MD, MPH Chief, Division of Rheumatology Principal Investigator, Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology University of Pennsylvania USA Dr. Merkel is the Chief of Rheumatology and a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Principal Investigator of the NIH-Sponsored Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium and the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network. Dr. Merkel is an internationally recognized research and clinical expert in vasculitis and scleroderma, two diseases he has studied for over 20 years, and is an author on over 200 scientific publications. Dr. Merkel’s research focuses on clinical trial design and conduct, outcome measure development, clinical epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, and biomarker discovery. Dr. Merkel has also conducted substantial research in scleroderma with a focus on outcome measures and clinical trial design. 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.