Leonard C Sperling


Department of Primary Appointment:
School of Medicine
Professor of Dermatology and Pathology
Location: Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD
Research Interests:
Hair disorders
Office Phone


B.S., Yale College
M.D., University of Pennsylvania
Residency in Dermatology, Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Fellowship in Dermatopathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology


A native of Connecticut, Dr. Leonard Sperling graduated Summa Cum Laude from Yale College, followed by medical school at the University of Pennsylvania where he was awarded Alpha Omega Alpha membership. He completed dermatology residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and his first years after training were spent as Chief of the Dermatology Service at Landstuhl Army Medical Center in Germany where he honed his skills and developed an appreciation for fine craft beers. He later completed dermatopathology fellowship at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. Professor of Dermatology and Pathology at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS), holder of the Sulzberger Endowed Chair, and Vice-Chair of Dermatology, Dr. Sperling is a dedicated teacher of medical students, residents, fellows and a frequent rotation of visiting mentees. Dr. Sperling initiated and received AGCME approval to found the first dermatopathology fellowship within the National Capital Consortium and was appointed as its first Program Director. He has also previously served as the Chair of the Department of Dermatology, USUHS. Dr. Sperling has made a tremendous mark in the understanding and diagnosis of alopecia thanks to his prolific number of publications, his frequent speaking engagements, his mentorship of so many students, and his text, “An Atlas of Hair Pathology with Clinical Correlations” which has served as a touchstone for many in the study of alopecia. Dr. Sperling’s life is enriched by many loves: first and foremost, his wife and daughter; his passion for teaching the art and practice of dermatology, dermatopathology, and specifically the study of alopecia; his adorable cats; his woodworking; and finally, a great fondness for ice cream.

Career Highlights: Positions, Projects, Deployements, Awards and Additional Publications

Chair, Dept. of Dermatology, 1997-2014

Professor of Dermatology and Pathology, USUHS

Vice-Chair, Dept. of Dermatology, 2014-present

Awards: Whiting award for research, American Hair Research Society; Nickel Award for teaching, American Society of Dermatopathology; Helwig Award for research, American Society of Dermatopathology;

Representative Bibliography

Sperling LC, Cowper SE, Knopp EA. An atlas of hair pathology with clinical correlations, 2nd edition. London, Informa Healthcare, 2012.

Sperling LC. The role of the scalp biopsy in the evaluation of alopecia. J Amer Acad Dermatol 2023; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2023.05.047.

101. Sperling L, Darling T. Central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia: A common but under-recognized and under-treated disease finally comes of age. J Cutan Pathol. 2022 Feb;49(2):204-206. doi: 10.1111/cup.14164. Epub 2021 Nov 17.PMID: 34743373