Ajay Kailas '13

Ajay Kailas is currently a third year medical student at the University of Central Florida College of Medicine pursuing a future dermatology match. He graduated cum laude with a degree in Development Sociology from Cornell University as a Dwight D. Anderson Scholar in 2013. During his time in the department, he studied Native American attitudes and beliefs towards the HPV vaccination for three years, working with the Hopi Tribe in Arizona.

Post-graduation, Mr. Kailas was selected as a National Institutes of Health Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award Recipient from 2013-2014, during which time he published a first-author article in Nature Publishing Group. After starting medical school in 2014, Mr. Kailas transitioned from basic research to clinical research and was able to apply the knowledge and experience he gained from his development sociology training to the field of dermatology. Mr. Kailas actively researches on skin of color and has published multiple articles, abstracts, letters, and commentaries on topics such as Native American healthcare issues, alopecia areata in African Americans, laser treatments for ethnic skin types, and skin cancer in underserved populations. Mr. Kailas acknowledges he has been fortunate to have been mentored by some of the best dermatologists in the country, stating that “I am so grateful to have had incredibly gifted and kind research mentors that have taken me under their wing. I would be nowhere without their continued support and guidance.”  He currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Furthermore, he is an expert commenter for PracticeUpdate Dermatology. For his extracurricular services, Mr. Kailas serves as Student Chair of the Committee of Diversity and Inclusion at his medical school and aims to increase diversity in the medical field.

Mr. Kailas says, “My true passion is to provide the best possible treatments for patients of color. The population of the U.S. is increasingly growing and is projected to be 50% non-white by the year 2044, so this work is needed now more than ever. I am so grateful for my training at Cornell to give me the ability to approach medicine in this manner.” Mr. Kailas states he hopes to become a future leader in the field of dermatology regarding skin of color. He hopes to one day direct his own multicultural dermatology center and become more active in national Congressional policies involving this patient population. His goal is to appeal to Congress and other governmental organizations to increase funding and educational efforts directed towards reducing the risk of skin cancer among people of color.