Melissa Lerman, MD, PhD, MSCE

Melissa Lerman, MD, PhD is an attending physician in the Division of Rheumatology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Locations: Main Campus
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)

  • Background

    Melissa Lerman, MD, PhD, graduated with a BA from Yale University in 1996. Her senior essay was titled, "Activation of Neu in the Mammary Epithelium of Neu Transgenic Mice: the Role of Neu Expression and Activation in Tumorigenesis." For her research, Dr. Lerman received the Yale College DuPuy Award for Scholarship.

    Melissa then entered the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine where she completed the MD, PhD program. She earned her PhD in immunology, studying T cell selection and regulation in response to both fetal and self-antigens, specifically focusing on the development of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells. As a graduate student, she received the Goldie Simon Summer Preceptorship Award from the Lupus Foundation, SE PA (2001).

    Dr. Lerman then completed her residency training in general pediatrics, and her fellowship training in pediatric rheumatology, at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). While a fellow, she began further training to obtain a masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics through the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

    Dr. Lerman began to study an area that had interested her greatly, as it is a key issue for children in our clinic — non-infectious uveitis (uveitis). Uveitis occurs in many pediatric rheumatologic diseases and can lead to significant visual problems. Treatment options include steroids or immunomodulators, including tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors (TNFα inhibitors). Dr. Lerman is currently studying the largest, and only multicenter, group of patients with pediatric uveitis to date to more precisely estimate the outcomes of treatment with TNFα inhibitors. She has been awarded an American College of Rheumatology Research Education Foundation (ACR REF) Scientist Development Award that will enable her to continue this research. She is more broadly interested in studying the comparative effectiveness of different therapies to treat pediatric inflammatory eye disease.

  • Education and Training

    Medical School

    MD - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA


    Pediatrics - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


    Pediatric Rheumatology - The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

    Board Certification

    Pediatric Rheumatology

    Undergraduate Degree

    MSCE in Pharmacoepidemiology – Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

    Graduate Degree

    PhD in Immunology - University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

  • Titles and Academic Titles

    Attending Physician

    Instructor in Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

  • Departments and Services
  • Research Interests

    Comparative effectiveness of treatment for uveitis
    Diagnosis and treatment of temporomandibular joint arthritis
    Treatment of vasculitis

  • Publications



    Lieberman SM, Lerman MA, Burnham JM. Joint complaints. In: Shah SS, editor. Pediatric practice: infectious disease. New York: McGraw Hill Medical; 2008. p. 95-101.



    Lerman, MA, Burnham, JM, Chang, PY, Daniel, E, Foster, SC, Hennessy, S, Jabs, DA, Joffe, M, Kaçmaz, RO, Levy-Clarke, GA, Mills, M, Nussenblatt, RB, Rosenbaum, JT, Suhler, EB, Thorne, JE, Kempen, JH. Response of Pediatric Uveitis to Tumor Necrosis Factor-α Inhibitors. J Rheumatol. 2013 Aug;40(8):1394-403. Epub 2013 Jul 1. PMID: 23818712. Read the abstract.


    Lerman M, Burnham J, Behrens E. 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D3 limits monocyte maturation in lupus sera. Lupus. 2011 Jun;20(7):749-53. Epub 2011 Mar 29. Cited in PubMed; PMID 21447602. Read the abstract