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Amr Sawalha, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine and Marvin and Betty Danto Research Professor of Connective Tissue Research at the University of Michigan, has been appointed Director of the Division of Rheumatology at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where he will also establish and lead a new Autoimmune Genomics Research Center. Additionally, Dr. Sawalha has been appointed Director of the Comprehensive Lupus Center of Excellence that spans the clinical and research enterprises of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Sawalha will officially join UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh on April 1, 2019.
Dr. Sawalha is internationally recognized for his work in the genetics and epigenetics of complex autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. He received his medical degree from Jordan University of Science and Technology and completed his internship and residency training in internal medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and fellowship training in rheumatology at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Sawalha was on faculty at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation before he returned to Michigan in 2012. He is currently the Director of an NIH-funded rheumatology training program and the Associate Director of the NIH-funded University of Michigan Basic Autoimmunity Center of Excellence.
Dr. Sawalha’s research focuses on elucidating genetic and epigenetic contributions to the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. His team applies state-of-the-art genomic, epigenomic, and bioinformatics methodologies, and subsequent functional studies using both in vitro and in vivo systems to identify and characterize genetic loci and pathways involved in the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases. Using careful clinical phenotyping and extensive national and international collaborations, he aims to discover genomic and epigenomic markers of disease progression, specific organ involvement, and response to therapy, in addition to identifying new therapeutic targets in systemic autoimmunity.
Dr. Sawalha has published more than 130 manuscripts, book chapters, and review articles and is on the editorial board of several journals in his field and served in numerous key roles in the American College of Rheumatology and other organizations. He is a member of the Medical Scientific Advisory Council of Lupus Foundation of America and the Vasculitis Foundation Medical and Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Sawalha has received numerous awards including the Edmund L. Dubois, MD, Memorial Lectureship Award from the American College of Rheumatology in recognition for his work on lupus, and he has been elected as member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.