Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research - Dr. Michelle Kahlenberg

J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD

The Department of Internal Medicine is excited to share that J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD has accepted the position of Vice Chair for Basic and Translational Research within the department, effective June 1, 2023. In this role, Dr. Kahlenberg will oversee and grow the department’s research portfolio, evaluate faculty research progress, oversee the space committee and departmental space footprint, and provide guidance on grant related issues.

Dr. Kahlenberg is the Giles G. Boles MD and Dorothy Mulkey MD Research Professor of Rheumatology and Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Dermatology at Michigan Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree at Denison University, her MD, PhD, and internal medicine residency training at Case Western Reserve University, and her fellowship in rheumatology at Michigan Medicine.

Dr. Kahlenberg's clinical work is centered on the care of complicated lupus patients, including those with refractory skin disease. She has been running her own laboratory since 2013, which is currently funded by multiple NIH and foundation awards. Dr. Kahlenberg's lab combines translational approaches using patient samples and murine models to uncover the mechanisms that drive lupus and other autoimmune diseases. In particular, she is focused on unraveling the pathogenic mechanisms in cutaneous lupus, the factors that drive photosensitivity, and how skin inflammation can influence systemic lupus activity. Recently, Dr. Kahlenberg and her collaborator, Johann Gudjonsson, MD, PhD, were the first Taubman Institute Innovate Program recipients through which they started the PerMIPA cohort.

Dr. Kahlenberg has published over 100 papers in top tier journals including Science Translational Medicine, JCI, and Nature Immunology. Her work has received institutional accolades and national recognition from the Arthritis National Research Foundation, Rheumatology Research Foundation, American Society for Clinical Investigation, and the Lupus Foundation of America. In addition, Dr. Kahlenberg was awarded a PECASE, the top award given by the president of the United States to outstanding early career scientists and engineers and also received the 2022 American College of Rheumatology Henry Kunkel Young Investigator award.

In her spare time, Dr. Kahlenberg enjoys organic gardening, working on the family farm “EMMA Acres” run by her husband, Mark, and spending time with her husband and children.