Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Profiles
John  Varga, MD

John Varga, MD

Director, Northwestern Scleroderma

John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor of Rheumatology

Professor of Medicine (Rheumatology), Dermatology and Pharmacology

Focus of Work

Bio

Our translational laboratory research focuses on fibrosis, tissue repair and regeneration. Aberrant tissue repair is prominent in autoimmune diseases (scleroderma, myositis, lupus) and in organ-based disorders (pulmonary and liver fibrosis, glomerulosclerosis, hypertrophic scar), and are considered intractable. Aberrant tissue regeneration also underlie aging and obesity. Fibrosis contributes to 30% of all death worldwide, and thus represents a compelling and urgent scientific challenge.

We bel...[Read full text]
Our translational laboratory research focuses on fibrosis, tissue repair and regeneration. Aberrant tissue repair is prominent in autoimmune diseases (scleroderma, myositis, lupus) and in organ-based disorders (pulmonary and liver fibrosis, glomerulosclerosis, hypertrophic scar), and are considered intractable. Aberrant tissue regeneration also underlie aging and obesity. Fibrosis contributes to 30% of all death worldwide, and thus represents a compelling and urgent scientific challenge.

We believe that fibrosis is in fact potentially reversible. To advance the development of effective anti-fibrotic interventions, we need to understand the cells, molecules, pathways and genes underlying the development, progression and resolution of fibrosis. To this end, we study inflammation, macrophage and vascular biology, extracellular matrix, stromal cell progenitors and mesenchymal stem cells, and the dynamic interplay between them.

Building on my experience as a practicing clinician and basic scientist, my laboratory takes an integrated "systems-biology" multi-disciplinary approach to inflammation and fibrosis. We use human tissue, genetic materials and animal models and cell biology and computational approaches to discover and validate novel targets for therapy, identify genetic risk factors and biomarkers. We then proceed to translate these discoveries into clinically relevant approaches and assess them in human clinical trials. Our translational research leverages the unique resources of our extensive patient registry and biorepository, as well as the NUGene DNA bank. We have extensive intra- and extramural collaborations, and thrive on a team research approach. Current extra-mural research partners include University of Pittsburgh, Washington University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Medical University of South Carolina, Yale University, Southwestern, Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic.[Shorten text]

Keywords


Education and Certification

  • MD: New York U (1980)
  • Residency: Rhode Island Hospital (1983)
  • Fellowship: Boston University Medical Center (1985)
  • Board Certification: Internal Medicine, Rheumatology