John Varga, M.D.

Frederick G L Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology
Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
Chief, Division of Rheumatology
Accepting Students?


John Varga MD attended Columbia University in New York, and obtained his medical degree from New York University. He completed Internal Medicine Residency at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence and Rheumatology Fellowship at Boston University. Following post-doctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania, he was on the faculty of the University of Illinois and Northwestern University in Chicago, and recently was recruited to Chief of Rheumatology at the University of Michigan. For the past three decades, Varga’s research has focused on fibrosis and the application of precision medicine approaches to improve patient outcomes. His lab, continuously funded by the NIH, investigates immunological and cellular mechanisms of fibrosis. He has served as a charter member of the NIH ACTS Study section and Co-Editor of Arthritis and Rheumatology, and is a member of the ACR Board of Directors. He is the author of more than 380 journal articles and book chapters and three textbooks. He has mentored over 20 post-doctoral MD and PhD trainees, many of whom have gone on to develop successful academic or industry careers.

Research Interests

My lab studies inflammation and metabolism in the context of chronic autoimmune and fibrotic diseases. We use mouse models, patient samples, genetics and genomics to identify mechanisms of disease and novel targets for therapy. Our research is patient-oriented and we embrace of a tight "bench-to-bedside-to bench" approach. Our Michigan Scleroderma Program afford unique access to patients including genetics and biological specimen, for our research, including early-stage clinical trials.

Research Opportunities for Rotating Students

Fibrosis, metabolism; innate immunity; gut microbiome