Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship

About the program

The Fellowship Program in Pediatric Rheumatology is a three-year program designed for physicians trained in pediatrics and selected on the basis of excellence in their credentials and training programs.

Our program combines a one-year clinical experience followed by at least two years of advanced training in basic, translational or clinical research, while continuing a longitudinal patient care experience. The program is led by a broadly experienced faculty who will train physicians to be pediatric rheumatologists and leaders in pediatric rheumatology.

Fellowship training program director

Jay Mehta, MD, MS
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Pediatric Research Center
Division of Rheumatology
3615 Civic Center Boulevard - Room #1102
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4399

Fellowship goals

The key goals of the fellowship program are to:

Develop collaborative clinical care expertise

  • To lead the comprehensive care of children with rheumatic diseases.
  • To incorporate the role of medical and allied healthcare professionals in patient care.
  • To understand the role of community resources in the care of children with rheumatic diseases.
  • To work within interdisciplinary teams

Foster independent basic science, translational and clinical investigation

  • To offer formal post-doctoral course work in basic science, translational and clinical research.
  • To provide mentoring to develop and complete innovative and feasible research projects.
  • To ensure academic achievement by rigorously supervising academic progress.

Invest in the future of pediatric rheumatology

  • To promote management skills for independent direction of a rheumatology team, including formal participation in divisional quality and patient safety initiatives.
  • To solidify research skills to further independent research careers.
  • To foster mentoring skills to educate subsequent trainees.
  • To cultivate leadership skills to advance the field of pediatric rheumatology.

Unique information about the program

An independent Division of Rheumatology was established in 1999 within the Department of Pediatrics. In 2000, the American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited the Rheumatology Fellowship Program. We have six pediatric rheumatology faculty members and two fellowship slots available each year. Our faculty are actively engaged in both basic and clinical investigation, and have a longstanding commitment to Children’s Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance's (CARRA) efforts. Additionally, CHOP Rheumatology recently joined the Pediatric Rheumatology Care & Outcomes Improvement Network (PR-COIN) Network.

Clinical training occurs in our busy outpatient clinic, as well as on the inpatient side with both our primary rheumatology service and a robust consult service. CHOP not only serves as the main pediatric care site for much of Philadelphia, but also welcomes patients from throughout the mid-Atlantic region, the United States, and the world. We conduct three multi-disciplinary clinics which fellows are strongly encouraged to attend, the Uveitis Coordinated Care Clinic, the Lupus Integrated Nephritis Clinic and the Immune Dysregulation Clinic. Rheumatology clinicians are supported by 4 nurses and 2 social workers, including a dedicated lupus social worker.

Musculoskeletal ultrasound, arthrocentesis, and intraarticular corticosteroid joint injections are commonly performed. In addition to clinic-based training, fellows enroll in ultrasound educational offerings at the ACR Annual Scientific Conference or at the CARRA Annual Conference. We currently have two Sonosite M-MSK system devices for use in our clinic, which has enhanced our diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities.

Pediatric rheumatology has a strong clinical and research relationship with the Penn Division of Adult Rheumatology. We have shared conferences, and pediatric fellows attend adult clinics periodically. Importantly, we have a shared NIH fellowship training grant and have recently developed a Medicine-Pediatrics Rheumatology Fellowship.

Specific information by years and/or rotation

First year

Fellows become proficient in the history, physical exam, differential diagnosis, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of pediatric rheumatic diseases. Sensitivity to psychosocial aspects of chronic illness is emphasized.

First year fellows spend five months each on inpatient and outpatient services, and spend one month on elective or research rotations. Elective rotations will be set up from a variety of outpatient clinics, depending on the fellow's needs (such as sports medicine, immunology, or our multidisciplinary uveitis clinic). First year fellows have a once-weekly continuity clinic in which they follow patients for whom they are the primary rheumatologist.

