Meet the Team

Scleroderma Program Rheumatology Faculty

Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc, Program Director

Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc, Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology and Professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, is the director of the University of Michigan Scleroderma Program.

Originally from New Delhi, India, Dr. Khanna received his medical degree from the University College of Medical Sciences. He completed his postdoctoral training as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, and 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 Assistant Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He was also the Clinical Director of UCLA’s Scleroderma Clinic.

Dr. Khanna is the author of over 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. He has won numerous awards, including the 2007 Spirit of Leadership Award and the 2011 “Best Doctor of the Year” award from the Scleroderma Foundation. He is board certified in rheumatology.  Dr. Khanna is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health and is particularly interested in the design of clinical trials and assessing patient reported outcomes in patients with scleroderma and leading novel international clinical trials in scleroderma. He is leading the recently funded investigator-initiated trial were recently award a $7 million investigator-initiated award from Bristol-Myers Squibb to conduct an international clinical trial in patients with diffuse systemic sclerosis. The $7 million dollar  Abatacept Systemic SclErosis Trial (ASSET) evaluates abatacept (Orencia®), which is FDA approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, to reduce the symptoms of sclerosis. In addition, mechanistic work in the trial is supported by the NIH/NIAID as part of the Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence grant to the University of Michigan (PI: Dr. David Fox; Project PI: Dr. Dinesh Khanna). View the ASSET website for more information.

Dr. Khanna is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. He was elected by his peers to the 2011-2013 Best Doctors in America, which recognizes the area’s top clinicians.

David A. Fox, MD, Division Chief

David A. Fox, MD, Frederick G.L. Huetwell and William D. Robinson, Professor of Rheumatology, Chief, Division of Rheumatology. A member of the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Medicine since 1985, Dr. Fox is Professor of Internal Medicine and, since 1990, has been Chief of the Division of Rheumatology. In addition, he directs the University of Michigan Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence. In 2013, Dr. Fox became the Frederick G. L. Huetwell and William D. Robinson, M.D. 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. He 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.

Vivek Nagaraja, MBBS

Vivek Nagaraja, MBBS, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology, 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. He subsequently moved to Tucson, Arizona where he completed residency in Internal Medicine and fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at University of Arizona. He then completed a fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Michigan in 2014. He 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. His 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 will be leading clinical trials in scleroderma at University of Michigan in partnership with Professor Khanna. He 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 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders.

Eliza Tsou, PhD

Eliza Tsou, PhD, is a Research Assistant Professor and Research Fellow in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the State University of New York at Buffalo and joined UM 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.

Amber N. Young, MD

Amber N. Young, MD, is currently a Clinical Lecturer and Research Fellow, and is involved in clinical research in scleroderma with a focus in pulmonary arterial hypertension. She received her MD from the University of Toledo in 2011 and completed her Internal Medicine residency at University of Michigan in 2014. 

 
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 U-M Cancer Center participate in the Scleroderma Program.

Pulmonary Medicine

Cardiology/Pulmonary Hypertension Program

Gastroentrology/Michigan Bowel Control Program

Occupational/Hand therapy

  • Carole V. Dodge, BS, OTR, CHT, Occupational Therapist

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, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery

 

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