NIAMS faculty lead the way in innovative research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases. They are listed alphabetically below, followed by the leads of our core facilities.

Timothy Bhattacharyya portrait image

Timothy Bhattacharyya, M.D.

Head, Clinical and Investigative Orthopaedics Surgery Unit

Dr. Bhattacharyya's research involves studying and analyzing orthopaedic outcomes using a variety of clinical data sources. His team is interested in hip fractures, hip infections, joint replacement, atypical femur fractures, and nonunions.

Isaac Brownell portrait image

Isaac Brownell, M.D., Ph.D.

Head, Cutaneous Development and Carcinogenesis Section
Senior Investigator, Dermatology Branch

Dr. Brownell is a board-certified dermatologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He directs a research program that includes basic, translational, and clinical investigations of skin homeostasis and skin cancer.

Rafael Casellas portrait image.

Rafael Casellas, Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Molecular Immunogenetics
Adjunct Investigator, National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Dr. Casellas' research aims to unravel the molecular mechanisms driving early development and peripheral activation of B lymphocytes.

Robert Colbert portrait image.

Robert Colbert, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief, Pediatric Translational Research Branch
Clinical Director, NIAMS

Dr. Colbert's research focuses on understanding the pathogenesis of chronic inflammation and its impact on the structural remodeling of bone in spondyloarthritic diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis.

Edward Cowen portrait image.

Edward W. Cowen, M.D., M.H.Sc.

Acting Branch Chief, Dermatology Branch
Senior Clinician and Head, Dermatology Consultation Service

Dr. Cowen leads the NIH Dermatology Consultation Service, conducts independent and collaborative research, and oversees the continuing medication education-accredited Dermatology Grand Rounds, Branch Clinical Fellowship, and resident education programs.

Luis Franco portrait image.

Luis M. Franco, M.D.

Earl Stadtman Investigator, NIH Distinguished Scholar, Systemic Autoimmunity Branch

Dr. Franco's research applies functional genomics approaches to the solution of medically important questions related to the immune system.

Massimo Gadina portrait image.

Massimo Gadina, Ph.D.

Director, Office of Science and Technology
Chief, Translational Immunology Section

Dr. Gadina's research strives to develop cutting-edge immune monitoring technology. His lab develops accurate and reproducible immune-monitoring assays, which are essential to determining the immune responses in patients receiving novel immune therapies, and ultimately transitioning these therapies from the clinical trial phase to standard of care.

Brian Glancy portrait image.

Brian Glancy, Ph.D.

Earl Stadtman Investigator, Muscle Energetics Laboratory

Dr. Glancy's research focuses on determining how mitochondria are optimized within muscle cells to help maintain energy homeostasis during the large change in energy demand caused by muscle contraction.

Pravitt Gourh portrait image.

Pravitt Gourh, M.D.

Head, Scleroderma Genomics and Health Disparities Unit

Dr. Gourh is a board-certified rheumatologist with a long-standing interest in scleroderma. He directs a translational research program focused on understanding the genetics of scleroderma, biomarker discovery, and disease classification.

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Peter Grayson, M.D.

Head, Vasculitis Translational Research Program

Dr. Grayson's research interests include clinical and translational research in vasculitis with a focus on biomarker discovery, gene expression profiling, clinical trials, and disease classification.

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Markus Hafner, Ph.D.

Head, RNA Molecular Biology Group

Dr. Hafner's research focuses on dissecting the composition of ribonucleoproteins (RNPs) involved in cellular RNA transport and control of RNA stability. This is a prerequisite for understanding the consequences of dysregulation and/or mutation of RNA-binding proteins (RBPs), and/or their target RNA-binding sites in disease.

Sarafaz Hasni portrait image.

Sarfaraz Hasni, M.D.

Head, Lupus Clinical Trials Unit

Dr. Hasni conducts innovative translational and clinical research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of lupus.

Mariana Kaplan portrait image.

Mariana Kaplan, M.D.

Chief, Systemic Autoimmunity Branch
Acting Director, Lupus Clinical Trials Unit

Dr. Kaplan's research focuses on unraveling the fundamental mechanisms that lead to the development and perpetuation of systemic autoimmune disorders, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and their associated organ damage.

James D. Katz portrait image

James Katz, M.D.

Chief, Community Research and Care

Dr. Katz's clinical research focuses on myositis and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). He is passionate about graduate medical education and is interested in medical taxonomy.

Hanna Kim portrait image

Hanna Kim, M.D., M.S.

Head, Juvenile Myositis Therapeutic and Translational Studies Unit
Assistant Clinical Investigator, Pediatric Translational Research Branch

Dr. Kim's research investigates the pathogenetic role of interferon and identifies treatment response and prognostic biomarkers in juvenile myositis.

Heidi Kong portrait image.

