Meet the Team

Program Director

 
Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc

Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc

Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Scleroderma Program

Learn About Dr. Khanna

Originally from New Delhi, India, Dr. Dinesh Khanna received his medical degree from the University College of Medical Sciences. Dr. Khanna completed his postdoctoral training as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. He then went on to complete a clinical and research fellowship in rheumatology and a master’s in clinical research at the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine. Dr. Khanna was an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and also the Clinical Director of UCLA’s Scleroderma Clinic.

Dr. Khanna is the author of over 350 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He has won numerous awards, including the 2011 “Best Doctor of the Year” award from the Scleroderma Foundation and the prestigious 2015 Henry Kunkel Award from the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Khanna is board certified in rheumatology. He is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health with grants from NIAMS and NIAID (he is PI of the University of Michigan Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence). Dr. Khanna is the coordinating PI for ongoing and recently completed NIH and industry-funded trials of abatacept, brentuximab, pirfenidone, riociguat, tofacitinib, and tocilizumab in scleroderma and co-PI of the ongoing Scleroderma Lung Study III. He led the development of the ACR-CRISS index, which is rapidly becoming the primary outcome measure in scleroderma trials.

Dr. Khanna is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. He was elected by his peers to the 2011-2018 Best Doctors in America, which recognizes the area’s top clinicians.

 

Associate Program Director

 
John Varga, MD

John Varga, MD

Chief, Division of Rheumatology
Frederick G. L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Professor, Department of Dermatology
Associate Director, Scleroderma Program
Principal Investigator, ScleroLab

Learn About Dr. Varga

Prior to joining Michigan Medicine as the Chief of Rheumatology in September 2020, Dr. John Varga was the John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Scleroderma Program. Dr. Varga earned his BA at Columbia University and his MD from New York University. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brown University and his fellowship in rheumatology at Boston University, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship with Sergio Jiminez at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Varga later held faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Jefferson Medical College, and was Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Illinois Chicago. He later joined Northwestern’s Feinberg School of Medicine as the director of the Scleroderma Program.

Dr. Varga's research focuses on inflammation, fibrosis, tissue repair, and regeneration. He is well-known internationally for his work on defining TGF-beta-mediated fibrosis. Dr. Varga has published more than 250 peer-reviewed manuscripts in journals such as JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Nature Communication, and Science Translational Medicine. His research work is funded by the NIH, and foundation and pharmacological grants.

In addition to his research prowess, Dr. Varga's passion is in training, mentorship, and education. He has mentored trainees at all levels, several of whom have gone on to make outstanding careers for themselves.

Dr. Varga is a nationally recognized academic scholar and has received many accolades for his work on the basic mechanisms of fibrosis and scleroderma. He is an elected member of the Association of American Physicians and a Master of the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Varga received the Scleroderma Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and was recognized as Mentor of the Year by the Feinberg School of Medicine. Dr. Varga is the Associate Director of the Scleroderma Program.

Dr. Varga serves on the Board of Directors for the Global Fibrosis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology. He has been a member and chair of several NIH study sections, as well as committees from professional organizations. He is currently co-Editor of Arthritis and Rheumatology.

 

Program Faculty Members 

David Fox, MD

David A. Fox, MD

Frederick G. L. Huetwell and William D. Robinson, MD Professor of Rheumatology
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence

Learn About Dr. Fox

Dr. David Fox has been a member of the University of Michigan School of Medicine faculty since 1985 and served as Chief of the Division of Rheumatology for 28 years, from 1990-2018. In 2013, Dr. Fox became the Frederick G. L. Huetwell and William D. Robinson, MD Professor of Rheumatology.

Dr. Fox’s research focuses on defining and characterizing pathways of human T cell activation, determining the role of these pathways in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, investigating T cell interactions with synovial fibroblasts, regulating autoimmunity with genetically modified dendritic cells, understanding the role of interleukin-17 in arthritis, and exploring novel approaches to the treatment of scleroderma. He is author of more than 200 scientific papers and book chapters and has served on the Editorial Board of Arthritis & Rheumatism and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Fox is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

In 2007-2008, Dr. Fox served as the seventy-first President of the American College of Rheumatology and the sixth ACR President from the University of Michigan.

 

 

Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR

Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR

Associate Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Research Health Science Specialist, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, GRECC
Behavioral/Rehabilitation Program Lead, Scleroderma Program

Learn About Dr. Murphy

Dr. Susan Murphy is an occupational therapist by training and has over 20 years of experience in rehabilitation research. She completed her doctoral degree in Therapeutic Studies at Boston University, and completed post-doctoral fellowships at Yale University School of Medicine, and the University of Michigan. A major focus of her research is developing and testing rehabilitation interventions that reduce chronic symptoms and improve function. She has received research grants through NIH, the Scleroderma Foundation, and industry to study occupational therapy treatments for people with scleroderma. She works closely with research faculty, clinicians, peer mentors, and patients to develop meaningful and effective interventions with an aim to improve quality of life and well-being in people with scleroderma.

