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Tracy M. Frech, MD, MS

Languages spoken: English, Spanish

Academic Information

Departments: Internal Medicine - Adjunct Associate Professor

Divisions: Rheumatology

Academic Office Information

Research Interests

  • Systemic Sclerosis
  • Progressive Systemic Sclerosis
  • Vascular Anomalies
  • Vascular Malformations
  • Vascular Diseases

Tracy M. Frech, M.D., M.S. completed a combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics internship and residency at the University of Utah in 2005. She then finished a two-year Rheumatology fellowship in 2007 and Master in Clinical Investigation in 2009. Upon completion of her fellowship she joined the faculty in the Division of Rheumatology, and is currently an associate professor. She received a certification in Personalized Medicine in 2014.

She serves as the Director of the Systemic Sclerosis (SSc, scleroderma) Clinic at the University of Utah Hospital and the Director of Clinical Trials for the Division of Rheumatology. Her research interests include the vascular aspects of autoimmune disease, primarily vascular leak and SSc. She has participated in many government, foundation, and industry sponsored single and multi-center clinical trials. She has published over a hundred articles in peer review journals and several book chapters on SSc. She provides mentorship to medical students, with a focus on improving their early research experiences.

Research Statement

Dr. Frech’s research interest is the interplay of vascular dysfunction and inflammation in the pathogenesis in Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). At the University of Utah SSc Clinic, she treats over 300 patients with this disease. She offers many clinical trials to provide patients with rheumatic disease treatment opportunities. She also participates in several national and international registries and consortia with the goal to improve early diagnosis, access to care, and standardization of testing in SSc. She is active in the Scleroderma Foundation and serves on its Medical Advisory Board.

Education History

Other Training University of Utah
Personalized Health Care
Graduate Training University of Utah
Clinical Investigation
Fellowship University of Utah School of Medicine
Residency University of Utah School of Medicine
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Internship University of Utah School of Medicine
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Graduate Training Universidad de Salamanca
Professional Medical Eastern Virginia Medical School
Undergraduate University of North Carolina

