David Alan Fox MD

Professor, Internal Medicine
Rheumatology, Internal Medicine
Clinical Interests:

Rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus

Video profile


U of M Rheumatology

Taubman Center Floor 3 Reception A
1500 E Medical Center Dr SPC 5370
Ann Arbor


Medical School or Training

  • Harvard Medical School, 1978


  • Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Internal Medicine, MA, 1981


  • Internal Medicine Rheumatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 1985

Board Certification

  • Internal Medicine

  • Rheumatology


Research in Dr. Fox's laboratory is directed at defining and characterizing pathways of human T cell activation, and the role of these pathways in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. One approach used has been to generate monoclonal antibodies against T lymphocyte populations from autoimmune lesions, for example, from synovial tissue and synovial fluid derived from patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Antibodies are then screened for preferential reactivity with lesional T cells and for functional effects. Using this approach a number of novel T cell surface markers have been identified. The functional roles for these cell surface structures are under active investigation in the laboratory. New systems have been developed to study interactions between lymphocytes and tissue specific cells found in the joint, especially synovial fibroblasts. New monoclonal antibodies are being developed against RA synoviocytes to further investigate immunologic functions of these cells. Finally, the laboratory has developed a method to engineer dendritic cells to express cytokines, such as IL-4, that alter the immune response to antigen and attenuate clinical disease in murine models of inflammatory arthritis. Further investigation of these approaches and their therapeutic potential are underway, focusing on the effects of IL-4 expressing dendritic cells on the function of T cells that produce IL-17.


A member of the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Medicine since 1985, Dr. Fox is Professor of Internal Medicine and, since 1990, has been Chief of the Division of Rheumatology. In addition, he has directed the University of Michigan Rheumatic Disease Core Center since 2001.

Dr. Fox's research focuses on defining and characterizing pathways of human T cell activation, determining the role of these pathways in the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease, investigating T cell interactions with synovial fibroblasts, regulating autoimmunity with genetically modified dendritic cells, and understanding the role of interleukin-17 in arthritis. He is author of more than 170 scientific papers and book chapters and has served on the Editorial Board of Arthritis & Rheumatism and as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Immunology and the Journal of Clinical Investigation. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians.

In 2007-2008, Dr. Fox served as the seventy-first President of the American College of Rheumatology and the sixth ACR President from the University of Michigan.