Summer 2019
Dear Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,
I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer and enjoying spending time with family and friends!

As many of you know, Dr. Robert Ike retired from the University of Michigan at the end of June 2019. We owe Dr. Ike a big thank you for his dedication and loyalty to our academic, clinical, and teaching programs. We anticipate him to continue to contribute to our Division’s education mission as an active emeritus faculty. Please join me in wishing him the very best in this next exciting phase of his life! You can learn more about Dr. Ike and his work below.

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting is taking place November 8 - 13 in Atlanta, Georgia. This meeting is a highlight of the year for our Division as it gives us the opportunity to showcase what our faculty have been working on, learn about the research other institutions have conducted, and reconnect with friends and colleagues. You can learn more about the meeting here .

I would like to congratulate Dr. J. Michelle Kahlenberg on being named the inaugural Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professor in Rheumatology. This is an esteemed honor and is well-deserved. The inauguration took place on July 23 in the Kahn Auditorium. You can view pictures from the event below. Additionally, Dr. Kahlenberg is a recipient of this year's Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This is the highest honor the United States government bestows on scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and is an outstanding achievement for Dr. Kahlenberg!

In addition, Dr. Jason Knight was recently named the Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research, effective September 1, 2019. Please help me in congratulating Dr. Knight on this wonderful achievement!

Finally, please help me in welcoming our new fellows to the Division who began on July 1. I look forward to watching them grow, both professionally and personally, and wish them good luck on their new and exciting journey.

We hope you will share your comments and suggestions with us at umrheumatologydivision@umich.edu . And please visit our  Division of Rheumatology  website to learn more about our research, patient care, and education and training efforts.
Interim Chief, Division of Rheumatology
Professor of Internal Medicine
Robert Ike, MD
Robert Ike, MD , Associate Professor Emeritus of Internal Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology, received his undergraduate degree in Zoology and MS degree in Microbiology from the University of Michigan. He went on to complete his MD training at the University of Chicago and Internal Medicine residency at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Ike returned to Michigan for his Rheumatology Fellowship, and was recruited to the Division of Rheumatology in 1985 as an Instructor of Internal Medicine. Between 1985 and 1986, he spent time at the Augustana Hospital and Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago learning about arthroscopy, a skill that he brought back to Ann Arbor to the benefit of our patients. Dr. Ike has since become a pioneer in rheumatological procedures at Michigan and around the country, performing hundreds, if not thousands, of joint injections, ultrasound, arthroscopies, and lip and muscle biopsies over the last three decades. An astute teacher and scholar, Dr. Ike is responsible for training generations of Michigan rheumatology fellows in rheumatological procedures and the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in clinical practice.

Dr. Ike has held a number of leadership positions in our Division throughout the years, including serving as the Director of the Rheumatology Inpatient and Consultation Services, Director of the Interventional Rheumatology Program, and led the Pathology Conference for several years. He has also been active regionally and nationally, serving as Chair of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Special Committee for Arthroscopy Data Standards, Chair of the ACR Arthroscopy Study Group, Chair of the ACR Task Force on Musculoskeletal Ultrasound, and Vice President and President of the Michigan Rheumatism Society. Dr. Ike is well-published with over 50 papers, at least 13 book chapters, and over 50 scientific abstracts. In recognition of his academic prowess and contributions, he rose through the ranks and was promoted to Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Department of Internal Medicine in 1994.
Faculty Spotlight - Eliza PS Tsou, PhD
Eliza PS Tsou, PhD, Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Early Career Professor of Rheumatology and Research, is a Research Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology where she conducts translational research in the field of systemic sclerosis. Dr. Tsou’s interests and experience in scientific research are cross-disciplinary within Pharmacology and Rheumatology. She has established herself as an integral member of the U-M Scleroderma Program, with a specific focus on epigenetic regulations in scleroderma pathogenesis.  Learn more about Dr. Tsou and her research .
In the News
David Fox, MD sheds light on the two most common types of arthritis, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Read more on Michigan Medicine
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD  helps to discover a potential root cause for why women get autoimmune diseases far more often than men. Read more on Michigan Medicine Health Lab .
Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc creates a website to help patients learn more about scleroderma, and how to manage their symptoms and self-advocate. Read more on Michigan Medicine Health Blog .

Dr. Khanna also discusses his recent study that assessed the safety and efficacy of abatacept in patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis.
Clinical Research Coordinator Monica Sanborn, RN, BSN, recognized for her work on the Scleroderma Lung Study III, discusses the study, what they hope to achieve, and why it’s important. Read more on Department of Internal Medicine News .
An interdisciplinary team, led by Emily
Somers, PhD, ScM , discovers that a higher dietary intake of omega-3 rich foods is favorably associated with patient‐reported outcomes in lupus. Read more on Lupus Foundation of America .
Gene-Environment Interaction Pathways in
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Disease risk in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is affected by both genetic and environmental factors. In recent studies, using a mouse model of RA, Joseph Holoshitz, MD and his research group uncovered a previously unrecognized mechanism that explains how genetic risk factor for RA and an environmental pollutant work together to amplify experimental disease development.