The fellow will share night and weekend care with the pediatric rheumatology attending. Additionally, the fellow will prepare conferences and take a major role in teaching residents and students rotating through the service.

During the first six months, the fellow considers available research training opportunities. In the second half of the first year, the fellow develops an appropriate research training plan and identifies a research mentor.

Second and third year

Clinical responsibilities during the second and third years consist of a longitudinal patient care experience in continuity clinic and one month of inpatient service. Fellows are encouraged to take advantage of a number of opportunities to further their teaching skills with CHOP residents and Penn medical students.

The majority of time in the second and third years is devoted to research training — a critical component of the fellowship program. Fellows interested in basic/translational science may enroll in courses offered through the UPENN Graduate Program in Immunology and work as a post-doctoral fellow in their mentor’s laboratory. Fellows interested in clinical research can enroll in the two-year Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) Program at the UPENN Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB). Fellows interested in advanced training in Quality Improvement may enroll in the UPENN Masters of Science in Health Policy through the Center for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety.

Those seeking formal training in translational research may enroll in the two-year Masters in Translational Research (MTR) Program.

If you have other scholarly interests, please let us know so we can connect you with opportunities across the extensive CHOP and Penn campuses.

Didactic program

  • Each week, faculty and fellows participate in a 60-minute didactic session, and a 30-minute inpatient and challenging outpatient review. Our didactic curriculum is designed on a three-year cycle to ensure that fellows have exposure to outstanding CHOP and UPenn faculty with diverse expertise. Dr. Mehta reviews Cassidy & Petty chapters each week with the first year fellows.
  • Every 2 weeks, fellows lead a journal club with guidance from faculty.  Major current or recent manuscripts in basic or clinical investigation relevant to rheumatic diseases as well as seminal articles are prioritized.  Fellows receive feedback on their knowledge of the content in the manuscript and their analysis of study methods.
  • Fellows participate in all divisional QI activities. There is a specific fellow QI project, led by the senior fellow(s) with attending physician support. Fellows are expected to learn improvement methodology and tools to systematically shepherd projects through define, diagnose, test/implement, and sustain phases. We actively participate in the Pediatric Rheumatology Care & Outcomes Improvement Network (PR-COIN), which focuses on QI training and improvement activities.  One fellow has the opportunity to attend each biannual PR-COIN conference.  Fellows have access to the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) curriculum, and a resident/fellow QI lecture series.
  • We augment didactic sessions with interdisciplinary conferences with Radiology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Neurology, and UPenn Rheumatology.  With guidance from attendings, fellows are responsible for organizing case presentations during these interdisciplinary conferences.  Additionally, fellows are encouraged to attend the weekly Immune Dysregulation and monthly Interstitial Lung Disease interdisciplinary conferences.
  • At the start of fellowship, we conduct a three-day didactic Introduction to Fellowship, focusing on major pediatric rheumatic diseases, therapeutics, laboratory testing and imaging, and how to be an effective consultant pediatrician.  In addition, from September through December of each year, fellows attend the Immunology Lecture Series. Taught by leading basic investigators, this 10-lecture curriculum covers innate and adaptive immunity and prepares fellows to understand the pathophysiology of rheumatic diseases and rational choice of disease modifying and biologic therapies.

General information on outcomes of fellows

The CHOP Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship is designed to allow graduates the flexibility to seek the career of their choice. Most graduates seek academic positions at tertiary care centers.

In addition to the ten graduates who currently hold faculty positions at CHOP, recent graduates have positions at the Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, Children’s Hospital at Pittsburgh, Toronto Hospital for Sick Children, Riley Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Lurie Children’s Hospital at Northwestern, Children’s Hospital of Alabama at UAB, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of California San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester, Children’s Mercy Kansas City, and the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital.

