Dr. Assassi is the Director of the Division of Rheumatology. After graduating from Albert Ludwig Medical School in Freiburg/Germany, he completed his internal medicine and rheumatology post-graduate training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). He was elected to the Alpha Omega Medical Society and received a Clinical Investigator Fellowship Award from the American College of Rheumatology during his training. He is board certified in rheumatology. He sees patients in the UT Professional Building clinic and is the co-director of the Scleroderma Program at McGovern Medical School.
Dr. Assassi is also an active researcher; his current research interests include the correlation of clinical features of systemic sclerosis with genetic and gene expression data to identify novel therapeutic targets and to develop clinically useful biomarkers. His laboratory works with mouse fibrosis models, as well as primary human samples to elucidate the molecular basis of systemic sclerosis. He has a Master’s degree in Clinical Research and holds adjunct appointments at the McWilliams School of Biomedical Informatics and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. His research program is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Scleroderma Research Foundation, and the DoD. Dr. Assassi also co-directs the Translational Research Workshop in the Masters’ in Clinical Research Program. He received the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Awards in 2009, 2010, and 2014, and 2021. Dr. Assassi also holds leadership positions in rheumatology professional organizations. He is currently the president of the Scleroderma Clinical Trial Consortium.