Meet the Team

The Scleroderma Program, led by Director, Dinesh, Khanna, MD, MSc and Associate Director, John Varga, MD, is a multidisciplinary team of health care providers with experience in a wide range of disciplines, working together to research the cause and mechanisms of scleroderma in order to develop better, targeted treatment options and to improve the quality of life for our patients.

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 Team Members

Division of Rheumatology

Swati Bhattacharyya, PhD

Swati Bhattacharyya, PhD
Director, ScleroLab
Research Scientist, Department of Internal Medicine

Learn About Dr. Bhattacharyya

Dr. Swati Bhattacharyya received her PhD from the Indian Institute of Chemical Biology in India, and did her postdoc training at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University. Dr. Bhattacharyya is a research scientist and the director of the ScleroLab. She has a long-standing expertise in molecular and cellular mechanisms of fibrosis, with emphasis on cytokines and intracellular signaling pathways in scleroderma patients and animal models of scleroderma. Dr. Bhattacharyya's research primarily focuses on the role of innate immune signaling in fibrosis progression in scleroderma.

 

 

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

Professor, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Telehealth and Rehabilitation Advancing Chronic Condition Research (TRACC-R) Center
Research Non-Clinical Faculty

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.

 

 

 
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.

 

Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine

Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS

Kevin Flaherty, MD, MS
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Associate Program Director, Multidisciplinary T32 Research Training Program in Lung Disease

 
David O’Dwyer, MB BCH BAO, PhD

David O’Dwyer, MB BCH BAO, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

 

Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

Daniel Lawrence, PhD

Daniel Lawrence, PhD
Frederick G. L. Huetwell Collegiate Professor of Basic Research in Cardiovascular Medicine
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine
Professor of Molecular and Integrative Physiology

 
Vallerie McLaughlin, MD

Vallerie McLaughlin, MD
Kim A. Eagle MD Endowed Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine
Associate Chief Clinical Officer, Department of Internal Medicine
Director, Pulmonary Hypertension Program
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

 

Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

William Chey, MD, AGAF, FACG, FACP, RFF

William Chey, MD, AGAF, FACG, FACP, RFF
H. Marvin Pollard Professor of Gastroenterology
Chief and Professor, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences
Director, GI Physiology Laboratory
Director, Michigan Bowel Control Program

 

Division of Infectious Diseases

David Markovitz, MD

David Markovitz, MD
Professor, Department of Internal Medicine

Learn About Dr. Markovitz

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.

 

 

Department of Dermatology

Johann Gudjonsson, MD, PhD

Johann Gudjonsson, MD, PhD
Arthur C. Curtis Professor of Skin Molecular Immunology
Professor of Dermatology

 

Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Carole Dodge, BS, OTR, CHT

Carole Dodge, BS, OTR, CHT
Occupational Therapist Clinical Specialist

 

Department of Surgery, Section of Plastic Surgery

Kevin Chung, MD, MS

Kevin Chung, MD, MS
Charles B. G. de Nancrede Professor of Surgery
Professor of Surgery
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

 
Jennifer Waljee, MD

Jennifer Waljee, MD
George D. Zuidema Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor of Surgery
Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

 

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