 

 

 
Vivek Nagaraja, MBBS

Vivek Nagaraja, MBBS

Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Service Chief, Division of Rheumatology

Learn About Dr. Nagaraja

Dr. Vivek Nagaraja is an active faculty in the Michigan Medicine Scleroderma Program. Originally from the city of Bangalore in India, Dr. Nagaraja received his medical degree from Ramaiah Medical College. He did two years of transitional post-doctoral training in the United Kingdom. Dr. Nagaraja subsequently moved to Tucson, Arizona where he completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Arizona. He then completed a fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Michigan in 2014. Dr. Nagaraja became a faculty Assistant Professor at the University of Toledo, and re-joined the University of Michigan Division of Rheumatology in May 2017, and is an integral part of the Scleroderma program.

Dr. Nagaraja brings a unique geriatric clinical experience of chronic care management into the care of scleroderma patients. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine and Rheumatology, and a member of the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Nagaraja's specific research interests include patient reported outcomes measurement in rheumatic diseases (including scleroderma) and their implementation in routine clinical care, and understanding the unique subset of patients with rheumatic disease who have interstitial lung disease. He leads clinical trials in scleroderma in partnership with Dr. Khanna. Dr. Nagaraja serves as a reviewer (see a listing of Dr. Nagaraja's publications on PubMed), a service of the National Library of Medicine. He currently serves as a reviewer for the Journal of General Internal Medicine and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

 

 

 
David Roofeh, MD

David Roofeh, MD

Clinical Lecturer, Department of Internal Medicine
Research Fellow, Division of Rheumatology

Learn About Dr. Roofeh

Dr. David Roofeh received his medical degree from SUNY Upstate Medical University and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College of the Thomas Jefferson University/Christiana Care Health System. He completed his fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Michigan in 2019.

Dr. Roofeh is the newest member to the Scleroderma Program. His clinical interests are in connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease and providing transition care for young adult patients with scleroderma. He works closely with Dr. Khanna and Dr. Nagaraja on clinical trials in scleroderma and is on the division's NIH-funded T32 grant.

 

 

 
Eliza Tsou, PhD

Eliza Tsou, PhD

Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Early Career Professor of Rheumatology
Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Learn About Dr. Tsou

Dr. Eliza Tsou received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo and joined Michigan Medicine in 2008.

Dr. Tsou’s main role is conducting scleroderma research. She has been actively involved in numerous scleroderma research projects, examining the mechanism of tissue fibrosis and vasculopathy in scleroderma. She utilizes cells isolated from skin biopsies from healthy volunteers as well as scleroderma patients and determines the key factors affecting the disease pathogenesis. Dr. Tsou is currently supported by the Arthritis Foundation.

Program Collaborators

Faculty from many disciplines and programs including Pulmonary Medicine, Pulmonary Hypertension (Cardiovascular Medicine), Michigan Bowel Control Program (Gastroenterology), Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Dermatology, Division of Hand Surgery, Department of Occupational Therapy, and the Michigan Medicine Rogel Cancer Center participate in the Scleroderma Program.

Pulmonary Medicine

Cardiology/Pulmonary Hypertension Program

Gastroentrology/Michigan Bowel Control Program

Infectious Diseases

  • David M. Markovitz, MD, Professor, Division of Infectious Diseases
    • Dr. David Markovitz is a Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Michigan Medicine, who also has appointments in the programs in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Cancer Biology, and Immunology. Dr. Markovitz's laboratory focuses on understanding how human cellular factors control the replication of viruses, and retroviruses in particular. These studies are performed both to understand the biology of viruses and to develop possible therapies for these important human pathogens, as well as to exploit the viruses as a mechanism for understanding human cellular biology and cancer. In pursuit of the latter, his group has made important contributions to understanding how the DEK protein functions in health and disease, and he has developed a therapeutic agent that targets DEK to treat arthritis. More recently, studies of retroviruses led the group into centromere biology and the realization that centromeres are damaged in scleroderma. Dr. Markovitz’s work has been recognized by his election to the two principal honorary societies for academic Internal Medicine physicians, the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, as well as to the American Clinical and Climatological Association. In addition to his research, Dr. Markovitz was a consultant on the Infectious Diseases service for many years and now attends on the inpatient general Internal Medicine service at Michigan Medicine. He has been married to Ruth Hurwicz Markovitz for 39 years, and they have three wonderful [adult] children, Lara, Rebecca, and Adam, and three grandchildren. Dr. Markovitz has a wide range of non-medical interests, and majored in Middle Eastern Studies as an undergraduate. He has a long-time interest in art, music, movies, novels, sports, and both serious and junky TV. Dr. Markovitz has traveled widely, and speaks 3½ languages.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – Sclero-Rehab Program

  • Carole V. Dodge, BS, OTR, CHT, Occupational Therapist
  • Susan Murphy, ScD, OTR, Associate Professor, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Director, Clinical Trials Development; Research Non-Clinical Faculty; Research Health Science Specialist, VA Ann Arbor Health Care System, GRECC; Behavioral/Rehabilitation Program Lead, Scleroderma Program

Hand/Plastics Surgery

  • Kevin C. Chung, MD, MS, Charles B. G. de Nancrede Professor of Surgery, Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthopaedic Surgery, Chief of Hand Surgery
  • Jennifer F. Waljee, MD, George D. Zuidema Professor of Surgery, Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

Learn More