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Meet Our Team

Fadi Badlissi, MD
Dr. Badlissi is a rheumatologist who treats autoimmune diseases and inflammatory arthritis, and provides medical management for orthopedic problems that do not require surgery such as arthritis, tendinitis and bursitis.  Dr. Badlissi has a special interest and expertise in gout, musculoskeletal ultrasound and in performing procedures such as corticosteroid injections with or without ultrasound guidance.

Clinical and Research Interests: 
Crystal induced arthritis (gout and pseudogout)
Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
Inflammatory arthritis
Rheumatic diseases in the elderly

Arturo Diaz, MD
Dr. Diaz’s specialty is Rheumatology with a special interest in Hereditary Periodic Febrile Syndromes (Familial Mediterranean Fever, TNF-Receptor Associated Periodic Syndrome, Cryopyrin- Associated Periodic Syndromes, Hyper IgD Syndrome); Systemic Autoimmune Diseases and Vasculitis. He received his MD from the Universidad Nac. Autonoma de Mexico School of Medicine, where he also completed his internship and residency followed by a Fellowship in Rheumatology. He then completed an additional residency in Internal Medicine at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania. A second fellowship in rheumatology followed at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Michele Finnell ANP-BC
Ms. Finnell holds a Masters Degree in Nursing from Boston University and is Board Certified as an Adult Nurse Practitioner in the State of Massachusetts. She has been a Nurse Practitioner at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center specializing in Rheumatology since 1995 and before that she was a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Orthopedics and Rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center since 1988. Michele cares for and treats patients in the Rheumatology Office. Michele also maintains all of the legal documentation pertaining to human subject involvement in Research for the Rheumatology Division and coordinates all of the research efforts clinically. 

Lisa M. Fitzgerald, MD
Dr. Fitzgerald is the Co-Director of the Lupus Center of Excellence at BIDMC. She received her medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA and completed an internship and residency at Mount Auburn Hospital in Internal Medicine, Cambridge, MA following with a Clinical Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Rheumatology and a Clinical Fellowship at the University of Connecticut Health Science Center in Rheumatology in Farmington, CT. Dr. Fitzgerald is available to see patients both at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Mount Auburn Hospital. 

Vasileios Kyttaris, MD
Dr. Kyttaris spends most of his time in translational and bench-top research in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). After coming to BIDMC in 2006, he became the principal investigator of a dedicated lupus research program and spearheaded the creation of the BIDMC lupus patient cohort. The focus of his laboratory work has been the characterization of SLE T cell phenotypes and their role in the development of organ damage. He has published a series of papers on aberrant SLE T cell calcium responses to TCR engagement and received a mentored K award from the NIH. Moreover, his work on the role of interleukin 23 in SLE resulted in several peer reviewed publications and the awarding of an RO1 grant.

He also cares for patients with SLE and other rheumatic diseases on an inpatient and outpatient basis, precepts rheumatology fellows and teaches medicine residents at BIDMC during patient encounters. Finally, he teaches history taking, physical examination skills and immunology to medical students.

Clinical and Research Interests: Systemic Autoimmunity

Jennifer M. Nashel, MD
Dr. Nashel received her medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. She completed an internship and residency at Rush University Medicine Center in Internal Medicine, Chicago, Il, and completed a fellowship at Georgetown University Hospital in Rheumatology, Washington, DC

Ziv Paz, MD 
Dr. Paz joined the rheumatology fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in 2012. During his training, he joined the Tsokos laboratory and focused on the role of phosphatases in the abnormal molecular events that lead to T cell dysfunction in SLE. This work received the Scientist Development Award from the Rheumatology Research Foundation of the American College of Rheumatology. Dr. Paz graduated from fellowship in June of 2015. Encouraged by the BIDMC's outstanding academic environment, he has joined the faculty and plans to devote himself to an academic career that combines clinical rheumatology and research.

Paul Romain, MD
Dr. Romain received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, Chicago, IL following with an internship and residency at Bellevue Hospital Center in Internal Medicine, New York, NY. He completed a fellowship in Rheumatology at Parkland Health & Hospital Systems, Dallas, TX

Robert H. Shmerling, MD,
Clinical Chief, Division of Rheumatology

Dr. Shmerling received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at the Beth Israel Hospital.  He then completed a combined fellowship in General Medicine and Primary Care at Beth Israel Hospital and Rheumatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.   He is a Senior Editor at Harvard Health Publications and currently serves as the Clinical Chief of the Rheumatology Division and Program Director of the Rheumatology Fellowship at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  He is also the Chair of the American College of Rheumatology’s Committee on Ethics and Conflict of Interest.

He is particularly interested in rheumatology education, ethics, quality improvement, utility of diagnostic testing, and crystal-induced arthritis.

