Meet The Providers

Firas Kassab, M.D., FACR

Dr. Kassab completed his Internal Medicine and Rheumatology training at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas and became board certified in Rheumatology in 2007.

After working for three years as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center, he decided to relocate to North Carolina in 2010 and has been a practicing rheumatologist in Charlotte since then. Dr. Kassab previously worked in 2 group practices, and in October 2020, he opened an independent rheumatology practice in South Charlotte in partnership with the Articularis Healthcare Group team.

Dr. Kassab is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and serves as a board member and Past President at the North Carolina Rheumatology Association since 2012. He is also a member of the American Medical Association and the Independent Physicians of the Carolinas.

He is active in advocacy efforts at the state and federal level to preserve and improve patients’ access to rheumatology care and affordable treatments.

Dr. Kassab supports organizations focused on rheumatic and autoimmune conditions (the Arthritis Foundation, Lupus Foundation, Scleroderma Foundation, JDRF and Diabetes Family Connection).

He fluently speaks Spanish and Arabic (being originally from Damascus, Syria) and spends most of his time outside of the office with his wife and two children at their home in South Charlotte. He also enjoys riding his bicycle, playing tennis, and solving jigsaw puzzles.


Education
• Medical School: University of Damascus College of Medicine, Damascus, Syria; 2000
• Internal Medicine internship and residency: The University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center, Houston, TX; 2005
• Rheumatology fellowship: The University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center, Houston, TX; 2007

Board Certification
• Board certified in Rheumatology by the American Board of Rheumatology since 2007

Professional Associations
• American College of Rheumatology, Fellow Member
• North Carolina Rheumatology Association, board member since 2012 (Past Vice President 2014-2016 and President 2016-2018)
• American Medical Association

Publications (Original Articles)
1 – Long-term outcomes in Systemic Sclerosis-associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension From the Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Assessment and Recognition of Outcomes in Scleroderma Regsitry (PHAROS). Kolstad KD, Li S, Chung L; PHAROS investigators. Chest 2018 Oct; 154(4);862-871
2 – Utility of B-type natriuretic peptides in the assessment of patients with systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary hypertension in the PHAROS registry. Chung L, Alkassab F,…, Steen VD, Zamanian RT. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2017 Sep-Oct;35 Suppl 106(4):106-113
3 – Association Between Initial Oral Therapy and Outcomes in Systemic Sclerosis-Related Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Lammi HR et al. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2016 Mar;68(3):740-8.
4 – Survival in Systemic Sclerosis-Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension by serum antibody stateus in the Pulmonary Hypertension Assessment and Recognition of Outcomes in Scleroderma (PHAROS) Resigtry. Hinchcliff M et al. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2015 Dec; 45(3):309-14
5 – Development of pulmonary hypertension in a high-risk population with systemic sclerosis in the Pulmonary Hypertension Assessment and Recognition of Outcomes in Scleroderma (PHAROS) cohort study. Hsu VM,…, Alkassab F, Steen VD. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2014 Aug;44(1):55-62.
6 – Reconciling healthcare professional and patient perspectives in the development of disease activity and response criteria in connective tissue disease-related interstitial lung diseases. Saketkoo LA et al. OMERACT Connective Tissue Disease–Interstitial Lung Diseases Working Group; J Rheumatol. 2014 Apr;41(4):792-8.
7 – Immunochip analysis identifies multiple susceptibility loci for systemic sclerosis. Mayes MD,…, Alkassab F,…, Martin J. Am J Hum Genet. 2014 Jan 2;94(1):47-61.
8 – Connective tissue disease related interstitial lung diseases and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: provisional core sets of domains and instruments for use in clinical trials. Saketkoo LA, et al. CTD-ILD special interest group. Thorax. 2014 May;69(5):428-36.
9 – Exposure to ACE inhibitors prior to the onset of scleroderma renal crisis-results from the International Scleroderma Renal Crisis Survey. Hudson M et al. International Scleroderma Renal Crisis Study Investigators. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2014 Apr;43(5):666-72.
10 – Survival and predictors of mortality in systemic sclerosis-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension: outcomes from the pulmonary hypertension assessment and recognition of outcomes in scleroderma registry. Chung L,…, Alkassab F,…, Steen VD. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Mar;66(3):489-95.
11 – Treatment of systemic sclerosis complications: what to use when first-line treatment fails-a consensus of systemic sclerosis experts. Walker KM, Pope J; participating members of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC); Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG). Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Aug;42(1):42-55.
12 – Expert agreement on EULAR/EUSTAR recommendations for the management of systemic sclerosis. Walker KM, Pope J; Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium; Canadian Scleroderma Research Group. J Rheumatol. 2011 Jul;38(7):1326-8.
13 – The genetics and genomics of systemic sclerosis: an update and review. Alkassab F and Mayes MD. Curr Rheum Reviews. 2007 Nov;3(4):287-296
14 – An Allograft Inflammatory Factor 1 (AIF1) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is associated with anti-centromere positive systemic sclerosis. Alkassab F, Gourh P, Tan FK, Arnett FC and Mayes MD. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Aug;46(8):1248-51.
15 – Overlap of Systemic Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Alkassab F, Mayes MD. J Rheumatol. 2007 Jul;34(7):1593-4
16 – Evolving role of self-expanding metal stents in the treatment of malignant dysphagia and fistulas.
Ross WA, Alkassab F, …, Bismar M. Gastrointest Endosc. 2007 Jan;65(1):70-6.
17 – Transfusion transmitted malaria: how satisfactory are current preventative measures? Alkassab F, Ericsson CD, Am J Med. 2006 May;119(5):e1-2.

Publications (Textbook Chapters)
1 – Rheumatologic issues in cancer patients, Alkassab F and Arnett FC. In Medical Care of Cancer Patients; Yeung SJ, Escalante C and Gagel RF; 1st Ed., BC Decker;557-562
2 – Spectrum of reactive arthritis, Reveille JD and Alkassab F. In Psoriatic and Reactive Arthritis: A companion to Rheumatology; Ritchlin & Fitzgerald;1st Ed., Elsevier;132-143

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