Marcela Ferrada, M.D., earned her medical degree at the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia. When she came to the United States, she completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she also spent one year as chief resident. She completed a dual fellowship in critical care medicine at the National Institutes of Health and in infectious diseases at Johns Hopkins Hospital. 

In 2015, Dr. Ferrada was diagnosed with relapsing polychondritis, a rare autoimmune rheumatic disorder, and changed her career focus to studying the condition. She completed a rheumatology fellowship at the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. 

Dr. Ferrada is board certified in internal medicine, critical care, infectious diseases, and rheumatology. She is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor medical society at the University of Miami. She is the recipient of several awards, including the Distinguished Fellow Award from the American College of Rheumatology in 2018, the Outstanding Research Award from the Rheumatism Society of the District of Columbia in 2018, the Lawrence Shulman Scholar Award in 2019, and the NIH Director's Award in 2021.  

Dr. Ferrada has been pivotal in recruiting and evaluating patients on the first available prospective cohort of patients with relapsing polychondritis at NIH and has become a world leader in the field. She has given several grand rounds in academic institutions and international meetings about relapsing polychondritis.

Research Statement

Dr. Ferrada focuses her clinical research on relapsing polychondritis and VEXAS (Vacuoles, E1 enzyme, X-linked, Autoinflammatory, Somatic) syndrome. Primarily, her research has concentrated on defining clinical subgroups of patients with relapsing polychondritis and VEXAS syndrome. She also is interested in developing tools to assess disease activity in relapsing polychondritis as well as treatments for relapsing polychondritis and VEXAS. 

Scientific Publications

Translation of cytoplasmic UBA1 contributes to VEXAS syndrome pathogenesis.

Ferrada MA, Savic S, Cardona DO, Collins JC, Alessi H, Gutierrez-Rodrigues F, Kumar DBU, Wilson L, Goodspeed W, Topilow JS, Paik JJ, Poulter JA, Kermani TA, Koster MJ, Warrington KJ, Cargo C, Tattersall RS, Duncan CJA, Cantor A, Hoffmann P, Payne EM, Bonnekoh H, Krause K, Cowen EW, Calvo KR, Patel BA, Ombrello AK, Kastner DL, Young NS, Werner A, Grayson PC, Beck DB
2022 Sep 29;
doi: 10.1182/blood.2022016985
PMID: 35793467

VEXAS Syndrome and Disease Taxonomy in Rheumatology.

Grayson PC, Beck DB, Ferrada MA, Nigrovic PA, Kastner DL
Arthritis Rheumatol.
2022 Nov;
doi: 10.1002/art.42258
PMID: 35696333

A prospective observational cohort study and systematic review of 40 patients with mouth and genital ulcers with inflamed cartilage (MAGIC) syndrome.

Luo Y, Bolek EC, Quinn KA, Wells K, Rose E, Sikora K, Goodspeed W, Rominger E, Kilic L, Karadag O, Clark C, Livinski AA, Grayson PC, Ferrada MA
Semin Arthritis Rheum.
2022 Feb;
doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2021.10.007
PMID: 34972595

Discordance in patient and physician global assessment in relapsing polychondritis.

Rose E, Ferrada MA, Quinn KA, Arnaud L, Goodspeed W, Kim J, Allen C, Sirajuddin A, Chen M, Grayson PC
Rheumatology (Oxford).
2022 May 5;
doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keab587
PMID: 34559216

Somatic Mutations in UBA1 Define a Distinct Subset of Relapsing Polychondritis Patients With VEXAS.

Ferrada MA, Sikora KA, Luo Y, Wells KV, Patel B, Groarke EM, Ospina Cardona D, Rominger E, Hoffmann P, Le MT, Deng Z, Quinn KA, Rose E, Tsai WL, Wigerblad G, Goodspeed W, Jones A, Wilson L, Schnappauf O, Laird RS, Kim J, Allen C, Sirajuddin A, Chen M, Gadina M, Calvo KR, Kaplan MJ, Colbert RA, Aksentijevich I, Young NS, Savic S, Kastner DL, Ombrello AK, Beck DB, Grayson PC
Arthritis Rheumatol.
2021 Oct;
doi: 10.1002/art.41743
PMID: 33779074

Somatic Mutations in UBA1 and Severe Adult-Onset Autoinflammatory Disease.

Beck DB, Ferrada MA, Sikora KA, Ombrello AK, Collins JC, Pei W, Balanda N, Ross DL, Ospina Cardona D, Wu Z, Patel B, Manthiram K, Groarke EM, Gutierrez-Rodrigues F, Hoffmann P, Rosenzweig S, Nakabo S, Dillon LW, Hourigan CS, Tsai WL, Gupta S, Carmona-Rivera C, Asmar AJ, Xu L, Oda H, Goodspeed W, Barron KS, Nehrebecky M, Jones A, Laird RS, Deuitch N, Rowczenio D, Rominger E, Wells KV, Lee CR, Wang W, Trick M, Mullikin J, Wigerblad G, Brooks S, Dell'Orso S, Deng Z, Chae JJ, Dulau-Florea A, Malicdan MCV, Novacic D, Colbert RA, Kaplan MJ, Gadina M, Savic S, Lachmann HJ, Abu-Asab M, Solomon BD, Retterer K, Gahl WA, Burgess SM, Aksentijevich I, Young NS, Calvo KR, Werner A, Kastner DL, Grayson PC
N Engl J Med.
2020 Dec 31;
doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2026834
PMID: 33108101

Defining Clinical Subgroups in Relapsing Polychondritis: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study.

Ferrada M, Rimland CA, Quinn K, Sikora K, Kim J, Allen C, Sirajuddin A, Goodspeed W, Chen M, Grayson PC
Arthritis Rheumatol.
2020 Aug;
doi: 10.1002/art.41270
PMID: 32249511


Lawrence Shulman Scholar
Scholar (2021)

Rheumatology Fellowship (2016)

Critical Care Fellowship (2015)

Johns Hopkins Hospital
Infectious Diseases Fellowship (2014)


NIH Critical Care Medicine Department
Staff clinician 2015-2016

Johns Hopkins Hospital Infectious Diseases Department
Attending Physician 2015-2016

Last Updated: September 2022