Selected Publications

  1. Hughes M, Pauling JD, Jones J, Denton CP, Domsic RT, Frech TM, Herrick AL, Khanna D, Matucci-Cerinic M, McKenzie L, Saketkoo LA, Gooberman-Hill R, Moore A (2019). Patient experiences of digital ulcer development and evolution in systemic sclerosis. Rheumatology (Oxford), 59(8), 2156-2158.
  2. Aranow C, Cush J, Bolster MB, Striebich CC, Dallera M, Mackay M, Olech E, Frech T, Box J, Keating R, Wasko MC, St Clair W, Kivitz A, Huang W, Ricketts P, Welch B, Callahan S, Spychala M, Boyle K, York K, Keyes-Elstein L, Goldmuntz E, Diamond B, Davidson A (2019). A double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase II, randomized study of lovastatin therapy in the treatment of mildly active rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford), 59(7), 1505-1513.
  3. Bernstein EJ, Jaafar S, Assassi S, Domsic RT, Frech TM, Gordon JK, Broderick RJ, Hant FN, Hinchcliff ME, Shah AA, Shanmugam VK, Steen VD, Khanna D (2020). Performance Characteristics of Pulmonary Function Tests for the Detection of Interstitial Lung Disease in Adults with Early Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Rheumatol.
  4. Hughes M, Pauling JD, Jones J, Denton CP, Domsic RT, Frech TM, Herrick AL, Khanna D, Matucci-Cerinic M, McKenzie L, Saketkoo LA, Gooberman-Hill R, Moore A (2019). Multicenter Qualitative Study Exploring the Patient Experience of Digital Ulcers in Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 72(5), 723-733.
  5. Spiera R, Hummers L, Chung L, Frech TM, Domsic R, Hsu V, Furst DE, Gordon J, Mayes M, Simms R, Lafyatis R, Martyanov V, Wood T, Whitfield ML, Constantine S, Lee E, Dgetluck N, White B (2020). Safety and Efficacy of Lenabasum in a Phase II, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial in Adults With Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Rheumatol.
  6. Carrier ME, Kwakkenbos L, Nielson WR, Fedoruk C, Nielsen K, Milette K, Pope J, Frech T, Gholizadeh S, Hummers L, Johnson SR, Piotrowski P, Jewett L, Gordon J, Chung L, Bilsker D, Turner KA, Cumin J, Welling J, Fortune C, Leite C, Gottesman K, Sauve M, Rodrguez-Reyna TS, Hudson M, Larche M, van Breda W, Suarez-Almazor ME, Bartlett SJ, Malcarne VL, Mayes MD, Boutron I, Mouthon L, Wigley F, Thombs BD, SPIN Investigators (2020). The Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network Self-Management Program: Protocol for a Randomized Feasibility Trial. JMIR Res Protoc, 9(4), e16799.
  7. Harb S, Cumin J, Rice DB, Pelez S, Hudson M, Bartlett SJ, Roren A, Furst DE, Frech TM, Nguyen C, Nielson WR, Thombs BD, Shrier I, Scleroderma Patient-centered Intervention Network Physical Activity Enhancement Patient Advisory Team (2020). Identifying barriers and facilitators to physical activity for people with scleroderma: a nominal group technique study. Disabil Rehabil, 1-8.
  8. Skaug B, Khanna D, Swindell WR, Hinchcliff ME, Frech TM, Steen VD, Hant FN, Gordon JK, Shah AA, Zhu L, Zheng WJ, Browning JL, Barron AMS, Wu M, Visvanathan S, Baum P, Franks JM, Whitfield ML, Shanmugam VK, Domsic RT, Castelino FV, Bernstein EJ, Wareing N, Lyons MA, Ying J, Charles J, Mayes MD, Assassi S (2019). Global skin gene expression analysis of early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis shows a prominent innate and adaptive inflammatory profile. Ann Rheum Dis, 79(3), 379-386.
  9. Smith V, Herrick AL, Ingegnoli F, Damjanov N, De Angelis R, Denton CP, Distler O, Espejo K, Foeldvari I, Frech T, Garro B, Gutierrez M, Gyger G, Hachulla E, Hesselstrand R, Iagnocco A, Kayser C, Melsens K, Mller-Ladner U, Paolino S, Pizzorni C, Radic M, Riccieri V, Snow M, Stevens W, Sulli A, van Laar JM, Vonk MC, Vanhaecke A, Cutolo M, EULAR Study Group on Microcirculation in Rheumatic Diseases and the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium Group on Capillaroscopy (2020). Standardisation of nailfold capillaroscopy for the assessment of patients with Raynaud's phenomenon and systemic sclerosis. Autoimmun Rev, 19(3), 102458.
