OUR CLINICIANS

PETER MERKEL
MD, MPH
CHIEF OF THE DIVISION OF RHEUMATOLOGY 
RENNIE RHEE
MD, MSCE
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE
SHUBHASREE BANERJEE
MD
ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF CLINICAL MEDICINE

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Dr. Merkel is the Chief of Rheumatology and a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Merkel is an internationally recognized research and clinical expert in vasculitis, diseases he has studied for over 25 years, and is an author on over 300 scientific publications. He is the Principal Investigator of the NIH-Sponsored Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC), a leading international research infrastructure for vasculitis clinical investigation. Dr. Merkel’s research focuses on clinical trial design and conduct, outcome measure development, clinical epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, and biomarker discovery.

 

Dr. Merkel received his MD from Yale University, his MPH from Harvard University, completed his residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.

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Dr. Rhee is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Penn Vasculitis Center. Dr. Rhee is also the Principal Investigator of multiple NIH, foundational, and institutional research awards to study vasculitis. Her research interests include clinical and translational research in vasculitis with a focus on understanding the role of the human microbiome in vasculitis and novel biomarkers of disease activity in vasculitis. She led the development of a biorepository of nasal swab samples at the Penn Vasculitis Center to study the nasal microbiome in ANCA-associated vasculitis and co-led the development of the Penn Giant Cell Arteritis Fast-Track Program.

Dr. Rhee received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and medical degree from New York University, where she also completed her residency training. She completed her rheumatology fellowship at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rhee also received a master’s in clinical epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Dr. Banerjee is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a member of the Penn Vasculitis Center. Dr. Banerjee is experienced in treating patients with different types of vasculitis and sees patients at the Perelman Center of Advanced Medicine and Penn Medicine University City Locations. She is also involved in multiple clinical projects in vasculitis and has published in large vessel vasculitis, Behçet’s disease, and relapsing polychondritis. 

 

Dr. Banerjee graduated from Medical College Kolkata, India, following which she completed three years of post-graduate training in Biochemistry from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, India. After moving to the United States, she completed her residency training in Internal Medicine at Overlook Medical Center, New Jersey and her fellowship in Rheumatology at the National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). She did an additional year of training dedicated to vasculitis and did research on imaging in large vessel vasculitis at NIAMS.

ANTOINE SREIH
MD
ADJUNCT ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE 

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Dr. Sreih is currently an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his rheumatology fellowship at Yale University, becoming a clinical rheumatologist and an expert in vasculitis. He was the recipient of the American College of Rheumatology Research Foundation award to study vasculitis. He was a member of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium Steering Committee, a member of the American College of Rheumatology Vasculitis Guidelines Core Committee, and the president of the Philadelphia Rheumatism Society. Dr. Sreih worked closely with Dr. Peter Merkel to help create the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network and was the co-chair of its research committee. 

 

NAOMI AMUDALA
CRNP, MSN
NURSE PRACTITIONER 

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Naomi Amudala, RN, FNP-BC received her Master's degree in Nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions. She first joined the faculty at the Boston University Vasculitis Center in 2009, where she saw patients with vasculitis and also was a co-investigator for multiple clinical trials in vasculitis. In 2018 she moved to the Penn Vasculitis Center, where the majority of her time continues to be dedicated to the clinical care of patients with vasculitis. She remains involved in research and is a co-investigator for multiple clinical trials.

RESEARCH TEAM

SALLY J. THOMPSON, MBE

Clinical Research Manager

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SHERRY CHOU

Clinical Research Coordinator

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SARAH GILLESPIE

Clinical Research Coordinator

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ALI KEENAN

Clinical Research Coordinator

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ELIZABETH ROBINSON

Clinical Research Coordinator

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KATHRYN DOYLE

Laboratory Technician