Ilka A. Netravali, MD, PhD, FAAD
Dual Board Certified Dermatologist and Pediatric Dermatologist
Director of Clinical and Translational Pediatric Dermatology Research
It is my honor and promise to take compassionate and thorough care of your child. At my core, I have the deepest respect for how pediatric medicine and scientific research inform each other. My ultimate dream is to let each of my young patients guide my research so that I can deliver innovative cures to their bedsides.
My passion to become a pediatric dermatologist physician-scientist was first sparked in high school. I had traveled to Asia to work in a children’s leprosy clinic and saw firsthand how quickly one disease could lead to irreversible deformity. It was there that I developed a humbling appreciation for the distinct nature of pediatric skin disease and the unparalleled value of early intervention in kids, not only to break the chain of disease transmission, but also to thwart the devastating psychosocial and developmental consequences of permanent disability. My desire to develop novel therapeutic strategies to help children with cutaneous disease was born.
About Dr. Netravali:
Dr. Netravali grew up in New Jersey, graduating at the top of her high school class, before attending Princeton University where she was awarded her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with numerous honors. She was one of very few students inducted into the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and Sigma Xi Research Honor Society as a sophomore, published two senior research theses, and served as the teaching fellow for Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman. She then earned her MD and PhD in Immunology from the Health Sciences and Technology Program at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, achieving a perfect 4.0 GPA, honors with distinction in her clinical rotations, and the highest 99% score on the United States Medical Licensing Examination.
As part of her doctoral studies, Dr. Netravali discovered two novel cells, ultimately defining a complete three-step cellular developmental pathway for the plasmacytoid dendritic cell. This is an important immune cell involved in the pathogenesis of diseases such as psoriasis and lupus and in the body’s response to skin cancer. For her work, she won the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center Award for Best Research, awarded previously to faculty members, and Harvard Medical School’s Louis E. Kirstein Research Award.
While at Harvard, Dr. Netravali also received the coveted Albert F Ryan Foundation Fellowship for highest excellence in coursework, research talent and accomplishment, and participation in the scientific community, among all students in post-baccalaureate degree programs. She also won the Derek C. Bok Award for Teaching for her role as a teaching fellow for the Harvard undergraduate course, Cellular and Molecular Immunology, for which she received the highest evaluation scores ever achieved by a teaching fellow from the students. While a graduate student, she also served as a founder and chief medical officer for a biotechnology startup with a mission to use machine learning to streamline drug development and improve therapeutic outcome.
Upon completion of her MD-PhD, Dr. Netravali completed her internship in Internal Medicine at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and her dermatology training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where she was awarded the prestigious Physician Scientist Training Program Grant. She subsequently returned to the East Coast to complete her fellowship in Pediatric Dermatology at the University of Pennsylvania's Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (ranked the #1 dermatology training program by U.S. News & World Report).
She is excited to return to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, which she now considers home, to join Dr. Fred Ghali to cultivate the area’s only pediatric dermatology focused multi-location practice and spearhead the development of a cutting edge clinical and translational pediatric dermatology research program.
Dr. Netravali is extensively published in key dermatology, biology, and engineering journals including Nature, PLOS One, Glycobiology, Annual Reviews, Natural Computing, Imaging Systems and Technology, Current Dermatology Reports, and Dermatology and Therapy. She is also the coauthor of fundamental dermatology textbooks including Lippincott’s Primary Care Dermatology and the upcoming edition of Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology. She has a United States patent for the design of a visually aided intelligent stethoscope. Dr. Netravali also produced a film with the Melanoma Foundation of New England, Skinny on Skin, designed to serve as an interactive skin cancer education program for hair and beauty professionals to achieve earlier detection and prevention of melanoma.
Dr. Netravali has won several awards for her clinical and research work including from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, National Lupus Foundation, and Cancer Research Institute. She has given numerous invited presentations at prominent conferences and was recently selected to present the Case of the Year at the 2022 Society of Pediatric Dermatology pre-American Academy of Dermatology Meeting.
Dr. Netravali is an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Pediatric Dermatology, Pediatric Dermatology Research Association, and Society of Investigative Dermatology. She is also a dedicated mentor for students, residents, and fellows interested in pediatric dermatology. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, horseback riding, traveling, and exploring Dallas with her family.
"We had been to at least ten other dermatologists before seeing Dr. Netravali. She was the first doctor to quickly and accurately diagnose and effectively treat my son’s condition. She’s simply brilliant and we are so grateful!"