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Kari Connolly, M.D.

Autoimmune dermatologist

Dr. Kari Connolly is a dermatologist and rheumatologist whose overall interest is in autoimmune skin diseases and the mechanisms by which tissue damage occurs. Connolly is involved with a variety of research studies involving scleroderma, lupus erythematosus, dermatomyositis and blistering diseases. Her laboratory processes several hundred skin specimens a year. She also participates in clinical trials looking at treatment in autoimmune diseases.

Connolly earned a medical degree at Albany Medical College in New York in 1984 with honors. She completed a three-year internal medicine residency at UCLA and became board certified in 1987. Her interest in autoimmune diseases brought Connolly to UCSF Medical Center where she did a combined fellowship in rheumatology and residency in dermatology. She completed her postdoctoral studies in the laboratory of Dr. David Wofsy in murine models of systemic lupus erythematosus. She joined the faculty with a joint appointment in Dermatology and Medicine (Rheumatology) in 1991. Connolly has received honors and awards in the areas of research, teaching and patient care.

To make an appointment with Connolly, patients need a referral from a dermatologist or rheumatologist.


Dermatology Clinic
1701 Divisadero St., Third and Fourth Floors
San Francisco, CA 94115
Phone: (415) 353–7800
Fax: (415) 353–7870

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Scleroderma Clinic
400 Parnassus Ave., Floor B1
San Francisco, CA 94143
Phone: (415) 353–2497
Fax: (415) 353–2530

Hours: Monday to Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Conditions & Treatments

