Richard Granstein is the chairman of the Department of Dermatology and the George W. Hambrick, Jr. Professor of Dermatology, at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he studies several aspects of the immunobiology of Langerhans cells, dendritic antigen-presenting cells that reside in the lower portion of the epidermis (the upper layer of the skin) that have a key role in immune responses within the skin.
Granstein directs the Dermatology Research Laboratory at Weill Cornell Medical College, where research programs involve studying the regulation of immune processes within the skin, the relationship of the skin's immune system to the development of skin cancers, and the mechanisms by which ultraviolet radiation alters immune responses in the skin. He also studies the regulation of the immune system by stress and the nervous system.
“I think dermatologists have always accepted the fact that the skin and the mind are very intertwined,” said Granstein in an interview with New York magazine about the effects of stress on your skin. “I think it’s always been true. What’s different now is there is a scientific basis for understanding how the mind affects the skin.”
Granstein was the first to demonstrate that certain immune cells within the skin are capable of initiating an immune response against a malignant tumor and that immune cells within the epidermis have an anatomic relationship with nerves and can be regulated by proteins produced by those nerves.
In 2017, Granstein received the Award of Excellence from the Association for Psychoneurocutaneous Medicine of North America (APMNA). Granstein sits on the Education Council for the American Skin Association and serves as chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for the National Rosacea Society.