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Edward M. Behrens, MD
Edward M. Behrens
Chief, Division of Rheumatology

Dr. Behrens' research focuses on the pathogenesis and treatment of cytokine storm syndromes, including the hemophagocytic syndromes Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and Macrophage Activation Syndrome (MAS).



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Dr. Behrens' research program centers on the pathogenesis of Cytokine Storm Syndrome, a common pathologic endpoint of a heterogeneous group of initiating diseases. Cytokine Storm Syndrome results in multi-organ failure and a stereotypical immune response including increased serum ferritin and Interferon gamma that leads to the organ failure itself.

He is specifically interested in dissecting the initiating, propagating, and regulatory factors that determine the pace and outcome of cytokine storm. This is accomplished using a number of different murine models including perforin deficient mice, repeated TLR9 agonist injections, and other murine systems of systemic inflammation.

The ultimate goal of these investigations is to improve the lives of patients that suffer from Cytokine Storm Syndrome by developing strategies for treatment and prevention.

Education and Training

BA, Johns Hopkins University (Biology), 1997

MD, University of Pennsylvania, 2002

Fellowship, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (Pediatric Rheumatology), 2007

Titles and Academic Titles

Chief, Division of Rheumatology

Co-Leader, Immune Dysregulation Frontier Program

Joseph Lee Hollander Endowed Chair in Pediatric Rheumatology

Attending Physician

Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Professional Memberships

American College of Rheumatology, 2007-

American Association of Immunologists, 2007-

Histiocyte Society, 2010-

Society for Pediatric Research, 2016-

American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2016-

Professional Awards

AMGEN Rheumatology Fellowship Award, 2004

Clinical Immunology Society Travel Grant Award, 2005

Philadelphia Rheumatism Society Fellows Research Forum Award, 2005

American College of Rheumatology REF Pediatric Rheumatology Research Award, 2006

Earl J. Brewer Research Travel Grant Award in Pediatric Rheumatology, 2006

MedImmune Inflammation and Autoimmunity Abstract Competition Finalist, 2006

Clinical Immunology Society School of Autoimmune Diseases Travel Grant, 2007

American College of Rheumatology Distinguished Fellow Award, 2007

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Physician Scientist Early Career Award, 2009

University of Pennsylvania Department of Medicine Austrian Award, 2010

Arthritis Foundation Profession Education Award, 2011

Nezelof Award in Basic Science, Histiocyte Society, 2011

Stuart McKracken Award for Research, Arthritis Foundation, 2012

Nezelof Award in Basic Science, Histiocyte Society, 2012

American Society for Clinical Investigators, Young Physician-Scientist Award, 2013

Publication Highlights