Department of Medicine
Faculty Profiles by Division

Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

Faculty Profiles

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photo Thomas A. Medsger Jr., MD


Professor of Medicine Emeritus


Phone: 412-383-8765

Office: Division of Rheumatology
S722 BST, 3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-8765
Fax: 412-383-8753
Administrative Assistant:
Linda Sadej
Address: Biomedical Science Tower, South, 7th Floor
3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-8734
Fax: 412-383-8753
Education and Training
B.A., Haverford College, 1958
M.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1962
Internship, Jackson Memorial Hospital, 1963
Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1966
Residency (Internal Medicine), Presbyterian University Hospital, Pittsburgh, 1968
Fellowship, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, 1969
Research Interest
Dr. Medsger has over 280 peer-reviewed publications and over 120 invited works (textbook chapters, reviews). He has a national/international reputation for his clinical and translational research on systemic sclerosis (SSc). His interests include development of clinical and serologic classification and subset classification of SSc, serum autoantibodies in SSc, clinical features, organ system involvement and natural history of disease (morbidity and mortality). He co-created the University of Pittsburgh Scleroderma Patient Registry, a longitudinal database containing over 4000 patients. He developed a widely-used damage index for organs affected by SSc. Ten of his former research trainees have founded SSc research and patient care programs at other institutions. In 2016, in recognition of his accomplishments, the Department of Medicine created an endowed professorship for arthritis research in Dr. Medsger's name.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Medsger specialized in scleroderma and related diseases (systemic sclerosis, localized scleroderma, eosinophilic fasciitis, Raynaud disease). He retired from patient care in June, 2017.
Educational Interest
Dr. Medsger played an important role in medical education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (SOM). He was a voting member of the Curriculum Committee (CC) for over 20 years, and served as Co-Director of the Introduction to Patient Care Block of courses for first and second year medical students. His CC peers elected him to its Executive Committee (2008-2012). He was Director or Co-Director of SOM courses including Physical Diagnosis and Rheumatology. He has won a number of SOM teaching awards (see Achievements below).
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Gourh, P., Remmers, E.F., Boyden, S.E., Alexander, T., Morgan, N.D., Shah, A.A., Mayes, M.D., Doumatey, A., Bentley, A.R., Shriner, D., Domsic, R.T., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Steen, V,D., et al. Whole-Exome Sequencing to Identify Rare Variants and Gene Networks that Increase Susceptibility to Scleroderma in African Americans. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018.
Morgan, N.D., Shah, A.A., Mayes, M.D., Domsic, R.T., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Steen, V.D., Varga, J., Carns, M., Ramos, P.S., Silver, R.M., Schiopu, E., et al. Clinical and serological features of systemic sclerosis in a multicenter African American cohort: Analysis of the genome research in African American scleroderma patients clinical database. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(51): e8980.
Johnson, S.R., Soowamber, M.L., Fransen, J., Khanna, D., Van Den Hoogen, F., Baron, M., Matucci-Cerinic, M., Denton, C.P., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Carreira, P.E., Riemekasten, G., Distler, J., et al. There is a need for new systemic sclerosis subset criteria. A content analytic approach. Scand J Rheumatol. 2018; 47(1): 62-70.
Cascio, S., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Hawse, W.F., Watkins, S.C., Milcarek, C., Moreland, L.W., Lafyatis, R.A., Fuschiotti, P. 14-3-3z sequesters cytosolic T-bet, upregulating IL-13 levels in TC2 and CD8+ lymphocytes from patients with scleroderma. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2017; S0091-6749(17): 31760-31768.
Li, G., Larregina, A.T., Domsic, R.T., Stolz, D.B., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Lafyatis, R., Fuschiotti, P. Skin-Resident Effector Memory CD8+CD28- T Cells Exhibit a Profibrotic Phenotype in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis. J Invest Dermatol. 2017; 137(5): 1042-1050.
Stevens, A.M., Kanaan, S.B., Torok, K.S., Medsger, T.A., Mayes, M.D., Reveille, J.D., Klein-Gitelman, M., Reed, A.M., Lee, T., Li, S.C., Henstorf, G., Luu, C., Aydelotte, T., Nelson, J.L. Brief Report: HLA-DRB1, DQA1, and DQB1 in Juvenile-Onset Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016; 68(11): 2772-2777.
Peoples, C., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Lucas, M., Rosario, B.L., Feghali-Bostwick, C.A. Gender differences in systemic sclerosis: relationship to clinical features, serologic status and outcomes. J Scleroderma Relat Disord. 2016; 1(2): 177-240.
Domsic, R.T., Nihtyanova, S.I., Wisniewski, S.R., Fine, M.J., Lucas, M., Kwoh, C.K., Denton, C.P., Medsger, T.A. Jr. Derivation and External Validation of a Prediction Rule for Five-Year Mortality in Patients With Early Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016; 68(4): 993-1003.
Masi, A.T., Medsger, T.A. Jr. Progress in the evolution of systemic sclerosis classification criteria and recommendation for additional comparative specificity studies. J Rheumatol. 2015; 42(1): 8-10.
Domsic, R.T., Dezfulian, C., Shoushtari, A., Ivanco, D., Kenny, E., Kwoh, C.K., Medsger, T.A. Jr., Champion, H.C. 13. Endothelial dysfunction is present only in the microvasculature and microcirculation of early diffuse systemic sclerosis patients. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2014; 32(6 Suppl 86): S-154-60.
Notable Achievements
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Golden Apple Award (Clinical Years), SOM, 1976
Rheumatism Reviews, Editor, 1980-1983
American College of Rheumatology, Board of Directors, 1984-1988
American College of Rheumatology, Distinguished Rheumatologist, 1998
Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium, President, 1998-2000
American College of Rheumatology, Master, 2001
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Kenneth Schuitt Award, 2003
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education, 2012
American College of Rheumatology, Klemperer Memorial Lectureship, 2012
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Distinguished Service Award for Medical Education, 2013