John Varga

  • 21424 Citations
1984 …2021
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Personal profile

Research Interests

Our translational laboratory research focuses on inflammation, 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, cardiac fibrosis, hypertrophic scar and radiotherapy injury), and are currently considered intractable. Aberrant tissue regeneration also underlie aging and obesity. Fibrosis contributes to greater than 30% of all death worldwide, and thus represents a compelling and urgent scientific challenge. We believe that fibrosis is in fact potentially reversible as well as preventable. 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 seek to translate these discoveries into clinically relevant approaches and assess them in human clinical trials. Our translational research leverages the unique resources of our data-rich 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, Virginia Commonwealth and the Mayo Clinic, as well as the NIH.

Systemic sclerosis, Raynaud disease, pulmonary fibrosis; cardiac fibrosis, multi-organ fibrosis; inflammation and autoimmunity Early-stage proof-of-concept clinical trials; target validation

1. patient-oriented "bench-to-bedside" research (basic laboratory research, genetics, genomics, drug discovery, clinical intervention trials) 2. Training and education (fellows, residents, medical and MSTP students) 3. Clinical care delivery, integration and optimization; integrated Northwestern Scleroderma Program; team-based care 4. Up To Date 5. textbook editing

Certifications and Licenses

Internal Medicine
Rheumatology

Training Experience

1983Residency, Rhode Island Hospital
1985Fellowship, Boston University Medical Center

Education/Academic qualification

MD, New York University

… → 1980

Keywords

  • Autoimmune Diseases
  • Big Data
  • Connective Tissue Associated Interstitial Lung Disease
  • Connective Tissue Biology
  • Cutaneous Biology
  • Fibrosis
  • Genetics
  • Inflammation
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells

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Grants 1993 2021

Research Output 1984 2019

Emerging targets of disease-modifying therapy for systemic sclerosis

Volkmann, E. R. & Varga, J., Jan 1 2019, In : Nature Reviews Rheumatology.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Systemic Scleroderma
Blood Vessels
Therapeutics
Connective Tissue Diseases
Mortality

Risk factors for mortality and cardiopulmonary hospitalization in systemic sclerosis patients at risk for pulmonary hypertension, in the pharos registry

Hsu, V. M., Chung, L., Hummers, L. K., Shah, A., Simms, R., Bolster, M., Hant, F. N., Silver, R. M., Fischer, A., Hinchcliff, M. E., Varga, J., Goldberg, A. Z., Derk, C. T., Schiopu, E., Khanna, D., Shapiro, L. S., Domsic, R. T., Medsger, T., Mayes, M. D., Furst, D. & 5 othersCsuka, M. E., Molitor, J. A., Saketkoo, L. A., Salazar, C. R. & Steen, V. D., Feb 1 2019, In : Journal of Rheumatology. 46, 2, p. 176-183 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Systemic Scleroderma
Pulmonary Hypertension
Registries
Hospitalization
Mortality

Short lymphocyte, but not granulocyte, telomere length in a subset of patients with systemic sclerosis

Lakota, K., Hanumanthu, V. S., Agrawal, R., Carns, M., Armanios, M. & Varga, J., Jan 1 2019, (Accepted/In press) In : Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lymphocytes
Pulmonary Fibrosis
Systemic Scleroderma
Telomere
Granulocytes

Adipocyte-specific Repression of PPAR-gamma by NCoR Contributes to Scleroderma Skin Fibrosis

Korman, B., Goncalves Marangoni, R., Lord, G., Olefsky, J., Tourtellotte, W. & Varga, J., Jul 11 2018, In : Arthritis Research and Therapy. 20, 1, 145.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Co-Repressor Proteins
Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors
PPAR gamma
Systemic Scleroderma
Adipocytes

An orally-active adiponectin receptor agonist mitigates cutaneous fibrosis, inflammation and microvascular pathology in a murine model of systemic sclerosis

Yamashita, T., Lakota, K., Taniguchi, T., Yoshizaki, A., Sato, S., Hong, W., Zhou, X., Sodin-Semrl, S., Fang, F., Asano, Y. & Varga, J., Dec 1 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 1, 11843.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Adiponectin Receptors
Systemic Scleroderma
Adiponectin
Fibrosis
Pathology