About the faculty

Edward Behrens, MD (Division Chief): Dr. Behrens first discovered his passion for Pediatric Rheumatology during his medical school rotation in the Division at CHOP in 2000. It was so awesome that he never left. Now as chief, he aspires to lead the Division to provide the same incredible training experience he was fortunate to receive.  His research interests include Toll-like Receptor and cytokine biology, particularly as they relate to cytokine storm syndromes. Dr. Behrens started the CHOP Immune Dysregulation Program.  When not at work he enjoys duplicate contract bridge, playing the trombone, and watching The Office with his daughter.

Jay Mehta, MD (Fellowship Program Director): Dr. Mehta came back to CHOP after 5 years at Montefiore where he was also the fellowship director. He was drawn back to CHOP by “the incredible fellows, faculty, and resources (both clinical and research) that are here.” Nationally, he serves as Chair of the ACR Pediatric Committee and the CARRA Rare Diseases Committee. He’s also an Assistant Program Director for the CHOP Pediatrics Residency. Jay's fun fact: he won a car on an episode of Wheel of Fortune in high school, but sadly lost the evidence when he left the VHS tape on top of a toaster oven in college. When not at CHOP, Jay loves exploring Philly restaurants with his wife, throwing spontaneous dance parties with his 8 year old daughter, and riding the 40 bus for hours with his 3 year old son.

Melissa Lerman, MD PhD MSCE (Associate Fellowship Director): Dr. Lerman moved to Philadelphia for medical/graduate school, completed her pediatrics residency and fellowship in rheumatology at CHOP, and has been on the faculty since 2011. Dr. Lerman is a full time clinician at CHOP and is the assistant Fellowship Director for the division.  Her particular clinical and research focus is in uveitis. Along with an ophthalmology colleague, Dr. Stefanie Davidson, she co-founded and co-directs the Uveitis Coordinated Care Clinic.  She is also actively involved in the Uveitis Study Group of the Childhood Arthritis & Rheumatology Research Alliance. She is particularly interested in using, and helping others to perform, MSK ultrasound. Dr. Lerman, her husband and two children are committed city dwellers who love the ability to walk or bike almost anywhere.  She looks forward to introducing new fellows both to rheumatology and to Greater Philadelphia.

Jon (Sandy) Burnham, MD MSCE (Clinical Director): Dr. Burnham has lived in Philly since coming to medical school at Penn in 1993. After completing his training at CHOP, he joined the Rheumatology faculty in 2004, served as Fellowship Director from 2013-2019, and is now the Rheumatology Clinical Director. He is currently involved in numerous quality improvement activities within CHOP focusing on treat-to-target approaches in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and development of an Integrated Lupus Program.  Nationally, he is a member of the Pediatric Rheumatology Care and Outcomes Improvement Network (PR-COIN) Executive and Steering Committees, and co-leads its Outcomes Committee.  He is co-leading PR-COIN’s efforts to deploy a treat-to-target approach across its centers in the United States and Canada.  He enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, and in his free time can be found playing squash or tennis, taking photographs, cheering for the Phillies, or smoking brisket, ribs, or pork shoulder.

David Sherry, MD (Director of the Pain Program): David Sherry has been at CHOP since 2002. He was, in reverse order, at Seattle Children's, Children’s Hospital of LA, University of British Columbia, Duke and Texas Tech. His clinical and research focus is amplified pain syndromes and has helped establish a world class program to care for these children. He and his wife have 5 children and 8 grandchildren.  He enjoys household projects, baking, comics, and blues.

Lehn Weaver, MD PhD: Dr. Weaver is a former graduate of the CHOP Rheumatology Fellowship with a particular interest in the basic immunologic mechanisms driving systemic inflammation in autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases. He enjoys playing sports with his 7-year old son, and has become particularly adept at painting fingernails and toenails with his 5-year old daughter.