Heidi H. Kong, M.D., M.H.Sc

Head, Cutaneous Microbiome and Inflammation Section
Senior Investigator, Dermatology Branch

Dr. Kong's research focuses on the skin microbiome in healthy individuals with the goal of expanding our understanding of host-microbe interactions. Her section also works to understand the role of microbes in eczematous skin diseases, including atopic dermatitis.

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Laura B. Lewandowski, M.D.

Head, Lupus Genomics and Global Health Disparities Unit
Assistant Clinical Investigator, Systemic Autoimmunity Branch

Dr. Lewandowski's research studies the genetics of early-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients in populations around the globe and the genetic drivers of severe disease and inflammation in diverse cohorts worldwide.

Andrew Mammen portrait image.

Andrew Mammen, M.D., Ph.D.

Head, Muscle Disease Unit

Dr. Mammen's research focuses on understanding the fundamental mechanisms of disease in different types of myositis, including dermatomyositis, polymyositis, statin-triggered necrotizing myopathy, and inclusion body myositis. The ultimate goal is to establish more effective treatments for patients with all forms of myositis.

Maria I. Morasso, Ph.D.

Maria Morasso, Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Skin Biology

Dr. Morasso's research focuses on the molecular processes that contribute to epidermal differentiation and barrier formation, appendage development, and the mechanisms underlying the pathologies of ectodermal dysplasias (EDs)

Keisuke Nagao portrait image.

Keisuke Nagao, M.D., Ph.D.

Head, Cutaneous Leukocyte Biology Section
Senior Investigator, Dermatology Branch

Dr. Nagao’s research focuses on cellular and molecular mechanisms that regulate immunological and structural homeostasis in the skin.

Michael J. Ombrello portrait image

Michael Ombrello, M.D.

Head, Translational Genetics and Genomics Unit

Dr. Ombrello's research applies integrated genomic approaches to investigate autoinflammatory and rheumatic diseases, seeking to understand the mechanisms through which disease-associated genetic variants participate in disease pathophysiology.

Portrait of John O'Shea.

John O'Shea, M.D.

Chief, Molecular Immunology and Inflammation Branch
Scientific Director, NIAMS

Dr. O'Shea’s research studies how the engagement of cytokine receptors transduce signals that, in turn, regulate transcription factors and epigenetic events to modulate gene expression. Another goal is to understand how T cells participate in host defense and contribute to the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases.

Vittorio Sarorelli portrait image.

Vittorio Sartorelli, M.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Muscle Stem Cells and Gene Regulation
Deputy Scientific Director, NIAMS

Dr. Sartorelli's research focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms subtending specification, differentiation, and regeneration of skeletal muscle cells. His lab pursues these studies by combining cellular and molecular biological approaches, genomic and proteomic-based systems-biology, bioinformatics, and animal models.

Keith Sikora portrait image

Keith Sikora, M.D.

Head, Juvenile Arthritis Pathogenesis Unit

Dr. Sikora's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that underlie the development of inflammatory arthritis and cartilage inflammation in children. His unit studies juvenile-onset spondyloarthritis, which often develops into AS, a form of inflammatory arthritis.

Martha Somerman portrait.

Martha Somerman, D.D.S., Ph.D.

Chief, Laboratory of Oral Connective Tissue Biology

Dr. Somerman's research studies the molecular biology of dental-oral-craniofacial development, with a focus on the periodontal complex. The aim is to understand cells and signals influencing tooth, bone, and periodontal ligament development in order to identify improved regenerative strategies.

Michael Ward portrait image.

Michael Ward, M.D.

Chief, Clinical Trials and Outcomes Branch

Dr. Ward's research studies health outcomes and outcome measures in patients with rheumatic diseases.

Paul Wingfield, Ph.D. portrait image

Paul Wingfield, Ph.D.

Chief, Protein Expression Laboratory

Dr. Wingfield supports intramural NIH scientists in studying the structure and function of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) proteins. Most structural biology techniques, especially those for studying the three-dimensional structures of proteins, require large quantities of highly purified, monodisperse, and correctly folded proteins.

Core Facility Leads

Stefania Dell'Orso, Ph.D.

Chief, Genomic Technology Section

Dr. Dell'Orso's section is a multi-disciplinary genomics facility that supports NIAMS investigators with the latest on DNA sequencing and library preparation technologies.

Davide Randazzo, Ph.D.

Chief, Light Imaging Section

Dr. Randazzo focuses on the use of light microscopy techniques to elucidate poorly understood aspects of skeletal muscle cell biology, i.e. the organization of microtubules and their associated subcellular organelles, particularly the Golgi complex. In addition, his section strives to apply new modalities of light microscopy to the quantitative analysis of skeletal muscle pathologies.

Hong-Wei Sun portrait image.

Hong-Wei Sun, Ph.D.

Chief, Biodata Mining and Discovery Section

Dr. Sun focuses on applying computational approaches of data sciences to biomedical research.

Last Updated: April 2021