Professor Lasse Kanerva
ICDRG – 2001
Lasse Kanerva was born in Helsinki in 1943, achieved his MD in 1969 and his PhD in anatomy in 1972 at Helsinki University. He received the the Fogarty International NIH Scholarship and studied at the University of California, Davis, in 1974-75. He was an Assistant in the Anatomy Department of Helsinki University, 1971-77 and was appointed Adjunct Professor of Anatomy at Helsinki University, 1974.
He then achieved Board Certification in Dermatology in 1981 and was appointed Adjunct Professor of Dermatology in Kuopio University 1983 and then Adjunct Professor of Occupational Dermatology at Tampere University in 1988. He was appointed Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Occupational Health in Stockholm and also Adjunct Research Professor at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, 1988-2001. He was appointed Associate Professor in Dermatology, Helsinki University in 1990. He was then appointed Research Professor at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health 1991-94 and Head of Dermatology there, 1995-2001.
Lasse was the first Finnish dermatologist to be invited as a Board Member for the European Academy of Dermatol-Venereology in 1994 and was appointed Professor of Dermatology at Oslo University in 1994. He became Chair of the Finnish Dermatological Society in 1995-1996 and subsequently was appointed an Honorary Member.
Lasse hosted the 4th ESCD meeting in Helsinki 1998 and was also a President and subsequently an Honorary Member of the ESCD. He started the NIVA Occupational Dermatology course, which was hosted several times in Finland and he was appointed a member of the International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH).
In 2000, he initiated the 1st WOREAL Congress (on work-related and environmental allergy), which was held in Helsinki 2003, but sadly Lasse suffered a severe stroke in 2001. He is credited with 389 publications from the period 1962-2001 but is perhaps best known for initiating the Handbook of Occupational Dermatology in 2000 with co-editors and fellow ICDRG members Peter Elsner, Jan Wahlberg and Howard Maibach. This book has now been renamed Kanerva’s Occupational Dermatology in honour of Lasse. The Condensed Handbook of Occupational Dermatology was published by the same authors in 2004.