Pamela Weiss, MD MSCE (Director of Clinical Research): Dr. Weiss completed residency and fellowship at CHOP and her masters in epidemiology at UPENN. She directs the Rheumatology Research Core which facilitates the recruitment and conduct of patient-oriented studies leveraging the clinic population. Her own research focus is on the early diagnosis, accurate phenotyping and targeted treatment of children with spondyloarthritis (SpA). She served as Chair of the Juvenile Arthritis Research Committee for the Childhood Arthritis Rheumatology and Research Alliance (CARRA), is on the advisory council of the Pediatric Rheumatology Collaborative Study Group (focused on pharmaceutical industry trials in academia), and leads the Clinical Trials Research Affinity Group at CHOP. Pam has 2 young daughters and enjoys gardening, cooking, and walking her 2 dogs.

Sabrina Gmuca, MD MSCE: Dr. Gmuca joined the faculty in 2017 after completing her fellowship training at CHOP and an MSCE degree at Penn. She cares for patients in both our rheumatology and AMPS clinic. Her research interests are neurocognitive impairment in adolescents with juvenile fibromyalgia syndrome and the role of resilience among youth with chronic musculoskeletal pain syndromes. She seeks to improve long-term outcomes in youth with chronic pain through novel non-pharmacologic psychosocial interventions, with a specific interest in exploring the efficacy of resilience training interventions in this population. Her current work is supported by a Rheumatology Research Foundation K Bridge Award. Her goal is to become an independent clinical investigator with dedicated NIH funding. In her free time, she enjoys traveling; visiting family and friends in NYC; and jogging along the Schuylkill.

Joyce Chang, MD MSCE: Dr. Chang recently joined the faculty after completing her residency and fellowship training at CHOP. She cares for patients in our rheumatology clinic and the Lupus Integrated Nephritis Clinic. Her research focus is in non-invasive measures of cardiovascular health in pediatric lupus. She received the Lupus Foundation of America career development award in 2018 to evaluate ambulatory blood pressure abnormalities in children with lupus. Her goal is to develop an independently funded research program to evaluate the effectiveness of early prevention strategies on cardiovascular outcomes of pediatric lupus. Outside of work, she enjoys power yoga, cooking, and having awesome foodie adventures both in and outside of Philly.

Emily Liebling, MD: Dr. Liebling completed her fellowship at CHOP in June 2020. She currently cares for patients in the new Rheumatology practice at the CHOP Specialty Care Center in Princeton-Plainsboro, NJ. Her research and clinical interests lie in uveitis, particularly JIA-associated uveitis. She is a born and bred New Yorker and completed residency training at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, but now calls Philadelphia home. In her spare time, she enjoys being the brunt of divisional jokes, reading, exploring Philadelphia museums (plug for the Franklin Institute's Marvel exhibit), and being a champion board gamer.

Cory Stingl, MD: Dr. Stingl joined CHOP in 2020 after completing residency, fellowship, and an attending year at Duke University. He sees all types of rheumatology patients at the CHOP specialty clinics in Glen Mills (Brandywine). His research interests are in improving treatment in juvenile dermatomyositis and the autoimmune brain diseases. He co-directs the Childhood Arthritis Rheumatology and Research Alliance (CARRA) translational research initiative, serves as a founding member of the Translational Medicine for Juvenile Myositis (TM for JM) CARRA subcommittee, and is on the CARRA ethics board. Outside of work Dr. Stingl enjoys spending time with his wife and toddler-aged daughter, cooking, exploring all the parks/historical sites/kid-friendly entertainment, and biking.

About the fellows

Julie Chase, MD, PhD: Julie is a third-year fellow, primarily focused on clinical medicine. She was raised in Albuquerque, NM where she learned how to skydive from a hot air balloon and completed undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry at the University of New Mexico, later earning a PhD in Immunology (Washington University in St. Louis) and her MD (University of Missouri-Columbia). She enjoyed living in Nashville, Tennessee while completing her residency training in pediatrics at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. She chose CHOP for her fellowship for the clinical volume, complexity of cases, the dedication to learning at weekly didactics and joint conferences, and the collegiality of the department. In her free time, she loves hiking and spending time outside in nature: Ricketts Glen Falls trail (Fairmount Township, PA) is definitely in her top 10 best trails of all time.

