Robert W. Simms, MD

Professor, Medicine

Robert Simms
75 E. Newton St Evans Building


Dr. Simms is Emeritus Professor of Rheumatology at Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine. His major research interest is in scleroderma clinical outcome measures and clinical trials. He is the most active scleroderma clinician in the section, and is the site PI on multiple past and ongoing multicenter trials. He partners with Dr. Lafyatis in clinical and translational studies. This has included a recently completed trial of rituximab in systemic sclerosis. He works very closely with Dr. Farber on clinical issues as well as clinical trial initiatives in pulmonary hypertension. Dr. Simms receives NIH support as the site PI on a multi-center trial of high dose immunosuppressive therapy and autologous bone marrow transplant compared to cyclophosphamide (SCOT).

Other Positions

  • Member, Arthritis & Autoimmune Diseases Research Center, Boston University
  • Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University


  • University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, MD
  • Bucknell University, BA


  • Published on 6/15/2023

    Spiera R, Kuwana M, Khanna D, Hummers L, Frech TM, Stevens W, Matucci-Cerinic M, Kafaja S, Distler O, Jun JB, Levy Y, Leszcyznski P, Gordon J, Steen V, Lee EB, Jankowski T, Litinsky I, Chung L, Hsu V, Mayes M, Sandorfi N, Simms RW, Finzel S, de Vries-Bouwstra J, Constantine S, Dgetluck N, Dinh Q, Bloom BJ, Furst DE, White B, Denton CP. Efficacy and Safety of Lenabasum, a Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptor Agonist, in a Phase 3 Randomized Trial in Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2023 Sep; 75(9):1608-1618. PMID: 37098795.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 11/16/2022

    Keyes-Elstein L, Pinckney A, Goldmuntz E, Welch B, Franks JM, Martyanov V, Wood TA, Crofford L, Mayes M, McSweeney P, Nash R, Georges G, Csuka ME, Simms R, Furst D, Khanna D, Clair EWS, Whitfield ML, Sullivan KM. Clinical and Molecular Findings After Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation or Cyclophosphamide for Scleroderma: Handling Missing Longitudinal Data. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2023 Feb; 75(2):307-316. PMID: 34533286.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/6/2022

    Shah A, Storek J, Woolson R, Pinckney A, Keyes-Elstein L, Wallace PK, Sempowski GD, McSweeney P, Mayes MD, Crofford L, Csuka ME, Phillips K, Khanna D, Simms R, Ballen K, LeClercq S, Clair WS, Nixon AB, Nash R, Wener M, Brasington R, Silver R, Griffith LM, Furst DE, Goldmuntz E, Sullivan KM. Lymphocyte subset abnormalities in early severe scleroderma favor a Th2 phenotype and are not altered by prior immunosuppressive therapy. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2022 10 06; 61(10):4155-4162. PMID: 35108379.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 6/27/2022

    Khanna D, Caldron P, Martin RW, Kafaja S, Spiera R, Shahouri S, Shah A, Hsu V, Ervin J, Simms R, Domsic RT, Steen V, Hummers LK, Derk C, Mayes M, Chatterjee S, Varga J, Kesten S, Fraser JK, Furst DE. Adipose-Derived Regenerative Cell Transplantation for the Treatment of Hand Dysfunction in Systemic Sclerosis: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2022 Aug; 74(8):1399-1408. PMID: 35358372.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/23/2022

    Rice LM, Mantero JC, Stratton EA, Warburton R, Roberts K, Hill N, Simms RW, Domsic R, Farber HW, Lafyatis R. Correction: Serum biomarker for diagnostic evaluation of pulmonary arterial hypertension in systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Res Ther. 2022 May 23; 24(1):118. PMID: 35606822.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/28/2021

    Kong K, Koontz D, Morse C, Roth E, Domsic RT, Simon MA, Stratton E, Buchholz C, Tobin-Finch K, Simms R, George MP, Hassoun PM, Farber H, Lafyatis R. A Pilot Study of Dimethyl Fumarate in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Associated with Systemic Sclerosis. J Scleroderma Relat Disord. 2021 Oct 01; 6(3):242-246. PMID: 35005243.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/18/2021

    Spiera R, Chung L, Frech T, Domsic R, Hsu V, Furst DE, Simms R, Mayes M, Martyanov V, Whitfield ML, Dgetluck N, Dinh Q, White B. Reply. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2021 04; 73(4):716-717. PMID: 33164325.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 10/19/2020

    Chung L, Spino C, McLain R, Johnson SR, Denton CP, Molitor JA, Steen VD, Lafyatis R, Simms RW, Kafaja S, Frech TM, Hsu V, Domsic RT, Pope JE, Gordon JK, Mayes MD, Sandorfi N, Hant FN, Bernstein EJ, Chatterjee S, Castelino FV, Ajam A, Allanore Y, Matucci-Cerinic M, Whitfield ML, Distler O, Singer O, Young A, Nagaraja V, Fox DA, Furst DE, Khanna D. Safety and efficacy of abatacept in early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (ASSET): open-label extension of a phase 2, double-blind randomised trial. Lancet Rheumatol. 2020 Dec; 2(12):e743-e753. PMID: 34966900.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/26/2020

    Badlam JB, Badesch DB, Austin ED, Benza RL, Chung WK, Farber HW, Feldkircher K, Frost AE, Poms AD, Lutz KA, Pauciulo MW, Yu C, Nichols WC, Elliott CG. United States Pulmonary Hypertension Scientific Registry: Baseline Characteristics. Chest. 2021 01; 159(1):311-327. PMID: 32858008.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 8/9/2020

    Simms RW. Expert Perspectives On Clinical Challenges: Expert Perspectives: Challenges in Scleroderma. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 09; 72(9):1415-1426. PMID: 32562363.

    Read at: PubMed

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