BENNINGTON - Dr. Lixia Z. Ellis is joining SVMC Dermatology and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Putnam Physician Group in August.

She notes that becoming a dermatologist after earning her Ph.D. in basic science research has been a great way for her to combine her love of science with her desire to help people in a personal way.

"I have always enjoyed science," said Ellis. "Though it was rewarding to know that by doing research, I was contributing to the development of new therapies to treat human diseases, I wanted the human connection I wasn't getting in the laboratory. Becoming a physician was a natural transition for me... I love every aspect of medicine: the human interaction, using your knowledge to make diagnoses and provide treatment options and the gratifying feeling of helping people."

Ellis received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., and completed her residency in dermatology at the University of Colorado in Denver, Colo. She has a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Southern California.

Ellis was a postdoctoral fellow and later an assistant research professor at UCLA School of Medicine, working in Dr. Greg M. Cole's Alzheimer's Disease Laboratory at UCLA-Sepulveda VA Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif.

"I highly value practicing evidence-based medicine (where a physician's decisions are based on valid research). I believe in treating every patient as I would a member of my own family, and I try to include my patients in the decision-making about their health," said Ellis.

She added, "My conversations with Bennington's previous dermatologist, Dr. Alan Binnick, inspired me to come to SVMC and to help care for people in this community. The physicians I met during my interview here also were all wonderful, and the atmosphere in the hospital is very collegial and supportive."

Ellis' office will be in the Medical Office Building at 140 Hospital Dr. in Bennington, Suite 107. To make an appointment with her, call 802-447-5544.

SVMC Dermatology and Southwestern Vermont Medical Center are part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC), an integrated health system providing care for patients in Bennington and Windham Counties in Vermont, Rensselaer and Washington Counties in N.Y., and Berkshire County in Mass.