Rheumatology Division Chief
Our new Division Chief, John Varga, MD, began his appointment on September 1, 2020. Dr. Varga is the sixth Division Chief, following in the esteemed footsteps of Drs. Ivan Duff, Giles Boles, Irving Fox, Thomas Palella, and David Fox.
Dr. Varga earned his BA at Columbia University and his MD from New York University. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Rhode Island Hospital and Fellowship in Rheumatology at Boston University. Following his Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania, 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.
Dr. Varga’s translational research has focused on scleroderma and fibrosis, and he is known for his work on defining TGF-beta-mediated fibrosis. 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.
Fellowship Program Director
Rory M. Marks, MB BS was appointed Director of the Rheumatology Training Program in August 2004. Dr. Marks is an Associate Professor of Internal Medicine. He received his undergraduate and graduate medical education at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia (1970-1976), trained in Internal Medicine, Clinical Immunology, and Pathology, and was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan from 1987-1990 before his appointment in the Division of Rheumatology. Dr. Marks is Board certified in Rheumatology, and maintains his original certification in Clinical Immunology and in Pathology. Dr. Marks has a strong interest in clinical care and physical examination skills.
Fellowship & Education Program Administrator
Julie C. Welch MAOM MAEL, a native of Ann Arbor, joined the Division of Rheumatology in 2015. Before coming to Michigan Medicine in 2013, Julie was a principal of a prominent local property management company. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Indiana University, a Master of Arts in Organizational Management, and a Master’s Degree of Educational Leadership. Julie works closely with Dr. Marks and also with Dr. Seetha Monrad, Assistant Dean of Quality Improvement.
- Program Evaluation Committee: Mandated by the ACGME to advise the Program Director through oversight of all activities of the Program, with review of progress in meeting goals, guiding ongoing program improvement, and review of the operating environment. Members are appointed annually by the Program Director.
- Clinical Competency Committee: Mandated by the ACGME to review evaluations and assess the progress of each Fellow. Members are appointed annually by the Program Director.
- Senior Fellow Mentoring Committee: Provides oversight of academic activities for second year Fellows. Members are chosen for their expertise with the different tracks available for Fellows and are appointed annually by the Program Director.
- Fellowship Selection Committee: Includes all faculty members who interview applicants for Fellowship and meets to discuss evaluations and to generate a ranked Match list.
- Members change annually and are appointed by the Program Director to represent a diversity of background and interests to applicants.
More than half of our faculty members have prominent roles in training our Fellows, including didactic teaching, ambulatory clinic and inpatient mentoring/supervision, and research mentoring.