Faculty Profile

Emily Somers

Emily Somers, PhD, ScM

  • Professor, Internal Medicine - Rheumatology
  • Professor, Environmental Health Sciences
  • Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Somers specializes in autoimmune diseases, particularly lupus, with her work spanning epidemiologic, clinical and translational research, including the design and conduct of clinical trials. She has performed leading population-based studies of lupus epidemiology, in the UK, Denmark and USA. Other highlights of her lupus research include quantifying the risk of venous thrombosis associated with different types of antiphospholipid antibodies; determination of increased risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia associated with immunosuppression; risk factors for subclinical cardiovascular disease; and an open label trial supporting the effectiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRH-a) co-treatment during cyclophosphamide therapy for protection against premature ovarian failure, and subsequent design of a currently enrolling multi-center randomized controlled trial of GnRH-a vs placebo in rheumatic disease patients. Her work in pharmacoepidemiology has characterized risk of drug-induced lupus, as well as developmental outcomes among offspring from SLE pregnancies. She currently is leading NIH- and CDC-funded research investigating early life exposures to metals and development of immune dysfunction, as well as development of a longitudinal lupus cohort and biobank in southeastern Michigan.

  • PhD, Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, 2006
  • ScM, Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, 1999
  • BS, Biology and Music, University of Michigan, 1997

Dr. Somers' major research interests include the following: Epidemiology, comorbidities, and public health impact of rheumatic and autoimmune diseases; ovarian preservation in patients exposed to alkylating agents, eg, cyclophosphamide (CYC); clinical epidemiology of SLE, including studies of subclinical cardiovascular disease in SLE and gene expression based molecular classification of lupus nephritis; and pharmacoepidemiologic issues in autoimmune disease.

Marder W, Ganser MA, Romero V, Hyzy MA, Gordon C, McCune WJ, Somers EC (2013). In utero azathioprine exposure and increased utilization of special educational services in children born to mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis Care Res 759-66. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139238)

Somers EC, Antonsen S, Pedersen L, Sorensen HT (). Parental history of lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and risk in offspring in a nationwide cohort study: does sex matter? Ann Rheum Dis 525-9. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22586159/)

Schiopu E, Phillips K, MacDonald PM, Crofford LJ, Somers EC (2012). Predictors of survival in a cohort of patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis: effect of corticosteroids, methotrexate and azathioprine Arthritis Res Ther R22. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22284862/)

Cooper GS, Bynum ML, Somers EC (2009). Recent insights in the epidemiology of autoimmune diseases: improved prevalence estimates and understanding of clustering of diseases J Autoimmun 197-207. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19819109)

Somers EC, Thomas SL, Smeeth L, Hall AJ (2009). Are individuals with an autoimmune disease at higher risk of a second autoimmune disorder? Am J Epidemiol 749-55. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19224981)

Email: emsomers@umich.edu 
Office: 734-998-6119
Lab: 734-615-8555

Address 1: Somers Lab BSRB 3251
109 Zina Pitcher Place,
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2200

Address 2: Domino's Farms Room 2126
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105