Steven B. Hoath, MD

Academic Affiliations

Emeritus, UC Department of Pediatrics

Phone 513-803-0960

Fax 513-803-0969



Human skin development; multiple roles of the skin in neonatal care; new perspectives on the skin as a sensory interface; role of the skin as an accessible environmental interface which complements ‘internal’ medicine; evidence-based organizational change in healthcare delivery to newborns; interface between medicine and nursing; focus on the bedside for the development of a truly “personalized” or “individualized” medicine in the future.


Epidermal barrier development (in utero and postnatal); fetal and neonatal skin adaptation (skin/environment interactions); tissue engineering of human skin (in vitro systems); innate immune function (biology of vernix and skin proteomics); development of non-invasive skin-based sensors for brain monitoring; role of the skin as a critical interface for health care delivery.

Dr. Hoath graduated from Stanford University and the University of Hamburg, Germany with majors in biology and German studies. He received his MD from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed his pediatric residency and fellowship in neonatology at UCLA before joining Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 1984.

He has a longstanding interest in the development of fetal and newborn skin and the multiple roles of the skin as a critical interface for healthcare delivery in the NICU. In 1994, he was one of seven international investigators participating in the first joint effort by NASA and the National Institutes of Health to study the effect of spaceflight and zero gravity on mammalian pregnancy and fetal development. This work grounds the idea of the skin as the ‘biological spacesuit’ for the human body.

He has authored multiple papers, chapters, and a book on neonatal skin development. He is an inventor on five patents awarded to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center based on the biology of the multifunctional fetal skin ‘cream’, vernix caseosa. Recent work has focused on the logico-mathematical organization of human epidermis and the close embryological connection of the skin and the brain.

Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, June 1983; Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, November, 1983.

Adjunct Assistant Professor: Harbor UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, 1983.

Residency: University of California, Los Angeles, 1977-79.

Internship: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, 1976-1977.

MD: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 1976.

Fellowship: Neonatology, Harbor-UCLA, Los Angeles Medical Center, 1980-1982; Pathology, UCLA School of Medicine, 1973-1974.

Baccalaureate: Stanford University, Biology & German Studies, 1972.

View PubMed Publications

Visscher MO, Robinson M, Fugit B, Rosenberg RJ, Hoath SB, Randall Wickett R. Amputee skin condition: occlusion, stratum corneum hydration and free amino acid levels. Arch Dermatol Res. 2010 Dec 16.

Davis JA, Visscher MO, Wickett RR, Hoath SB. Influence of tumour necrosis factor-α polymorphism-308 and atopy on irritant contact dermatitis in healthcare workers. Contact Dermatitis. 2010 Dec;63(6):320-32.

Davis JA, Visscher MO, Wickett RR, Hoath SB. Role of TNF-α polymorphism -308 in neurosensory irritation. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2010 Jul 15.

Narendran V, Visscher MO, Abril I, Hendrix SW, Hoath SB. Biomarkers of epidermal innate immunity in premature and full-term infants. Pediatr Res. 2010 Apr;67(4):382-6.

Barai ND, Boyce ST, Hoath SB, Visscher MO, Kasting GB. Improved barrier function observed in cultured skin substitutes developed under anchored conditions. Skin Res Technol. 2008 Nov;14(4):418-24.

Walker VP, Akinbi HT, Meinzen-Derr J, Narendran V, Visscher M, Hoath SB. Host defense proteins on the surface of neonatal skin: implications for innate immunity. J Pediatr. 2008 Jun;152(6):777-81.

Hoath SB, Pickens WL, Visscher MO. The biology of vernix caseosa. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct;28(5):319-33.

Spitzmiller RE, Phillips T, Meinzen-Derr J, Hoath SB. Amplitude-integrated EEG is useful in predicting neurodevelopmental outcome in full-term infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy: a meta-analysis. J Child Neurol. 2007 Sep;22(9):1069-78.

Tansirikongkol A, Hoath SB, Pickens WL, Visscher MO, Wickett RR. Equilibrium water content in native vernix and its cellular component. J Pharm Sci. 2008 Feb;97(2):985-94.

Tansirikongkol A, Wickett RR, Visscher MO, Hoath SB. Effect of vernix caseosa on the penetration of chymotryptic enzyme: potential role in epidermal barrier development. Pediatr Res. 2007 Jul;62(1):49-53.