Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University
Sidney Kimmel Medical College
Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Biology

Piera-Velazquez, Sonsoles

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Sonsoles Piera-Velazquez, PhD

Contact Dr. Piera-Velazquez

Bluemle Life Sciences Building, Room 422
233 South Tenth Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-7594

Medical School

PhD Biochemistry. University of Alicante (Spain) - 1996
Postdoctoral Fellowship. Division of Rheumatology, Thomas Jefferson University 1999-2001.


Arthritis Foundation Fellowship. Division of Rheumatology, Thomas Jefferson University. 2001-2004.

Expertise and Research Interests

Study of the molecular events involved in the development of articular cartilage damage in human osteoarthritis with special emphasis on alterations in chondrocyte gene expression induced by cytokines and other inflammatory mediators.

Study of the mechanisms of chondrocyte phenotype stability and of its loss during de-differentiation focusing on the role of telomerase expression, NOX4 and oxygen radicals and activation of the Wnt pathway.

Recent studies on the alterations of expression of extracellular matrix genes in the novel fibrotic disease, Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis, and on the role of exposure to Gadolinium (Gd) containing magnetic resonance contrast agents in its pathogenesis.


Osteoarthritis, cartilage, chondrocyte phenotype and regulation of gene expression, telomerase, SOX9 promoter, Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis.


Most Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. Existing and novel biomarkers for precision medicine in systemic sclerosis
  2. PTP4A1 promotes TGFβ signaling and fibrosis in systemic sclerosis
  3. Endothelial cell-specific activation of transforming growth factor-β signaling in mice induces cutaneous, visceral, and microvascular fibrosis
  4. Multiplex assessment of serum cytokine and chemokine levels in idiopathic morphea and vitamin K1-induced morphea
  5. Exosomes isolated from serum of systemic sclerosis patients display alterations in their content of profibrotic and antifibrotic microRNA and induce a profibrotic phenotype in cultured normal dermal fibroblasts
  6. Human fibrotic diseases: Current challenges in fibrosis research
  7. Endothelial to mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) in the pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis-associated pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension. Myth or reality?
  8. Endothelial Cells Expressing Endothelial and Mesenchymal Cell Gene Products in Lung Tissue from Patients with Systemic Sclerosis-Associated Interstitial Lung Disease
  9. Increased expression of NAPDH oxidase 4 in systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts
  10. Role of Cellular Senescence and NOX4-Mediated Oxidative Stress in Systemic Sclerosis Pathogenesis
  11. Altered MCM protein levels and autophagic flux in aged and systemic sclerosis dermal fibroblasts
  12. Potential role of human-specific genes, human-specific microRNAs and human-specific non-coding regulatory RNAs in the pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis and Sjögren's Syndrome
  13. Role of oxidative stress and reactive oxygen radicals in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis
  14. Molecular mechanisms of endothelial to mesenchymal cell transition (EndoMT) in experimentally induced fibrotic diseases
  15. Effect of oxidative stress on protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B in scleroderma dermal fibroblasts
  16. Role of endothelial-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) in the pathogenesis of fibrotic disorders
  17. Role of growth factors in the pathogenesis of tissue fibrosis in systemic sclerosis
  18. Persistent activation of dermal fibroblasts from patients with gadolinium-associated nephrogenic systemic fibrosis
  19. Regulation of the human SOX9 promoter by Sp1 and CREB
  20. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy: clinical aspects.