St. John’s dermatologist wins international award for his work

It’s considered by some to be the leading prize of the dermatology world, and the first Canadian to receive it is from Newfoundland and Labrador. 

Dr. Wayne Gulliver was bestowed the Dr. Albert Neisser Lecture Award at 8th annual European Hidradenitis Suppurativa Foundation Conference in Warsaw, Poland. 

“One of my Swedish colleagues said this is like the Nobel Prize of Dermatology,” Gulliver said.

Gulliver is the 15th person and the first Canadian to receive the honour.

Dr. Wayne Gulliver holds the Dr. Albert Neisser award in his St. John’s dermatology clinic. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

“It felt great being associated with Professor Neisser,” Gullliver said from his St. John’s dermatology clinic.

“To have my name associated with his and with 400 of my colleagues being there it felt really, really nice.”

Given for work on painful condition

The award, first given in 2005, is named for Neisser, a German dermatologist best know for his work with leprosy and sexually transmitted diseases. Neisser is credited with discovering gonorrhea and was named the University of Wroclaw Medical School’s professor extraordinarius of dermotology in 1882 at the age of 29. 

Gulliver has been practicing as a dermatologist for nearly 30 years and operates a clinic in downtown St. John’s. He was given the Neisser award for his research on hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful, long-term condition that causes abscesses and scarring on the skin and has no known cure. 

“It’s a disease that affects one-to-two per cent of the population,” Gulliver said.

“It requires a lot surgery and is very painful, and very relentless.”

The award honours German dermatologist Dr. Albert Neisser and lists the other recipients of the honour. (Submitted)

Gulliver said there is a high prevalence of hidradenitis suppurativa in this province, but local dermatologists and plastic surgeons are working to ease the pain of those with the condition.

He plans to continue that work for the foreseeable future — already well into a long career, Gulliver said he has no plans yet of slowing his busy schedule down or retiring.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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