John Varga

  • 24618 Citations
1984 …2020

Research output per year

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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

Training Experience

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

Education/Academic qualification

MD, New York University

… → 1980

Research interests

  • 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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Research Output

Etiology, risk factors, and biomarkers in systemic sclerosis with interstitial lung disease

Khanna, D., Tashkin, D. P., Denton, C. P., Renzoni, E. A., Desai, S. R. & Varga, J., Mar 15 2020, In : American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine. 201, 6, p. 650-660 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
  • 5 Scopus citations

    HLA and autoantibodies define scleroderma subtypes and risk in African and European Americans and suggest a role for molecular mimicry

    Gourh, P., Safran, S. A., Alexander, T., Boyden, S. E., Morgan, N. D., Shah, A. A., Mayes, M. D., Doumatey, A., Bentley, A. R., Shriner, D., Domsic, R. T., Medsger, T. A., Ramos, P. S., Silver, R. M., Steen, V. D., Varga, J., Hsu, V., Saketkoo, L. A., Schiopu, E., Khanna, D. & 24 others, Gordon, J. K., Kron, B., Criswell, L. A., Gladue, H., Derk, C. T., Bernstein, E. J., Bridges, S. L., Shanmugam, V. K., Kolstad, K. D., Chung, L., Kafaja, S., Jan, R., Trojanowski, M., Goldberg, A., Korman, B. D., Steinbach, P. J., Chandrasekharappa, S. C., Mullikin, J. C., Adeyemo, A., Rotimi, C., Wigley, F. M., Kastner, D. L., Boin, F. & Remmers, E. F., Jan 7 2020, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 117, 1, p. 552-562 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Scopus citations

    Rationally-based therapeutic disease modification in systemic sclerosis: Novel strategies

    Asano, Y. & Varga, J., May 2020, In : Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology. 101, p. 146-160 15 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 2 Scopus citations

    Targeted Inhibition of Gut Microbial Trimethylamine N-Oxide Production Reduces Renal Tubulointerstitial Fibrosis and Functional Impairment in a Murine Model of Chronic Kidney Disease

    Gupta, N., Buffa, J. A., Roberts, A. B., Sangwan, N., Skye, S. M., Li, L., Ho, K. J., Varga, J., Didonato, J. A., Tang, W. H. W. & Hazen, S. L., 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology. p. 1239-1255 17 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Calcinosis in scleroderma made crystal clear

    Hsu, V., Varga, J. & Schlesinger, N., Nov 1 2019, In : Current opinion in rheumatology. 31, 6, p. 589-594 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 1 Scopus citations