Beth Rutstein, MD: Beth is now a third-year fellow after completing both medical school and residency in Philadelphia at UPENN/CHOP. She has a particular interest in the infectious complications within the immunosuppressed population and is currently completing her MSCE, which aims to investigate the increased risk of Herpes Zoster in the pediatric rheumatologic community. As a native to the Philadelphia area, she enjoys playing with her niece and nephew on the weekend, running along the Schuylkill river path, and debating Phillies vs Yankees with her NYC-bred husband. She is happy to field any questions you may have about fellowship – but don’t ask her for spelling advice or directions unless you want to be led astray.

Melissa Argraves, MD: Melissa was born and raised in Connecticut. She completed her Bachelor of Science in psychology and her medical degree at the University of Connecticut. While she will always consider herself a Husky, she was excited to take on a new city moving to Philadelphia in 2016 to complete pediatric residency at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She loved CHOP and Philly so much that she decided to continue her training at CHOP and is now a 2nd year pediatric rheumatology fellow. She picked this program because the breadth of cases is amazing, the people are engaging, intelligent, and fun, she was able to pursue her passion for medical education, and it allowed her to stay close to family and friends. She is currently pursuing a Master’s in Medical Education from the University of Pennsylvania as part of her scholarly work. Her current academic interests include creating innovative ways to teach the musculoskeletal exam, trainee wellness, enhancing physician communication, and the overlap between rheumatologic disease and pain syndromes. In her free time, she loves to explore the Philly food scene with her best friends- she promises it does not disappoint! She also enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling. Her most recent trip was to Cuba.

Atiye Bilgic-Dagci, MD: Atiye completed medical school in Turkey and did her residency at Flushing Hospital. Her primary research interest focuses on the course and outcomes of juvenile idiopathic arthritis and associated conditions. She is a 2nd year fellow and is enrolled in the Masters of Science in Clinical Epidemiology.  She chose CHOP because of the well-recognized and accomplished faculty who are supportive of both clinical learning and helping fellows reach their career goals.  She loves the perfect blend of urban and suburban life in Philadelphia and enjoys exploring all that Philly has to offer with her son and husband.

Julia Rood, MD, PhD: Julia is a first-year fellow. She grew up in Maryland and moved to Philly to complete her MD/PhD at Penn. She has a fondness for viral immunology but discovered her interest in pediatric rheumatology while completing her graduate studies in Dr. Behrens' lab. Her research interests include dysregulated antiviral immune responses and autoinflammatory disorders. Outside of work, she enjoys swimming, crosswords, and exploring Philly's many bike trails and breweries.

Sarah Bayefsky, MD: Sarah has the honor of being the first combined pediatric & adult rheumatology fellow at CHOP/Penn. She is from Toronto, did medical school at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and completed a Med/Peds residency at Vanderbilt. During her first year of residency, she became fascinated by rheumatology after spending time with a pediatric patient with vasculitis and an adult patient with myositis. As she progressed through residency, she realized that the complexity of cases, longitudinal care, holistic approach, interdisciplinary nature, collegial environment, and lifelong learning that the field of rheumatology affords made for a perfect fit. She is interested in medical education and loves to teach residents and medical students. Outside of work, she can be spotted picnicking by the Schuylkill River, traveling to faraway lands (in the absence of a global pandemic), cheering for the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team, and trying to speak with you in foreign languages.

Research opportunities

Both clinical research and basic science research tracks are available to the fellow. The fellow is expected to lead a research project, of either a clinical or basic science nature, during the last two years of the fellowship program.

The program ensures a meaningful, supervised research experience based on early establishment of a mentor appropriate for the fellow's interests. The fellow is guided into appropriate training in order to successfully complete a research project over the course of the three-year program. The fellow may choose a clinically-based research project for which several mentors are available through the Divisions of Rheumatology at Penn or CHOP, or the fellow may choose a basic research laboratory-based project.