  10. Khanna D, Spino C, Johnson S, Chung L, Whitfield ML, Denton CP, Berrocal V, Franks J, Mehta B, Molitor J, Steen VD, Lafyatis R, Simms RW, Gill A, Kafaja S, Frech TM, Hsu V, Domsic RT, Pope JE, Gordon JK, Mayes MD, Schiopu E, Young A, Sandorfi N, Park J, Hant FN, Bernstein EJ, Chatterjee S, Castelino FV, Ajam A, Wang Y, Wood T, Allanore Y, Matucci-Cerinic M, Distler O, Singer O, Bush E, Fox DA, Furst DE (2019). Abatacept in Early Diffuse Cutaneous Systemic Sclerosis: Results of a Phase II Investigator-Initiated, Multicenter, Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Arthritis Rheumatol, 72(1), 125-136.
  11. Shanmugam VK, Frech TM, Steen VD, Hummers LK, Shah AA, Bernstein EJ, Khanna D, Gordon JK, Castelino FV, Chung L, Hant FN, Startup E, VanBuren JM, Evnin LB, Assassi S (2019). Collaborative National Quality and Efficacy Registry (CONQUER) for Scleroderma: outcomes from a multicenter US-based systemic sclerosis registry. Clin Rheumatol, 39(1), 93-102.
  12. Pauling JD, Frech TM (2019). Pauling and Frech reply. [Letter to the editor]. J Rheumatol, 46(11), 1544-1545.
  13. Tebo AE, Schmidt RL, Frech TM (2019). Dr. Tebo, et al, reply. [Letter to the editor]. J Rheumatol, 46(11), 1547.
  14. Pauling JD, Reilly E, Smith T, Frech TM (2019). Factors Influencing Raynaud Condition Score Diary Outcomes in Systemic Sclerosis. J Rheumatol, 46(10), 1326-1334.
  15. Nagaraja V, Spino C, Bush E, Tsou PS, Domsic RT, Lafyatis R, Frech T, Gordon JK, Steen VD, Khanna D (2019). A multicenter randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study to assess the efficacy and safety of riociguat in systemic sclerosis-associated digital ulcers. Arthritis Res Ther, 21(1), 202.
  16. Snow MH, Saketkoo LA, Frech TM, Stever JR, Lebedoff N, Herrick AL, Cutolo M, Smith V (2019). Results from an American pilot survey among Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium members on capillaroscopy use and how to best implement nailfold capillaroscopy training. [Letter to the editor]. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 37 Suppl 119(4), 151.
  17. Frech TM, Murtaugh MA (2019). Non-invasive digital thermal monitoring and flow-mediated dilation in systemic sclerosis. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 37 Suppl 119(4), 97-101.
  18. Butler EA, Baron M, Fogo AB, Frech T, Ghossein C, Hachulla E, Hoa S, Johnson SR, Khanna D, Mouthon L, Nikpour M, Proudman S, Steen V, Stern E, Varga J, Denton C, Hudson M, Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium Scleroderma Renal Crisis Working Group (2019). Generation of a Core Set of Items to Develop Classification Criteria for Scleroderma Renal Crisis Using Consensus Methodology. Arthritis Rheumatol, United States, 71(6), 964-971.
  19. Frech TM, McNeill C, Lebiedz-Odrobina D, Lewis G (2018). Amniotic membrane dressings: an effective therapy for SSc-related wounds. [Letter to the editor]. Rheumatology (Oxford), 58(4), 734-736.
  20. Tebo AE, Schmidt RL, Frech TM (2019). Presence of Antitopoisomerase I Antibody Alone May Not Be Sufficient for the Diagnosis of Systemic Sclerosis. [Letter to the editor]. J Rheumatol, 46(4), 440-442.
  21. Zhu J, Frech T (2019). Gut disease in systemic sclerosis - new approaches to common problems. Curr Treatm Opt Rheumatol, 5(1), 11-19.
  22. Baron M, Kahaleh B, Bernstein EJ, Chung L, Clements PJ, Denton C, Domsic RT, Ferdowsi N, Foeldvari I, Frech T, Gordon JK, Hudson M, Johnson SR, Khanna D, McMahan Z, Merkel PA, Narain S, Nikpour M, Pauling JD, Ross L, Valenzuela Vergara AM, Vacca A (2018). An Interim Report of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium Working Groups. J Scleroderma Relat Disord, 4(1), 17-27.
