collagen support. This understanding has provided insight into its treatment and prevention by pharmacologic agents.
Dr. Voorhees practices medicine exclusively at the University of Michigan, where he is available to patients with all skin diseases. He has been listed among Castle Connelly’s “America’s Top Doctors” for many years, including 2014.