Related programs

Recent publications by fellows

Basiaga ML, Weiss PF, Behrens EM. BIRC4 Mutation: An important rare cause of uveitis. J Clin Rheumatol, 21(8):444-7, December 2015.

Gmuca S, Weiss PF. Evaluation and treatment of childhood enthesitis-related arthritis. Curr Treatm Opt Rheumatol, 1(4):350-364, December 2015. Epub September 2015.

Gmuca S, Weiss PF. Juvenile spondyloarthritis. Curr Opin Rheumatol, 27(4):364-72, July 2015.

Knight A, Weiss P, Morales K, Gerdes M, Rearson M, Vickery M, Keren R: Identifying differences in risk factors for depression and anxiety in pediatric chronic disease: A matched cross-sectional study of youth with lupus/mixed connective tissue disease and their peers with diabetes. J Pediatr, 167(6):1397-403.e1, Deccember 2015.

Taxter AJ, Wileyto EP, Behrens EM, Weiss PF. Patient-reported outcomes across categories of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. J Rheumatol, 42(10):1914-21, October 2015. Epub September 1, 2015.

Ramsay E, Lerman MA: How to use the erythrocyte sedimentation rate in pediatrics. Arch Dis Child Educ Pract Ed, 100(1):30-6, February 2015.

Zhao Y, Chauvin NA, Jaramillo D, Burnham JM: Aggressive therapy reduces disease activity without skeletal damage progression in chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis. Journal of Rheumatology, 42(7):1245-51, July 2015 Notes: Epub ahead of print May 15, 2015.

Basiaga ML, Burrows EK, Denburg MR, Meyers KE, Grossman AB, Mamula P, Grundmeier RW, Burnham JM. Variation in preventive care in children receiving chronic glucocorticoid therapy. J Pediatr, 179:226-232, December 2016. Epub September 2016.

Raslan A, Boneparth A, Leibowitz K, Bhise V, Basiaga ML, Burnham J, Moorthy N: Anti-MDA-5 associated arthritis and fasciitis in an 11-year-old Boy. Annals of Paediatric Rheumatology, January 2016 Notes: Online First.

Das R, Guan P, Sprague L, Verbist K, Tedrick P, An QA, Cheng C, Kurachi M, Levine R, Wherry EJ, Canna SW, Behrens EM, Nichols KE. Janus kinase inhibition lessens inflammation and ameliorates disease in murine models of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Blood, 127(13):1666-75, March 31 2016. Epub Jan 29, 2016

Gmuca S, Boos MD, Treece A, Narula S, Billinghurst L, Bhatti T, Laje P, Perman MJ, Vossough A, Harding B, Burnham J, Banwell B. Degos disease mimicking primary vasculitis of the CNS. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm, 2;3(2):e206, February 2016.

Hoffart CM, Sherry DD: Fibromyalgia--toward a definition in children. J Pediatr, 169: 9-10, February 2016. Notes: epub December 9, 2015.

Weaver LK, Chu N, Behrens EM. TLR9-mediated inflammation drives a Ccr2-independent peripheral monocytosis through enhanced extramedullary monocytopoiesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 27;113(39):10944-9, September 2016. Epub September 12, 2016.

Rood JE, Canna SW, Weaver LK, Tobias JW, Behrens EM. IL-10 distinguishes a unique population of activated, effector-like CD8+ T cells in murine acute liver inflammation. J Leukoc Biol, 101(4):1037-1044, April 2017. Epub December 29 2016.

Gmuca S, Lieberman SM, Mehta J. Pediatric neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder and Sjögren Syndrome: More common than previously thought? J Rheumatol, 44(6):959-960, June 2017.

