penn relapsing polychondritis program

The Penn Relapsing Polychondritis Center is a multidisciplinary program that provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for patients with this highly complex and serious disease. We are one of the few academic centers in the world that both sees many patients with this rare disorder to provide outstanding personalized clinical care, and conducts research to advance our understanding of the disease and work towards developing better treatments. We have a unique research program that combines the strengths of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation.

Patients seen at the Penn Relapsing Polychondritis Center will initially be evaluated by one of our expert Rheumatologists and, as necessary, subsequently referred to one of several other medical specialists with specific interests in this disease.

Doctor Holding Patient's Hand


Click the button below to learn more about our program's clinical care opportunities

Science Lab


Click the button below to learn about our research goals and opportunities



The Penn Relapsing Polychondritis Program offers many different clinical care opportunities and resources for our patients. 

  • Medical Management

  • Laboratory Tests

  • Diagnostic Tests

    • Audiology evaluation

    • Radiological evaluations

    • Nerve conduction tests

    • Pulmonary function tests

  • Physical therapy

  • Diagnostic and therapeutic interventions

  • Laryngoscopy

  • Bronchoscopy

  • Tracheal- Bronchial

    • Stenting

    • Dilatation

  • Gastrointestinal procedures

    • Endoscopy

    • Colonoscopy

  • Cosmetic procedures

Patients with confirmed or suspected relapsing polychondritis (RP) can call 215-662-4333 to make an appointment with one of our RP specialists.



Peter Merkel, MD, MPH

Shubhasree Banerjee, MD

Rennie Rhee, MD, MS

Naomi Amudala, CRNP

You will be evaluated by members of our multispecialty team as appropriate:



Michelle Hershman, MD

Nirali Bhatt, MD


Andrew Haas, MD, PhD

David DiBardino, MD


Kevin Leahy, MD, PhD

Natasha Mirz, MD

Oren Friedman, MD

Please have previous records of medical history available either at the appointment or faxed to 215-349-5703.


Test Tubes

As a patient in the Penn Relapsing Polychondritis Program, you will have the opportunity to participate in our currently enrolling relapsing polychondritis studies.


Please click the button below to explore our studies and find information on how to become a participant.