The newly funded project, "Gene-Environment Interaction Pathways in Rheumatoid Arthritis", will identify cellular pathways that mediate the increased risk and disease severity. These studies could enable future identification of new treatment strategies in RA.

Lear more about our Research .
Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professorship in Rheumatology
The Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professorship in Rheumatology inaugural celebration, honoring  J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD , took place on July 23. This professorship was created with an endowed estate gift from Dr. Mulkey in honor of Dr. Bole's legacy, along with generous alumni contributions also made in memory of Dr. Bole. Learn more about Dr. Kahlenberg, Dr. Bole, and Dr. Mulkey .

To make a gift to the Giles G. Bole, MD and Dorothy Mulkey, MD Research Professorship in Rheumatology gift fund, please click here .
Congratulations to Ora Gewurz-Singer, MD on her promotion to Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Jason Knight, MD, PhD on his promotion to Associate Professor of Internal Medicine.
Awards, Honors & Recognition
A reception was held on June 25, 2019 in recognition and deep appreciation of Timothy Laing, MD , Associate Professor in the Division of Rheumatology, for his service as Senior Associate Chair for Clinical Programs for the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Laing has been instrumental in the expansion of the Department's clinical programs, locations, systems, quality, and finances. The Department owes much of the success in its clinical growth to the leadership of Dr. Laing, who held this role since March 1998.
David Fox, MD selected for the
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) .
Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc reappointed as the Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology.
Jason Knight, MD, PhD  named the Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research.

He also received the Department of Internal Medicine Jerome W. Conn Award for Excellence in Research by a Junior Faculty Member .
W. Joseph McCune, MD reappointed as the Michael H. and Marcia S. Klein Professor of Rheumatic Diseases.
Seetha Monrad, MD to be inducted into the Michigan Medicine Chapter of the  Gold Humanism Honor Society and selected as the keynote speaker for the 2020 Induction Ceremony.
Raymond Yung, MB, ChB  received the Department of Internal Medicine Chair’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Department .
Trip to Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
W. Joseph McCune, MD spent a week in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia as a guest of former fellow, Dr. Mousa Al Abbas. While there, he attended the Lupus Conference, which was organized by the Saudi Rheumatism Association. It was well attended and included many trainees. Dr. McCune stated that a review of the Saudi lupus cohort was notable for overall excellent patient outcomes and remarkable preservation of renal function in nephritis patients.

While there, he was able to take some time to sightsee and enjoy the local cuisine. "Al Khobar is in the Eastern Provinces with a lovely coastline along the Persian Gulf that is popular with families, children, and runners. Fishing is a major industry and I was treated to many delightful meals for which the first step was to choose from a display of freshly caught fish on ice to be grilled," says Dr. McCune. "I am grateful for Mousa’s gracious hospitality and the opportunity to tour the region and meet his family and friends."
Education & Training
Rheumatology Fellowship Program Graduation Ceremony
The Division of Rheumatology celebrated the graduation of our 2017-2019 Fellows on Thursday, June 20, 2019. This celebration included an awards ceremony to recognize our Fellows for their accomplishments.
Ryan Massay, MB BS received the William D. Robinson Award , given to a Fellow in recognition of overall accomplishments during training. Dr. Massay was nominated by Seetha Monrad, MD.
Jackie Madison, MD received the Thomas D. Palella Award, given to a Fellow who has shown exceptional talent in the
area of teaching. Dr. Madison was nominated by W. Joseph
McCune, MD.
The Division of Rheumatology also recognized Jonatan Hervoso with the Abraham Grant Award . This award is given to a student who has excelled in research in our Division. Jonatan was nominated by David Fox, MD. 
This year’s Fellows also gave out awards of their own. The first annual Julie C. Welch Award was presented to Julie Welch for exemplary service to the Fellowship Program.
David Roofeh, MD also presented Wendy Marder, MD and Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc with his own Excellence in Mentorship Award .
We wish our graduating Fellows all the best in their future careers!
  • Adam Kilian, MD
  • Andrew Lewandoski, DO
  • Ryan Massay, MB BS
  • David Roofeh, MD
Welcome to Our New Fellows
  • Katie Chakrabarti, MD (Residency - University of Michigan)
  • Stephanie Lazar, MD (Residency - University of Michigan)
  • Meriah Moore, MD (Residency - Virginia Mason Medical Center)
  • Anne Murphy, MD (Residency - University of Michigan; Dual Fellowship - Adult/Pediatric Rheumatology)
  • Ajay Tambralli, MD (Residency - University of Rochester; Dual Fellowship - Adult/Pediatric Rheumatology)

Update in Rheumatic Diseases

Saturday, September 14, 2019
The Kensington Hotel , Ann Arbor, Michigan

This full day course, directed by Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc, will educate health care providers on the most up-to-date management and treatment options for different rheumatic diseases, leading to improved patient outcomes. We hope you will be able to join us! Learn more and register .
Make a Gift
Your gift to the Division of Rheumatology can help support patient care-related activities, academic activities of our fellowship program, and numerous research areas including rheumatoid arthritis, antiphospholipid syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, vascular disease, spondyloarthropathies, gout, and autoimmune eye diseases.

To make a gift, please visit the  Rheumatology online giving page  to view the different funds available.