Manos CK, Xiao R, Brandon TG, Burnham JM, Zemel BS, Weiss PF. Obesity and pediatric psoriatic arthritis. Ann Paediatr Rheumatol, 6(2):34-40, 2017. Gmuca S, Xiao R, Brandon TG, Pagnini I, Wright TB, Beukelman T, Morgan EM, Weiss PF. Multicenter inception cohort of enthesitis-related arthritis: variation in disease characteristics and treatment approaches. Arthritis Res Ther, 19(1):84, May 2017.

Tiao J, Feng R, Berger EM, Brandsema JF, Coughlin CC, Khan N, Kichula EA, Lerman MA, Lvovich S, McMahon PJ, Rubin AI, Scalzi LV, Smith DM, Taxter AJ, Treat JR, Williams RP, Yum SW, Okawa J, Werth VP : Evaluation of the reliability of the cutaneous dermatomyositis disease area and severity index and the cutaneous assessment tool binary method in juvenile dermatomyositis among paediatric dermatologists, rheumatologists and neurologists. Br J Dermatol, 177(4):1086-1092, October 2017.

Chang JC, Knight AM, Xiao R, Mercer-Rosa LM, Weiss PF. Use of echocardiography at diagnosis and detection of acute cardiac disease in youth with systemic lupus erythematosus. Lupus, 27(8):1348-1357, July 2018. Epub 2018 Apr 2018.

Chang JC, Xiao R, Mercer-Rosa L, Knight AM, Weiss PF. Child-onset systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with a higher incidence of myopericardial manifestations compared to adult-onset disease. Lupus, 27(13):2146-2154, November 2018. Epub 2018 October 14, 2018.

Chang JC, Mandell DS, Knight AM. High Health Care Utilization Preceding Diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Youth. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 70(9):1303-1311, September 2018. Epub August 16, 2018.

Gmuca S, Xiao R, Weiss PF, Waldman AT, Gerber JS. Use of rituximab and risk of re-hospitalization for children with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder. Mult Scler Demyelinating Disord, 3:3. Epub April 17, 2018.

Gmuca S, Yu J, Weiss PF, Treat JR, Sherry DD: Erythema Ab Igne in an adolescent with chronic pain: An alarming cutaneous eruption from heat exposure. Pediatric Emerg Care, March 2018. Gmuca S, Sherry DD. Fibromyalgia: Treating Pain in the Juvenile Patient. Paediatr Drugs,19(4):325-338, August 2017.

James KE, Xiao R, Merkel PA, Weiss PF. Variation in the Treatment of Children Hospitalized With Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody-Associated Vasculitis in the US. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken), 69(9):1377-1383, September 2017. Epub August 13, 2017. James KE, Xiao R, Merkel PA, Weiss PF. Clinical course and outcomes of childhood-onset granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Clin Exp Rheumatol, 35 Suppl 103(1):202-208, March/April 2016. Epub October 2016.

Brandon TG, Manos CK, Xiao R, Ogdie A, Weiss PF. Pediatric psoriatic arthritis: a population-based cohort study of risk factors for onset and subsequent risk of inflammatory comorbidities. J Psoriasis Psoriatic Arthritis, 3(4):131-136, October 2018. Epub 2018 Sep 18.

Le Coz C, Nolan BE, Trofa M, Kamsheh AM, Khokha MK, Lakhani SA, Novelli A, Zackai EH, Sullivan KE, Briuglia S, Bhatti TR, Romberg N. Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 haploinsufficiency-associated inflammation can occur independently of T-cell hyperproliferation. Front Immunol, 24;9:1715, July 2018.

Buckley L, Ware E, Kreher G, Wiater L, Mehta J, Burnham JM: Outcome monitoring and clinical decision support in polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis. J Rheumatol, 47(2): 273-281, February 2020.

Chang JC, White BR, Elias MD, Xiao R, Knight AM, Weiss PF, Mercer-Rosa L: Echocardiographic assessment of diastolic function in children with incident systemic lupus erythematosus. Pediatric Cardiology, 40(5):1017-1025, June 2019.

