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Meet Our Team

Ingrid Avalos, MD
Dr. Avalos received her medical degree from Francisco Marroquin University in 1998 and completed her medical residency at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in 2003.   In 2005, she completed her Rheumatology Fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.   She has particular interests in Lupus, patients with pediatric lupus transitioning to an adult rheumatology practice, Scleroderma/Systemic sclerosis and Dermatomyositis. She is now available to see patients at BIDMC, BIDMC-Chestnut Hill and BID-Milton. >>See publications

Fadi Badlissi, MD 
Dr. Badlissi received his M.D. from Aleppo University Medical School and completed his residency at Carney Hospital in Boston.  He then completed a rheumatology fellowship at University of Missouri-Columbia Fellowship and a Geriatric Medicine fellowship at Boston University Medical Center.  He also has a M.Sc. in Epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health.  He 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.>>See publications

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

Arturo Diaz, MD 
Dr. Diaz received his medical degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) where he also completed an Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship.  He then completed an Internal Medicine residency at Geisinger Medical Center (Danville, PA) and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of Michigan Health System.  He also completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University and the University of Michigan Health System.

Dr. Diaz has conducted research and has clinical expertise in the field of autoinflammatory diseases (including Familial Mediterranean Fever, TNF-Receptor Associated Periodic Syndrome, Cryopyrin-Associated Periodic Syndromes, Hyper IgD Syndrome, and Still’s disease).  Dr. Diaz cofounded the Center for Autoinflammatory Diseases at BIDMC, a center devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of these rare genetic disorders where he is available for consultation.>>See publications on Harvard Catalyst

Through extensive training in tertiary centers with large populations of patients with severe and rare rheumatic diseases, Dr. Diaz has gained expertise in the area of systemic vasculitis, including Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA/Wegener’s), microscopic polyangiitis, Takayasu’s arteritis, polyarteritis nodosa, and CNS vasculitis,  multisystem inflammatory disorders (such as sarcoidosis and relapsing polychondritis), and connective tissue diseases (including systemic sclerosis and dermatomyositis). Dr. Diaz also treats patients with chronic arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis.  Dr. Diaz also participates in the training of rheumatology fellows at BIDMC. >>See publications

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 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (Longwood), at the BID-Chestnut Hill site and at Mount Auburn Hospital. >>See publications

Irina Gavanescu-Stockton, MD, PhD
Dr. Gavanescu-Stockton received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Medicine, Bucharest, Romania in 1995 and her PhD in Immunology and Virology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She completed a research fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center studying how autoimmunity elicits chronic inflammation and medical residency at the Cambridge Health Alliance Internal Medicine in 2013. She graduated from the BIDMC Rheumatology Fellowship and joined the faculty in 2016; she is available to see patients at the Longwood practice where she has an interest in General Clinical Rheumatology and Lupus.‚Äč >>See publications

Jonathan Hausmann, MD
Dr. Hausmann received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 2008. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital, pursued combined training in pediatric and adult rheumatology at Boston Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and finished the Rabkin Fellowship in Medical Education.  He co-founded the Autoinflammatory Diseases Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a specialized clinic for diagnosing and treating patients with known or suspected autoinflammatory diseases (periodic fever syndromes). A native Venezuelan, Dr. Hausmann is also interested in the care of Latino patients with rheumatic illnesses. He enjoys caring for adolescent and young adults with rheumatic illnesses, and also sees general rheumatology.  He loves to teach and explore the use of technology and social media in healthcare. Dr. Hausmann is available to see patients at BIDMC and BIDHC-Chelsea.>>See publications

Isaac R. Kasper, MD
Dr. Kasper received a BA in Biology at The University of Vermont, an MA in Medical Science at Boston University School of Medicine and his MD from St. Georges University, Grenada, WI. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME. He served as Clinical Associate in Internal Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA. He joined the faculty in 2017 as a physician-scientist in the Tsokos Lab.  He sees patients at the main campus of BIDMC. >>See publications

Vasileios Kyttaris, MD 
Dr Kyttaris graduated from Patras Medical School in Greece and completed his residency and fellowship in Washington DC. He is currently serving as the program director for the fellowship program and directs the lupus center of excellence. His research focuses on the role of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the modulation of immune response in SLE.  His clinical and research interests focus on systemic autoimmunity.>>See publications

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.  She sees patients at the BIDMC’s Longwood practice. >>See publications

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. >>See publications

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 currently serves as the Clinical Chief of the Rheumatology Division and is also a Senior Editor at Harvard Health Publications.  He is particularly interested in rheumatology education, ethics, quality improvement, utility of diagnostic testing, and crystal-induced arthritis.>>See publications on Harvard Catalyst  >> See Publications

Selected Publications: 

Smetana GW, Shmerling RH. Does this patient have temporal arteritis? JAMA. 2002;287:92-101.

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;162:1509-14. PMID: 12090888.

Shmerling RH. Autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus there before you know it. N Engl J Med. 2003; 349:1499-500. PMID: 14561791

Shmerling RH. An 81-year-old woman with temporal arteritis. JAMA. 2006 Jun 7;295:2525-34.

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;302:2214-21.

Shmerling RH. Diagnostic tests for rheumatic disease: clinical utility revisited. South Med J. 2005;98:704-11.

Shmerling RH. Testing for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies: is it time to set this genie free? Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:9-14.

Shmerling RH. The Ethics of Recent Gout Trials. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016;68:2057-60.

Kristie Smith, DO
Dr. Smith received her Doctor of Osteopathy degree in 2012 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.  She then completed a medical residency at Lankenau Medical Center (Wynnewood, PA).  She recently co-authored a chapter describing the laboratory evaluation of patients with neurologic manifestations of autoimmune disease.  She joined the faculty in 2017 and has a clinical focus, seeing patients at the BIDMC’s main campus. >> See Publications

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. >>See publications

George C. Tsokos, MD, Chief, Division of Rheumatology
Dr. Tsokos 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.  He directs a T32 training grant on systemic autoimmunity.   His research involves humans and mice in an effort to understand the molecular origin of immune dysregulation and organ damage in lupus.   His group seeks novel molecular targets in the treatment of lupus and he is advocating personalized medicine for the disease. >>See publications on Harvard Catalyst      

Selected Publications

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.  (2014).  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.

Dai H, He F, Tsokos GC, Kyttaris VC. (2017). IL-23 Limits the Production of IL-2 and Promotes Autoimmunity in Lupus.  Journal of immunol,: http://www.jimmunol.org/content/early/2017/06/23/jimmunol.1700418

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
617.632.8658