Fall 2018
Dear Alumni and Friends,

In 1990, Dr. David Fox took on the role as chief for the Division of Rheumatology at Michigan Medicine - the longest serving chief at Michigan. Fast forward 28 years and David has decided to step down as division chief to focus on his already highly successful research program.

This fall, we have the opportunity to honor David’s incredible legacy through a series of celebrations. We hope you can join our reception during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual meeting on Saturday, October 20. The reception details are included below. In addition, to see the complete list of abstracts being presented by our faculty at the ACR meeting, click here .

The University of Michigan also recently hosted a formal reception in Ann Arbor in honor of Dr. Fox on September 24. Please see the article in this issue and the video message from our Department of Internal Medicine Chair, Dr. John Carethers.

Dr. Fox's contributions to Michigan Rheumatology during his tenure have been extraordinary and unparalleled:
  • The division has grown to over 40 faculty members
  • Seven endowed professorships have been created
  • The division boasts a highly successful Lupus Program and the nation’s largest Scleroderma Program
  • We are the only division in the country to receive NIH funding to establish both a Clinical and Basic Autoimmunity Center of Excellence
  • The outpatient service has expanded from a single site at the main hospital in 1990 to clinics in Northville, Brighton, Ypsilanti, and three locations in Ann Arbor
  • The latest US News & World Report ranks us at #1 in Michigan and #11 in the nation

This fall we also celebrate a number of faculty promotions:
  • Dr. Vladimir Ognenovski was promoted to Clinical Associate Professor
  • Dr. Amber Young was promoted to Clinical Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Michelle Kahlenberg was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure

Please visit our  rheumatology website  to stay up to date on our latest work and we hope to see you at the ACR National Meeting. 


Raymond Yung, MB, ChB
Interim Chief, Division of Rheumatology
Chief, Division of Geriatric and Palliative Medicine 
Professor of Internal Medicine
Michigan Medicine Alumni Reception 
in Honor of Dr. David Fox
To honor the work of Dr. David Fox, we invite you to an alumni reception during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting.

Saturday, October 20, 2018
ACR Annual Meeting
Palmer House Hilton, Mezzanine Level
17 East Monroe Street, Chicago, IL 60603
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Dr. John Carethers, Chair, Department of Internal Medicine at Michigan Medicine, shares his thoughts and gratitude for Dr. Fox's outstanding service and also unveils the launch of the David Fox Professorship in Rheumatology - click here to watch the video . To make a gift to the Professorship Fund, click here .

For questions, contact Donna Cash / (734) 936-5566
Growing Scientific Collaboration Around Relapsing Polychondritis
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Seven Lions, The Symphony Room
130 S. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60603
6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Located across from the Art Institute of Chicago. Cocktails and light refreshments will be provided.

We hope you can also join us for a "meeting of the minds" - an open forum to discuss relapsing polychondritis (RP) and how we can work together to advance the pace of discovery for this rare condition.

To appropriately plan for the event, we kindly ask for your RSVP - click here .
Wendy Marder, MD, Clinical Service Chief
Dear Alumni and Friends,

In this issue is a faculty spotlight article on Dr. Jason Knight, whose work with systemic lupus and the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome has made him a leader in the field. Dr. Knight is a “go-to” expert for challenging clinical cases such as obstetric APS and CAPS (catastrophic antiphospholipid antibody syndrome).

The ACR meeting starts later this week in Chicago. Please see the complete list of abstracts to be presented by your U-M colleagues. The U-M Rheumatology Alumni reception will be held on Saturday, October 20 at 7:00 PM at the Mezzanine Level of the Palmer House Hilton in Downtown Chicago - details above. We hope to see you there!


Wendy Marder, MD
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology
Clinical Service Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Internal Medicin
Dr. Fox - A Victor for Michigan, A Champion for All
On September 24, fellows and faculty from Dr. David A. Fox’s past and present came together to honor his 28 years of service as Chief of Rheumatology. Several faculty members came to the podium to share sentimental and tongue-in-cheek memories. 

Dr. John M. Carethers, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, spoke to the crowd of nearly 100 guests, recounting the timeline of Dr. Fox’s service as chief. He also spoke of Dr. Fox's accomplishments and announced the intention to establish the David A. Fox MD Professorship in Rheumatology .

It was a wonderful evening sharing memories of Dr. Fox and all the contributions he has made to the Division of Rheumatology.

Faculty Spotlight - Jason Knight, MD, PhD
Jason S. Knight, MD, PhD , earned both his MD and PhD degrees from the University of Michigan, and completed the majority of his PhD thesis while at the University of Pennsylvania, due to the relocation of his thesis advisor. He completed his residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of Michigan.

His research is generally focused on lupus - specifically antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL), which are a particular type of autoantibody present in 30-40% of lupus patients.
Dr. Knight’s goal is to find a cure for antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), by better understanding the pathophysiology of this condition. He and his team have developed an APS cohort/biobank that includes 100 unique patients. His goal is to triple that number within 5 years – a realistic goal, as the University of Michigan saw 455 patients with a diagnosis of APS in 2017 alone.

