About Us

The Rackham Arthritis Research Unit, established at the University of Michigan in 1937, was one of the first research units in the United States devoted to investigation of the rheumatic diseases. The Rheumatology Division was established as a distinct parallel administrative unit in 1960 as a component of the Department of Internal Medicine. Since the beginning, our goal has been to uncover new scientific knowledge in the battle against disease, train the next generation of outstanding medical scientists and clinicians, and provide patient care that is second to none.

Our Clinical Activities

The Division of Rheumatology offers consultations, patient care, diagnosis, and management for systemic autoimmune conditions and musculoskeletal diseases. Our diagnostic and therapeutic procedures include arthrocentesis, needle muscle biopsy, salivary gland biopsy, musculoskeletal ultrasound, closed synovial biopsy, and synovial fluid analysis to diagnosis, treat, and manage patients with rheumatic diseases. Outpatient treatment of our patients take place at the Rheumatology Clinic at Taubman Center, Briarwood Health Associates, Brighton Health Center, and Northville Health Center. We also provide care for patients at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Learn more.

Our Research Activities

Research interests of our faculty represent a broad base of expertise in basic and clinical sciences in rheumatic diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome, scleroderma, myositis, vascular disease, spondyloarthropathies, gout, and autoimmune eye diseases. Our research is funded by grants from the NIH, and industry and foundation grants. Learn more.

Our Educational Activities

Our division is focused on nurturing and expanding our faculty and fellows educational experiences at Michigan Medicine. We are committed to providing access to the the best and latest information in the field of Rheumatology to ensure that our team members are leaders in the field. Learn more.

Leadership

Chief, John Varga, MD

John Varga, MD
John Varga, MD

John Varga, MD, Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology and Professor of Internal Medicine, was named Chief of the Division of Rheumatology in September 2020. Dr. Varga is also the Associate Director of the Michigan Medicine Scleroderma Program.

Dr. Varga earned his BA at Columbia University and his MD from New York University. He completed Internal Medicine residency at Rhode Island Hospital, and fellowship in Rheumatology at Boston University. Following postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania in the laboratory of Sergio Jimenez studying collagen biochemistry, Dr. Varga held junior faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He was later appointed Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Illinois Chicago, and in 2004 joined the faculty at Northwestern University as the John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor of Medicine, where he established and directed the multidisciplinary Scleroderma Program.

For the past three decades, Dr. Varga’s translational research has focused on scleroderma and fibrosis, and he is known for his work on defining TGF-beta-mediated fibrosis. Dr. Varga’s research work is funded by the NIH, and foundation and industry grants. Dr. Varga has been published extensively, having authored more than 350 journal articles and book chapters, and three textbooks.

In addition to his research, Dr. Varga's passion is education. He has mentored trainees at all levels, several of whom have gone on to develop successful academic careers.

Dr. Varga is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and a Master of the American College of Rheumatology. In 2017, Dr. Varga received the Scleroderma Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2019, he was recognized as Faculty Mentor of the Year by the Feinberg School of Medicine and as Top Doctor by Chicago Magazine.

Dr. Varga has served as a charter member of the NIH ACTS Study section and co-editor of Arthritis and Rheumatology, and is currently a member of the American College of Rheumatology Board of Directors.

Dr. Varga is married to Julie Varga, MD, Chair of Emergency Medicine at Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago. They have two adult children who live in Chicago and Brooklyn.

Faculty Leadership

U-M Rheumatology Division, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD

J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD
Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professor
of Rheumatology
Associate Professor, Department of of Internal Medicine
Associate Division Chief, Basic and Translational Research

 
Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc
Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc

Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc
Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology
Professor, Department of of Internal Medicine
Director, Scleroderma Program

 
Puja Khanna, MD, MPH
Puja Khanna, MD, MPH

Puja Khanna, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Associate Chief of Clinical Affairs

 
U-M Rheumatology Division, Wendy Marder, MD
Wendy Marder, MD

Wendy Marder, MD
Professor, Department of of Internal Medicine
Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Ambulatory Care Clinical Chief (ACCC), Michigan Medicine

 
Rory M. Marks, MB BS
Rory M. Marks, MB BS

Rory M. Marks, MB BS
Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program

 
U-M Rheumatology Division, W. Joseph McCune, MD
W. Joseph McCune, MD

W. Joseph McCune, MD
Michael H. and Marcia S. Klein Professor of Rheumatic Diseases
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Lupus Program

Division Administrator

Gary Smith
Division Administrator
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
300 North Ingalls Building, Room 7C27
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5422
Phone: 734-936-9539
garyms@med.umich.edu

 
 
 
 

Contact Us

Academic Office (Division Chief)

Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
300 North Ingalls Building, Room 7C27
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5422
Phone: 734-936-5566 (non-patient related calls only)

Patient Inquiries

Referring Physician Inquiries