  23. McMahan ZH, Frech T, Berrocal V, Lim D, Bruni C, Matucci-Cerinic M, Smith V, Melsens K, Proudman S, Zhang J, Mendoza F, Woods M, Khanna D (2018). Longitudinal Assessment of Patient-reported Outcome Measures in Systemic Sclerosis Patients with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease - Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium. J Rheumatol, 46(1), 78-84.
  24. Clifton HL, Machin DR, Groot HJ, Frech TM, Donato AJ, Richardson RS, Wray DW (2018). Attenuated nitric oxide bioavailability in systemic sclerosis: Evidence from the novel assessment of passive leg movement. Exp Physiol, 103(10), 1412-1424.
  25. Pauling JD, Frech TM, Hughes M, Gordon JK, Domsic RT, Anderson ME, Ingegnoli F, McHugh NJ, Johnson SR, Hudson M, Boin F, Ong VH, Matucci-Cerinic M, Altorok N, Scolnik M, Nikpour M, Shah A, Pope JE, Khanna D, Herrick AL (2018). Patient-reported outcome instruments for assessing Raynaud's phenomenon in systemic sclerosis: A SCTC Vascular Working Group Report. J Scleroderma Relat Disord, 3(3), 249-252.
  26. Bruni C, Frech T, Manetti M, Rossi FW, Furst DE, De Paulis A, Rivellese F, Guiducci S, Matucci-Cerinic M, Bellando-Randone S (2018). Vascular Leaking, a Pivotal and Early Pathogenetic Event in Systemic Sclerosis: Should the Door Be Closed? Front Immunol, 9, 2045.
  27. Pauling JD, Domsic RT, Saketkoo LA, Almeida C, Withey J, Jay H, Frech TM, Ingegnoli F, Dures E, Robson J, McHugh NJ, Herrick AL, Matucci-Cerinic M, Khanna D, Hewlett S (2018). Multinational Qualitative Research Study Exploring the Patient Experience of Raynaud's Phenomenon in Systemic Sclerosis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 70(9), 1373-1384.
  28. Dougherty DH, Kwakkenbos L, Carrier ME, Salazar G, Assassi S, Baron M, Bartlett SJ, Furst DE, Gottesman K, van den Hoogen F, Malcarne VL, Mouthon L, Nielson WR, Poiraudeau S, Sauv M, Boire G, Bruns A, Chung L, Denton C, Dunne JV, Fortin P, Frech T, Gill A, Gordon J, Herrick AL, Hinchcliff M, Hudson M, Johnson SR, Jones N, Kafaja S, Larch M, Manning J, Pope J, Spiera R, Steen V, Sutton E, Thorne C, Wilcox P, Thombs BD, Mayes MD, SPIN Investigators (2017). The Scleroderma Patient-Centered Intervention Network Cohort: baseline clinical features and comparison with other large scleroderma cohorts. Rheumatology (Oxford), 57(9), 1623-1631.
  29. Pauling JD, Reilly E, Smith T, Frech TM (2018). Evolving Symptom Characteristics of Raynaud's Phenomenon in Systemic Sclerosis and Their Association With Physician and Patient-Reported Assessments of Disease Severity. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken).
  30. Frech TM, Hess R, Biber J, Young J, Hardman A, Weeks H, Peterson KA, Scholand MB (2018). Can Routine Use of Patient-Reported Outcomes Help Guide Systemic Sclerosis Chronic Disease Care? J Clin Rheumatol, 24(5), 272-274.
  31. Morrisroe K, Hudson M, Baron M, de Vries-Bouwstra J, Carreira PE, Wuttge DM, Wang M, Frech TM, Stevens W, Proudman SM, Nikpour M, International Systemic Sclerosis Inception Cohort INSYNC collaboration (2018). Determinants of health-related quality of life in a multinational systemic sclerosis inception cohort. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 36 Suppl 113(4), 53-60.
  32. Frech TM, Machin DR, Murtaugh MA, Stoddard GJ, Bloom SI, Phibbs JV, Donato AJ (2018). Implications of endothelial shear stress on systemic sclerosis vasculopathy and treatment. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 36 Suppl 113(4), 175-182.
  33. Khanna D, Denton CP, Lin CJF, van Laar JM, Frech TM, Anderson ME, Baron M, Chung L, Fierlbeck G, Lakshminarayanan S, Allanore Y, Pope JE, Riemekasten G, Steen V, Mller-Ladner U, Spotswood H, Burke L, Siegel J, Jahreis A, Furst DE (2017). Safety and efficacy of subcutaneous tocilizumab in systemic sclerosis: results from the open-label period of a phase II randomised controlled trial (faSScinate). Ann Rheum Dis, 77(2), 212-220.