In 2018, Dr. Knight and his team have identified a receptor on neutrophils that, when activated, can prevent the release of inflammatory structures called neutrophil extracellular traps or NETs. His work in cell culture and animal models suggests that this discovery may lead to an effective treatment for conditions such as APS, ANCA-associated vasculitis, and Behçet’s disease.

Correction to 2018 Rheuminations Newsletter - Updates to Dr. Amr Sawalha's Faculty Spotlight have been made. Please click here to read the full article.
Team U-M Makes Big Impact on The Hill
Team U-M, consisting of fellow Dr. Adam Kilian and patients Shannon and Cindy Bourke, represented the Division of Rheumatology at the annual American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Patient Advocacy Meeting that took place September 23 - September 25 in Washington D.C.

As advocates, Team U-M had the opportunity on behalf of all patients with arthritic diseases to share their concerns with, and be heard by, State Congressional Representatives.

The morning segment focused on the current political landscape and its impact on health care policy. In the afternoon, the Educational Program focused on current legislative and regulatory issues facing the rheumatology community, and included a special talk from Angus Worthington, MD, chair of the ACR's Government Affairs Committee. The day concluded with dinner and a chance to meet and speak with other advocates from across the United States.

During the Monday session, the team was provided with the “Legislative Requests” or ”Asks”, which they would bring to the Hill during their meetings the next day. Their legislative requests included "Instead of Fail First, Put Patients First", supporting improved access to osteoporosis testing in medicine, and creating a standalone Arthritis Research Program at the Department of Defense. Read more and view photos .
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD, and Johann E. Gudjonsson, MD, PhD, have been awarded the first Taubman Institute Innovative Program (TIIP) Grant. Their project titled “Personalized Medicine through Integration of Immune Phenotypes in Autoimmune Skin Disease” will utilize novel technologies and computational medicine to study the immune responses in the skin and blood of lupus and psoriasis patients and how these responses change with disease flares and medication responses. This information will be linked with genetic and transcriptional data to develop a full picture of immune dysfunction in these patients. This integration of bioinformatics with translational medicine will allow for new insights into disease pathogenesis and predictors of treatment responses with the goal to develop personalized medicine in autoimmune diseases.
Awards & Recognition
Masters of the American College of Rheumatology
David Fox, MD, and Timothy Laing, MD, will be inducted as Masters of the American College of Rheumatology at this year’s ACR Annual Meeting.
Together with Bruce Richardson, MD, PhD, and Joseph McCune, MD, the Rheumatology Division will have the rare distinction of a single program with four ACR Masters.
J. Michelle Kahlenberg, MD, PhD, received the Lupus Foundation of America’s 2018 Mary Betty Stevens Young Investigator Prize , which will be given out at the Evelyn V. Hess Award Reception during the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) National Scientific Meeting in Chicago.

When asked about the award, Dr. Kahlenberg stated, “I have seen many talented lupus researchers receive this award, and to be included in that group is an enormous honor that is truly humbling. My lupus patients motivate me and drive the work I’m doing every day. Some of them suffer from the symptoms of the disease itself, while others suffer from the side effects of treatments. We need to do better to understand the reasons for the disease so that we can have more effective and better treatments to stop it.”

The awards reception will take place on Sunday, October 21 from 6:00 - 9:00 pm at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago. Click here for details and how to RSVP.
Beth Wallace, MD, MSc, has been invited to join the American College of Rheumatology Early Career Investigator (ECI) subcommittee of the Committee on Research. The ECI is responsible for serving the needs of junior faculty pursuing careers in academic rheumatology. Activities include planning educational sessions tailored for junior faculty at the ACR’s Annual Meeting, developing and administering the newly launched ACR adult rheumatology mentorship program (CARMA), and planning the annual ACR Rheumatology Research Workshop conference. Dr. Wallace replaces Dr. Kahlenberg, who has served on this committee for the past three years.
Eliza Tsou, PhD,  was inaugurated as the Edward T. and Ellen K. Dryer Early Career Professor in Rheumatology. The professorship's intent is to support a faculty member in the first decade of his or her career as an independent researcher.

The Dryer Foundation stated, "Giving young faculty members a solid footing for success would have pleased the Dryers. Ed was a great believer in giving people a chance. He and Ellen would have been thrilled to support up-and-coming researchers and physicians."

Division Chief David Fox, MD stated, "The Division of Rheumatology is deeply grateful for the foundation’s foresight and commitment to progress. This professorship will give faculty members a solid footing from which to push their discoveries forward and build their careers. It will ensure that promising work toward curing arthritis continues."

(L to R): Husband, Yi-Chen Chen, PhD; son: Anthony Chen; daughter: Annabelle Chen; Eliza Tsou, PhD; and daughter: Alexis Chen
(L to R): John Carethers, MD, MACP; Eliza Tsou, PhD; Carol Bradford, MD, MS; David Fox, MD
Join Us in November for the Update in Rheumatic Diseases

On Saturday, November 10, we will offer a full-day CME event, Update in Rheumatic Diseases at the Kensington Hotel in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

The program begins with registration at 8:00 am, and will feature many of our esteemed faculty: Dinesh Khanna, Amr Sawalha, Joe McCune, David Fox, Puja Khanna, Wendy Marder, Jason Knight, and Michelle Kahlenberg. We hope you will be able to join us!

For complete details and to register, click here .