The Vascular Birthmarks Foundation
Ask the Laser Doctor
Dr. Susanne Astner
Dr. Astner graduated from Vienna Medical School, where she received her MD degree from the University of Vienna, Medical School in December 1996. She then completed a residency in family practice in Vienna. In 2001, she continued her training with a dermatology and research fellowship at Harvard, at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine.
In 2002, Dr. Astner joined the vascular malformation clinic at MGH under the direction of Martin C. Mihm, MD and since 2003 she worked as clinical fellow under Rox R. Anderson MD in the Dermatology Laser Clinic. She received her formal laser training in the clinical setting, employing new laser technologies for the treatment of pigment and other vascular alterations, acne and photoaging. Dr. Astner assisted in over 100 laser procedures performed in the OR for infants born with vascular and pigmentary birthmarks. Her research interest included the development of new treatment approaches for birthmarks and other microvascular lesions – i.e. topical immunmodulators for the treatment of hemangiomas and photodynamic therapy using Benzoporphyrine derivative for the treatment of Port Wine Stains.
Her previous research interests included non-invasive imaging using in-vivo laser scanning confocal microcopy and prevention of UV-induced photo-oxidative cutaneous changes. Her investigations included inflammatory and benign proliferative skin disorders, non-melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. She has authored or co-authored several research articles and presented her work at national and international meeting. As part of her academic commitment she has been involved in formal teaching exercises of medical students, residents and research fellows at the Wellman Center of Photomedicine.