Robert A. Lafyatis MD

Adjunct Professor, Rheumatology

75 E. Newton St | (617) 638-4310
Robert Lafyatis



Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research


Dr. Lafyatis carries out patient oriented research into the cause and treatment of systemic sclerosis. This includes early phase clinical trials into new therapeutic agents in patients with systemic sclerosis. He has been investigating the mechanisms of actions and markers of response for novel therapeutics, such as the B cell depleting agent, rituximab and the immunosuppressant agent, mycophenlate. Additional studies are aimed at identifying biomarkers in systemic sclerosis using microarray gene expression analysis of skin and blood in scleroderma patients. Ongoing biomarker studies include investigation into molecular markers of pulmonary hypertension in systemic sclerosis. Dr. Lafyatis also carries out basic research into the cause of fibrosis and vasculopathy in systemic sclerosis using patient samples and murine disease models. His studies have provided key insights into one widely used model of systemic sclerosis, the tight skin mouse. His studies are currently focused on understanding how autoimmunity and the innate immune system lead to fibrosis and vascular damage. This has recently led to the discovery of increased interferon-regulated gene expression in white blood cells of patients with systemic sclerosis. Ongoing research is aimed at better understanding the cause of altered gene expression by monocytes and other cells in the innate immune system.


MD, University of Cincinnati

BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Published on 3/1/2024

Harvey LD, Alotaibi M, Kim HJ, Tai YY, Tang Y, Sun W, El Khoury W, Woodcock CC, Aaraj YA, St Croix CM, Stolz DB, Lee J, Cheng MH, Schwantes-An TH, Desai AA, Pauciulo MW, Nichols WC, Webb A, Lafyatis R, Nouraie M, Wu H, McDonald JG, Chauvet C, Cheng S, Bahar I, Bertero T, Benza RL, Jain M, Chan SY. Genetic regulation and targeted reversal of lysosomal dysfunction and inflammatory sterol metabolism in pulmonary arterial hypertension. bioRxiv. 2024 Mar 01. PMID: 38464060.

Published on 3/1/2024

Padilla CM, Valenzi E, Tabib T, Nazari B, Sembrat J, Rojas M, Fuschiotti P, Lafyatis R. Increased CD8+ tissue resident memory T cells, regulatory T cells and activated natural killer cells in systemic sclerosis lungs. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2024 Mar 01; 63(3):837-845. PMID: 37310903.

Published on 2/19/2024

Rahimikollu J, Xiao H, Rosengart A, Rosen ABI, Tabib T, Zdinak PM, He K, Bing X, Bunea F, Wegkamp M, Poholek AC, Joglekar AV, Lafyatis RA, Das J. SLIDE: Significant Latent Factor Interaction Discovery and Exploration across biological domains. Nat Methods. 2024 May; 21(5):835-845. PMID: 38374265.

Published on 2/1/2024

Tirelli F, Pachera E, Gmür S, Lafyatis R, Huang M, Zulian F, Camarillo Retamosa E, Kania G, Distler O. Long non-coding RNA H19X as a regulator of mononuclear cell adhesion to the endothelium in systemic sclerosis. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2024 Feb 01. PMID: 38305495.

Published on 1/4/2024

Bahudhanapati H, Tan J, Apel RM, Seeliger B, Schupp J, Li X, Sullivan DI, Sembrat J, Rojas M, Tabib T, Valenzi E, Lafyatis R, Mitash N, Hernandez Pineda R, Jawale C, Peroumal D, Biswas P, Tedrow J, Adams T, Kaminski N, Wuyts WA, McDyer JF, Gibson KF, Alder JK, Königshoff M, Zhang Y, Nouraie M, Prasse A, Kass DJ. Increased expression of CXCL6 in secretory cells drives fibroblast collagen synthesis and is associated with increased mortality in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Eur Respir J. 2024 Jan; 63(1). PMID: 37918852.

Published on 1/3/2024

Ma F, Tsou PS, Gharaee-Kermani M, Plazyo O, Xing X, Kirma J, Wasikowski R, Hile GA, Harms PW, Jiang Y, Xing E, Nakamura M, Ochocki D, Brodie WD, Pillai S, Maverakis E, Pellegrini M, Modlin RL, Varga J, Tsoi LC, Lafyatis R, Kahlenberg JM, Billi AC, Khanna D, Gudjonsson JE. Systems-based identification of the Hippo pathway for promoting fibrotic mesenchymal differentiation in systemic sclerosis. Nat Commun. 2024 Jan 03; 15(1):210. PMID: 38172207.

Published on 12/24/2023

Zhu H, Luo H, Skaug B, Tabib T, Li YN, Tao Y, Matei AE, Lyons MA, Schett G, Lafyatis R, Assassi S, Distler JHW. Fibroblast Subpopulations in Systemic Sclerosis: Functional Implications of Individual Subpopulations and Correlations with Clinical Features. J Invest Dermatol. 2024 Jun; 144(6):1251-1261.e13. PMID: 38147960.

Published on 11/13/2023

Jia M, Sayed K, Kapetanaki MG, Dion W, Rosas L, Irfan S, Valenzi E, Mora AL, Lafyatis RA, Rojas M, Zhu B, Benos PV. LEF1 isoforms regulate cellular senescence and aging. Aging Cell. 2023 Dec; 22(12):e14024. PMID: 37961030.

Published on 10/9/2023

Gaydosik AM, Stonesifer CJ, Tabib T, Lafyatis R, Geskin LJ, Fuschiotti P. The mycosis fungoides cutaneous microenvironment shapes dysfunctional cell trafficking, antitumor immunity, matrix interactions, and angiogenesis. JCI Insight. 2023 Oct 09; 8(19). PMID: 37669110.

Published on 10/1/2023

Cruz T, Agudelo Garcia PA, Chamucero-Millares JA, Bondonese A, Mitash N, Sembrat J, Tabib T, Zhang W, Seyed N, Peters V, Stacey S, Vignali D, Mora AL, Lafyatis R, Rojas M. End-Stage Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Lung Microenvironment Promotes Impaired NK Activity. J Immunol. 2023 Oct 01; 211(7):1073-1081. PMID: 37566492.

View full list of 251 publications.