1894 - August 31, 1963
Stephen Rothman was born into a wealthy Jewish family and grew up in Budapest, Hungary, where he received his medical degree. He trained in dermatology with Albert Jesionek (Germany) and Bruno Block (Switzerland). He was one of a series of individuals who became icons in their respective fields after fleeing the oppression of Europe in favor of the United States.
Rothman was offered a position at the University of Chicago in 1938. It was there he began his relentless assault on investigative dermatology that was to advance the field to a much higher level. He quickly became chair of the department. He may be best known for his work on PABA sunscreens, but his investigations were numerous and wide-ranging. His textbook of dermatology investigative knowledge, Physiology and Biochemistry of the Skin, was first published in 1954 and quickly became the standard. He had over 200 publications.
In addition to his investigative skill, Rothman was a superb clinical dermatologist and a talented,resolute teacher. He trained a number of individuals who would go on to make important discoveries.
Rothman was given Honorary membership in the American Dermatological Association and the Gold Medal from the American Academy of Dermatology. He was awarded the first Dohi Memorial Lecture in Japan.
The Stephen Rothman Medal is awarded by the Society of Investigative Dermatology to recognize singular achievement in investigative dermatology. The first recipient was Marion B. Sulzberger.