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Researchers & Clinicians

  • Elena Gkrouzman

    Elena Gkrouzman, MD

    Dr. Gkrouzman is a Rheumatologist at UMass with special interest in autoimmune disorders such as Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Antiphospholipid Syndrome. Dr. Gkrouzman completed her Rheumatology fellowship at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and has received a master’s degree in Clinical and Translational Investigation from Weill Cornell Medicine. She is RhMSUS-certified to perform musculoskeletal ultrasound in her field.

    UMass Memorial Medical Center-Memorial Campus
    119 Belmont Street
    Worcester, MA 01605
    Tel: 508-334-5175
    Fax: 508-334 5654


  • Ann Marshak-Rothstein

    Ann Marshak-Rothstein, PhD

    University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 

    Postdoctoral Fellowship:
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Systemic autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma.


  • John E. Harris

    John E. Harris, MD, PhD

    Dr. Harris is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) in Worcester, MA. Dr. Harris directs the Vitiligo Clinic and Research Center at UMMS, which incorporates a specialty clinic for the diagnosis and treatment of patients with vitiligo, as well as a vitiligo research laboratory. He uses basic, translational, and clinical research approaches to better understand autoimmunity in the skin, with a particular focus on developing more effective treatments.


  • Kate A. Fitzgerald

    Kate A. Fitzgerald, PhD

    Dr. Fitzgerald is Professor of Medicine, Director of the Program in Innate Immunity and the Worcester Foundation Chair in Biomedical Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. Dr. Fitzgerald directs an internationally recognized laboratory focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms controlling the inflammatory response in both health and disease. Her group is interested in determining how the immune system distinguishes friend from foe in order to protect the host from infection and avoid damaging inflammatory responses that lead to a wide range of inflammatory diseases. Her lab uses multifaceted approaches including immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics to understand the role of inflammasomes, nucleic acid sensing pathways and long non-coding RNAs in the inflammatory response. The long-term goal of her work is to determine how inappropriate activation of innate immunity underlies the pathogenesis of infectious, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases in humans.

  • Manuel Garber

    Manuel Garber, PhD

    Associate Professor, Bioinformatics Core Director

    Program in Bioinformatics and Integrative Biology 
    Program in Molecular Medicine

    Lab Page


  • Kerstin Nundel

    Kerstin Nundel, PhD

    Dr. Nundel's research interest lies in understanding how the balance between self and non-self recognition is achieved in the immune system. Currently she is investigating the role of nucleic acid sensing TLRs in B cell tolerance, survival, differentiation and migration. Her in vitro studies on autoreactive B cells are accompanied by studying the mechanisms of B cell activation and migration by self-antigens in mouse models of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Dr. Nundel's work on B cell migration in SLE is currently funded by a grant from the Lupus Research Alliance, in which she is testing already approved cancer treatments to decrease end-organ damage by inhibiting B cell migration.


  • Mehdi Rashighi-Firoozabadi

    Mehdi Rashighi-Firoozabadi

    Dr. Rashighi is a dermatologist at UMass. He treats patients in his clinics, and performs translational research studies with a suction blister biopsy technique to examine cells, proteins and nucleic acids in the skin of patients with autoimmune skin diseases including CLE.

    Meet the Residents


  • Jillian Richmond

    Jillian Richmond, PhD

    Jillian Richmond, PhD is an Instructor in the Department of Dermatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Richmond earned her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the Johns Hopkins University, and her doctoral degree in Pathology and Immunology from Boston University School of Medicine. She performed a postdoctoral fellowship in chemokine biology at Massachusetts General Hospital before moving to the Harris Lab at the University of Massachusetts Medical School to study chemokines in the autoimmune skin disease vitiligo. Her translational research in vitiligo has helped spur the development of clinical trials at UMass. Her current research, which is funded by the Lupus Research Alliance and the Dermatology Foundation, focuses on how T cells navigate through the skin during Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus (CLE). She plans to test inhibitors of chemokines and upstream signaling molecules as potential novel treatments for CLE.


  • Zaida G. Ramirez-Ortiz

    Zaida G. Ramirez-Ortiz, PhD

    Dr. Ramirez-Ortiz is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Her main interest is the initiation of the inflammatory response mediated by scavenger receptors expressed on dendritic cells in health and disease models.