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Additional Languages



Albany Medical College 1984


UCLA Medical Center, Internal Medicine 1987


UCSF Medical Center, Rheumatology 1990
UCSF Medical Center, Dermatology 1991

Selected Research and Publications

  1. Sottile PD, Iturbe D, Katsumoto TR, Connolly MK, Collard HR, Leard LA, Hays S, Golden JA, Hoopes C, Kukreja J, Singer JP. Outcomes in systemic sclerosis-related lung disease after lung transplantation. Transplantation. 2013 Apr 15; 95(7):975-80.
  2. Bedrosian AS, Nguyen AH, Hackman M, Connolly MK, Malhotra A, Ibrahim J, Cieza-Rubio NE, Henning JR, Barilla R, Rehman A, Pachter HL, Medina-Zea MV, Cohen SM, Frey AB, Acehan D, Miller G. Dendritic cells promote pancreatic viability in mice with acute pancreatitis. Gastroenterology. 2011 Nov; 141(5):1915-26.e1-14.
  3. Katsumoto TR, Whitfield ML, Connolly MK. The pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis. Annu Rev Pathol. 2011; 6:509-37.
  4. Connolly MK, Bedrosian AS, Malhotra A, Henning JR, Ibrahim J, Vera V, Cieza-Rubio NE, Hassan BU, Pachter HL, Cohen S, Frey AB, Miller G. In hepatic fibrosis, liver sinusoidal endothelial cells acquire enhanced immunogenicity. J Immunol. 2010 Aug 15; 185(4):2200-8.
  5. Sargent JL, Milano A, Bhattacharyya S, Varga J, Connolly MK, Chang HY, Whitfield ML. A TGFbeta-responsive gene signature is associated with a subset of diffuse scleroderma with increased disease severity. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Mar; 130(3):694-705.
  6. Chung L, Fiorentino DF, Benbarak MJ, Adler AS, Mariano MM, Paniagua RT, Milano A, Connolly MK, Ratiner BD, Wiskocil RL, Whitfield ML, Chang HY, Robinson WH. Molecular framework for response to imatinib mesylate in systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2009 Feb; 60(2):584-91.
  7. Liu T, McCalmont TH, Frieden IJ, Williams ML, Connolly MK, Gilliam AE. The stiff skin syndrome: case series, differential diagnosis of the stiff skin phenotype, and review of the literature. Arch Dermatol. 2008 Oct; 144(10):1351-9.
  8. Milano A, Pendergrass SA, Sargent JL, George LK, McCalmont TH, Connolly MK, Whitfield ML. Molecular subsets in the gene expression signatures of scleroderma skin. PLoS One. 2008; 3(7):e2696.
  9. Fye KH, Siegel DH, Connolly MK. Diagnosis of Muckle-Wells syndrome - 33 years later. J Rheumatol. 2007 Dec; 34(12):2505-6.
  10. Zamora AC, Wolters PJ, Collard HR, Connolly MK, Elicker BM, Webb WR, King TE, Golden JA. Use of mycophenolate mofetil to treat scleroderma-associated interstitial lung disease. Respir Med. 2008 Jan; 102(1):150-5.
  11. Tashkin DP, Elashoff R, Clements PJ, Roth MD, Furst DE, Silver RM, Goldin J, Arriola E, Strange C, Bolster MB, Seibold JR, Riley DJ, Hsu VM, Varga J, Schraufnagel D, Theodore A, Simms R, Wise R, Wigley F, White B, Steen V, Read C, Mayes M, Parsley E, Mubarak K, Connolly MK, Golden J, Olman M, Fessler B, Rothfield N, Metersky M, Khanna D, Li N, Li G. Effects of 1-year treatment with cyclophosphamide on outcomes at 2 years in scleroderma lung disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Nov 15; 176(10):1026-34.
  12. Khanna D, Yan X, Tashkin DP, Furst DE, Elashoff R, Roth MD, Silver R, Strange C, Bolster M, Seibold JR, Riley DJ, Hsu VM, Varga J, Schraufnagel DE, Theodore A, Simms R, Wise R, Wigley F, White B, Steen V, Read C, Mayes M, Parsley E, Mubarak K, Connolly MK, Golden J, Olman M, Fessler B, Rothfield N, Metersky M, Clements PJ. Impact of oral cyclophosphamide on health-related quality of life in patients with active scleroderma lung disease: results from the scleroderma lung study. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 May; 56(5):1676-84.
  13. Tashkin DP, Elashoff R, Clements PJ, Goldin J, Roth MD, Furst DE, Arriola E, Silver R, Strange C, Bolster M, Seibold JR, Riley DJ, Hsu VM, Varga J, Schraufnagel DE, Theodore A, Simms R, Wise R, Wigley F, White B, Steen V, Read C, Mayes M, Parsley E, Mubarak K, Connolly MK, Golden J, Olman M, Fessler B, Rothfield N, Metersky M. Cyclophosphamide versus placebo in scleroderma lung disease. N Engl J Med. 2006 Jun 22; 354(25):2655-66.
  14. Yu SS, Connolly MK, Berger TG, McCalmont TH. Dermatitis herpetiformis associated with administration of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone analog. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2006 Feb; 54(2 Suppl):S58-9.
  15. Albrecht PJ, Hines S, Eisenberg E, Pud D, Finlay DR, Connolly MK, Paré M, Davar G, Rice FL. Pathologic alterations of cutaneous innervation and vasculature in affected limbs from patients with complex regional pain syndrome. Pain. 2006 Feb; 120(3):244-66.
  16. Neuhaus IM, Connolly MK. An unusual presentation of amyopathic dermatomyositis associated with fatal interstitial lung disease. Arch Dermatol. 2006 Jan; 142(1):113-4.
  17. Shinkai K, Kilcline C, Connolly MK, Frieden IJ. The pyrin family of fever genes: unmasking genetic determinants of autoinflammatory disease. Arch Dermatol. 2005 Feb; 141(2):242-7.
  18. Khanna D, Clements PJ, Furst DE, Chon Y, Elashoff R, Roth MD, Sterz MG, Chung J, FitzGerald JD, Seibold JR, Varga J, Theodore A, Wigley FM, Silver RM, Steen VD, Mayes MD, Connolly MK, Fessler BJ, Rothfield NF, Mubarak K, Molitor J, Tashkin DP. Correlation of the degree of dyspnea with health-related quality of life, functional abilities, and diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide in patients with systemic sclerosis and active alveolitis: results from the Scleroderma Lung Study. Arthritis Rheum. 2005 Feb; 52(2):592-600.
  19. Neudecker BA, Stern R, Connolly MK. Aberrant serum hyaluronan and hyaluronidase levels in scleroderma. Br J Dermatol. 2004 Mar; 150(3):469-76.
  20. Whitfield ML, Finlay DR, Murray JI, Troyanskaya OG, Chi JT, Pergamenschikov A, McCalmont TH, Brown PO, Botstein D, Connolly MK. Systemic and cell type-specific gene expression patterns in scleroderma skin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 Oct 14; 100(21):12319-24.

Publications are derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and provided by UCSF Profiles, a service of the Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI) at UCSF. Researchers can make corrections and additions to their publications by logging on to UCSF Profiles.