NOVEMBER 2, 2022
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Distinguished Fellow Award recognizes up to ten clinical and research fellows annually who are in a rheumatology fellowship training program and have performed meritoriously. This year, we are proud to announce that two of the ten fellows who received this distinction completed their fellowships at Michigan Medicine, a noteworthy and unique honor:
- Ahmad Ramahi, MD, MPH - Graduate of the Department of Internal Medicine (DOIM) Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program
- Ajay Tambralli, MD - Graduate of the DOIM Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program and Department of Pediatrics Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Learn more about Dr. Ramahi and Dr. Tambralli and what they're doing now.
Ahmad Ramahi, MD, MPH
Dr. Ahmad Ramahi was born in Palestine. He obtained his medical degree at Al-Quds University in East Jerusalem and completed his internal medicine residency at The University of Toledo in Ohio, where he also obtained a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree with a major in Epidemiology. Dr. Ramahi then came to Michigan Medicine to complete his rheumatology fellowship.
Dr. Ramahi is particularly interested in scleroderma and completed one year of clinical research in the Scleroderma Program during his fellowship under the mentorship of Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc. While there, Dr. Ramahi's research focused on the role of lung ultrasound in screening for systemic sclerosis interstitial lung disease compared to the gold standard, chest high-resolution CT scan, as well as the role of anti-topoisomerase I antibody (Anti-Scl-70 Antibody) in predicting forced vital capacity (FVC) decline in systemic sclerosis-interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD) patients.
Dr. Ramahi has participated in many quality improvement projects during his residency and fellowship, aiming to improve patient outcomes. Most recently, he investigated the rate of Allopurinol discontinuation and its contribution to gout flares.
Dr. Ramahi is now working at the Kymera Multi-Disciplinary Clinic in Roswell, New Mexico, a medically underserved area where he is the only rheumatologist in the region. Dr. Ramahi hopes to continue working with Dr. Dinesh Khanna and the Scleroderma Program.
Ajay Tambralli, MD
Dr. Ajay Tambralli grew up in north Alabama. He attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) where he studied Biomedical Engineering. After finishing his undergraduate studies, Dr. Tambralli worked as a research assistant in a tissue engineering lab at UAB. He then attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine where he was first inspired to pursue rheumatology. Dr. Tambralli went on to complete a residency in internal medicine and pediatrics at the University of Rochester, followed by fellowships in both adult and pediatric rheumatology at Michigan Medicine. He is now an assistant professor in the Michigan Medicine Divisions of Rheumatology and Pediatric Rheumatology.
Dr. Tambralli has had a long-standing interest in translational research. As an undergraduate student and a research assistant, he worked in a lab aimed at repairing damaged tissues using various nano-scaled biomaterials. One such material enabled deep cellular infiltration into a scaffold at a level not previously demonstrated and was subsequently patented. As a medical student, Dr. Tambralli contributed to studies characterizing therapeutic biologic use in pediatric rheumatic diseases, which is often impacted by differences in the metabolism of children as compared with adults. He is currently working in Dr. Jason Knight’s lab where he is striving to understand the role of neutrophil metabolism in the pathogenesis of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). This has generated the potential concept of manipulating neutrophil metabolism to reduce disease morbidity in APS patients.
Dr. Tambralli has also demonstrated a dedication to teaching throughout his training. He has mentored several high school students, undergraduate students, and research technicians in the lab, several of whom have gone on to pursue advanced degrees. While in residency, Dr. Tambralli helped build a decision aid for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), which was designed to enable a real-time discussion of the efficacy and side effects of RA treatments using an online graphical interface. He then used this as a model and developed a workshop to teach medical students the principles of evidence-based medicine. Dr. Tambralli continues to mentor trainees in the lab, the clinic, and small groups in medical school.
Dr. Tambralli has regularly volunteered his time to serve on committees during medical school, residency, and fellowship. He also previously started a local chapter of a biomedical engineering honors society at UAB. Recently, Dr. Tambralli was presented with the Rheumatology Fellowship Training Program William D. Robinson Award, an honor given in recognition of overall accomplishments during fellowship training. In addition, the Rheumatology Research Foundation has awarded him a Scientist Development Award to continue his promising work at the intersection of inflammatory signaling and metabolic reprogramming in rheumatic diseases. Dr. Tambralli's goal is to continue to work towards being a well-rounded physician-scientist and a valuable citizen in the global rheumatology community.