  34. Frech TM, Mar D (2017). Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Disease in Systemic Sclerosis. Rheum Dis Clin North Am, 44(1), 15-28.
  35. Lebedoff N, Frech TM, Shanmugam VK, Fischer A, Erhardt D, Kolfenbach J, Kohler K, Bernhisel K, Lewis GM (2017). Review of local wound management for scleroderma-associated digital ulcers. J Scleroderma Relat Disord, 3(1), 66-70.
  36. Johnson SR, Soowamber ML, Fransen J, Khanna D, Van Den Hoogen F, Baron M, Matucci-Cerinic M, Denton CP, Medsger TA Jr, Carreira PE, Riemekasten G, Distler J, Gabrielli A, Steen V, Chung L, Silver R, Varga J, Mller-Ladner U, Vonk MC, Walker UA, Wollheim FA, Herrick A, Furst DE, Czirjak L, Kowal-Bielecka O, Del Galdo F, Cutolo M, Hunzelmann N, Murray CD, Foeldvari I, Mouthon L, Damjanov N, Kahaleh B, Frech T, Assassi S, Saketkoo LA, Pope JE (2017). There is a need for new systemic sclerosis subset criteria. A content analytic approach. Scand J Rheumatol, 47(1), 62-70.
  37. Arnold MB, Khanna D, Denton CP, van Laar JM, Frech TM, Anderson ME, Baron M, Chung L, Fierlbeck G, Lakshminarayanan S, Allanore Y, Riemekasten G, Steen V, Mller-Ladner U, Spotswood H, Burke L, Siegel J, Jahreis A, Furst DE, Pope JE (2017). Patient acceptable symptom state in scleroderma: results from the tocilizumab compared with placebo trial in active diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis. Rheumatology (Oxford), 57(1), 152-157.
  38. Elorreaga N, Allred D, Ortiz G, McNeill C, Scholand MB, Frech TM (2017). Implementation of an advance directive focus in a Chronic Multi-Organ Rare Disease Clinic. Ann Palliat Med, 6(Suppl 2), S206-S208.
  39. Machin DR, Gates PE, Vink H, Frech TM, Donato AJ (2017). Automated Measurement of Microvascular Function Reveals Dysfunction in Systemic Sclerosis: A Cross-sectional Study. J Rheumatol, 44(11), 1603-1611.
  40. Frech TM, Fakoya L, Gawron AJ, Wong J, Scholand MB, Sawitzke A, Peterson K (2017). Oesophageal disease in systemic sclerosis: does heritability play a role? Clin Exp Rheumatol, 35 Suppl 106(4), 86-88.
  41. Machin DR, Clifton HL, Richardson RS, Wray DW, Donato AJ, Frech TM (2017). Acute oral tetrahydrobiopterin administration ameliorates endothelial dysfunction in systemic sclerosis. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 35 Suppl 106(4), 167-172.
  42. Allred D, Frech TM, McComber C, Peterson K, Ortiz G, McNeill C, Broadbent L, Elorreaga N, Miller T, Scholand MB (2019). Chronic Multiorgan Rare Disease: The Role of the Nurse Practitioner as a Leader of the Healthcare Team. J Med Pract Manage, 32(6), 413-416.
  43. Li W, Frech TM (2017). The critical need for accurately defining digital ulcers in scleroderma. J Scleroderma Relat Disord, 2(2), 69-71.
  44. Goldberg A, Geppert T, Schiopu E, Frech T, Hsu V, Simms RW, Peng SL, Yao Y, Elgeioushi N, Chang L, Wang B, Yoo S (2014). Dose-escalation of human anti-interferon-alpha receptor monoclonal antibody MEDI-546 in subjects with systemic sclerosis: a phase 1, multicenter, open label study. Arthritis Res Ther, 16(1), R57.
  45. Frech TM, Smith G, Reily M, Chamberlain J, Murtaugh MA, Penrod J, Battistone MJ, Stults BM (2013). Peripheral neuropathy: a complication of systemic sclerosis. Clin Rheumatol, 32(6), 885-8.
  46. Frech TM, Penrod J, Battistone MJ, Sawitzke AD, Stults BM (2012). The prevalence and clinical correlates of an auscultatory gap in systemic sclerosis patients. Int J Rheumatol, 2012, 590845.
  47. Frech T, Coffin C, Bohnsack JF, Prahalad S (2006). Concurrent occurrence of eosinophilic fasciitis and morphea in two children. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J, 4(1).

Global Impact

Education History

Type School Degree
Graduate Training Universidad de Salamanca