Liebling EJ, Peterson R, Victoria T, Burnham JM: Aortic ulceration in a tocilizumab-treated patient with Takayasu arthritis. Ann rheum Dis, 78(10), October 2019.

Romberg N, Le Coz C, Glauzy S, Schickel JN, Trofa M, Nolan BE, Paessler M, Xu ML, Lambert MP, Lakhani SA, Khokha MK, Jyonouchi S, Heimall J, Takach P, Maglione PJ, Catanzaro J, Hsu FI, Sullivan KE, Cunningham-Rundles C, Meffre E. Patients with common variable immunodeficiency with autoimmune cytopenias exhibit hyperplastic yet inefficient germinal center responses. J Allergy Clin Immunol,143(1):258-265, January 2019. Epub June 2018.

Chang JC, Buckley LH, Goldberg T, Nolan BE, Peterson R, Liebling EJ, Waqar LN, Burnham JM. Enhancing communication and social engagement among clinicians and research teams to improve reliability of research recruitment. BMJ Open Qual, 8(4), November 2019.

Kushner CJ, Tarazi M, Gaffney RG, Feng R, Ardalan K, Brandling-Bennett H, Castello-Soccio L, Chang JC, Chiu YE, Gmuca S, Hunt RD, Kahn P, Knight AM, Mehta J, Pearson DR, Treat JR, Wan J, Yeguez A, Concha JS, Patel B, Okawa J, Arkin LM, Werth VP: Evaluation of the reliability and validity of the cutaneous lupus erythematosus disease area and severity index (CLASI) in pediatric cutaneous lupus among pediatric dermatologist and rheumatologists. British Journal of Dermatology, 180(1):165-171, January 2019.

Gmuca S, Xiao R, Weiss PF, Sherry DD, Knight AM, Gerber JS. Opioid prescribing and polypharmacy in children with chronic musculoskeletal pain. Pain Med, 20(3):495-503, March 2019.

Liebling EJ, Sze RW, Behrens EM. Vitamin C deficiency mimicking inflammatory bone disease of the hand. Pediatr Rheumatol Online J,18(1):45, June 2020.

How to apply

Our three-year fellowship seeks physicians who will have completed two to three years of training in an accredited residency program in order to sit for the American Board of Pediatrics certifying examination. Our fellowship program participates in the ERAS universal application process. Please visit their Web site at for application information about this program.

The following information should be uploaded into this program:

  1. Completed application
  2. At least three letters of reference, including one from your residency program director
  3. Dean's letter and medical school transcript
  4. A personal statement describing career goals and reasons for continuing training in pediatric rheumatology
  5. A recent photograph (optional)
  6. Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the USMLE taken within the seven year time frame as required by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or equivalent scores
  7. If a graduate of a medical school outside the United States, Canada or Puerto Rico, valid ECFMG certificate or one that does not expire prior to the start of the fellowship
  8. If not a citizen of the United States, copy of permanent resident card or copy of current, appropriate visa

National resident matching program (NRMP)

The Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship program participates in the National Resident Matching Program (

Tobacco-free hiring policy

To help preserve and improve the health of our patients, their families and our employees, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a tobacco-free hiring policy. This policy applies to all candidates for employment (other than those with regularly scheduled hours in New Jersey) for all positions, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Job applicants will be expected to sign an attestation stating they’ve been free of nicotine or tobacco products in any form for the prior thirty (30) days. They will also undergo a cotinine test as a part of the Occupational Health pre-placement drug screen administered after the offer of employment has been accepted but before the first day of hire.

Exemptions: Attending physicians (excluding CHOP physicians in the Care Network), psychologists, principal investigators and/or Penn-based faculty are exempt from this process to better align with our colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.


Lisa Sudell
Fellowship Administrator
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Pediatric Rheumatology Fellowship
3615 Civic Center Blvd., 1102 ARC
Philadelphia PA 19104-4318