Selected Publications:
  1. Smetana GW, Shmerling RH. Does this patient have temporal arteritis? JAMA. 2002 Jan 2;287(1):92-101. Review. PMID: 11754714      
  2. Mandl LA, Solomon DH, Smith EL, Lew RA, Katz JN, Shmerling RH. Using antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody testing to diagnose vasculitis: can test-ordering guidelines improve diagnostic accuracy? Arch Intern Med. 2002 Jul 8;162(13):1509-14. PMID: 12090888.
  3. Shmerling RH. Autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus there before you know it. N Engl J Med. 2003 Oct 16;349(16):1499-500. PMID: 14561791
  4. Shmerling RH. An 81-year-old woman with temporal arteritis. JAMA. 2006 Jun 7;295(21):2525-34. PMID: 16757725.
  5. Leveille SG, Jones RN, Kiely DK, Hausdorff JM, Shmerling RH, Guralnik JM, Kiel DP, Lipsitz LA, Bean JF. Chronic musculoskeletal pain and the occurrence of  falls in an older population. JAMA. 2009 Nov 25;302(20):2214-21. doi: 10.1001/jama.2009.1738.  PMCID: PMC2927855.
  6. Shmerling RH. Diagnostic tests for rheumatic disease: clinical utility revisited. South Med J. 2005 Jul;98(7):704-11; quiz 712-3, 728. Review. PMID: 16108239
  7. Shmerling RH. Testing for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies: is it time to set this genie free? Arch Intern Med. 2009 Jan 12;169(1):9-14. doi:10.1001/archinternmed. 2008.522. Review. PMID: 19139318.

George Stojan, MD
Dr. Stojan received his medical degree from the University of Belgrade Medical School, Belgrade, Serbia where he also completed postgraduate training in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology. He completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at York hospital, York, PA following that with a Fellowship in Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University.

Clinical and Research Interests:  Dr. Stojan's research was focused on the role of cytotoxic pathways in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus, especially the role of granzyme B. From the perspective of clinical research, he studied the effect of obesity on disease activity, cardiovascular events, and mortality in systemic lupus. He was a speaker on the subject of atherosclerosis in systemic lupus at national events organized by the Lupus Foundation of America as well as speaker and organizer of lupus sessions at the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meetings.

Francine Ton-Nghiem, MD
Dr. Ton-Nghiem received her medical degree from UMDNJ, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Piscataway, NJ. She completed an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Internal Medicine, Philadelphia, PA following that with a Fellowship in Rheumatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA before joining Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Ton-Nghiem’s interests are Rheumatoid Arthritis; Osteoporosis; Psoriatic Arthritis.

George C. Tsokos, MD, Chief, Division of Rheumatology
Dr. Tsokos was born in Greece and received his Medical Degree and a Doctorate in Sciences from the University of Athens. He trained in Internal Medicine at the University of Athens and Georgetown University/VA Medical Center in Washington DC and completed Immunology and Rheumatology Fellowships at the National Institutes of Health. Between 1987 and 2007 he was a member of the Uniformed Services/Walter Reed community where he served in various positions including Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine and Chief of the Department of Cell Injury. In 2007 he joined the Beth Israel Medical Center as Chief of Rheumatology and Harvard Medical School as Professor of Medicine.



Tsokos, G. C. (2011). Disease Pathogenesis: Systemic lupus erythematosus. N. Engl. J. Med. 365:2110-21.


Hedrich C. C., Rauen, T., Apostolidis, S. A. Grammatikos, A. P., Rodriguez-Rodriguez, N., Ioannidis, C., Kyttaris, V. C., Crispin, J. C. and Tsokos, G. C. (2014). Increased Stat3 phosphorylation promotes IL-10 expression in SLE T cells through trans-activation and chromatin remodeling.  Proc. Natl. Aca. Sci. (USA). 111(37):13457-62. 


Muroya, T., Kannan, L., Ghiran, I. C., Shevkoplyas, S. S., Paz, Z., Tsokos, M., Dalle Lucca, J. J., Shapiro, N. I. and Tsokos, G. C.  (2104).  C4d deposits on the Surface Membrane of Red Blood Cells in Trauma Patients and Interferes with their Function. Crit. Care Med. 42(5):e364-72. 


Koga, T., Hedrich, C., Mizui, M., Yoshida, N., Lieberman, L. A., Rauen, T., Crispín, J. C.  and Tsokos, G. C. (2014). CaMK4 promotes TH17 related autoimmune pathology though Akt/mTOR and CREM-alpha.  J. Clin. Invest. 124(5):2234-45. 

Moulton, V. and Tsokos, G. C.  (2015). T cell signaling abnormalities in systemic autoimmunity explain aberrant immune cell function and provide rational targets for treatment. J. Clin. Invest., 125(6):2220-7.
Complete list

Contact Information

Division of Rheumatology
Department of Medicine
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
West Campus, Lowry Medical Building, 4B
110 Francis St.
Boston, MA 02215