The Joseph Lee Hollander Professorship of Pediatric Rheumatology

Joseph Lee Hollander

Established in 1996 by donations from grateful patients, the University of Pennsylvania, and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the chair honors Joseph Lee Hollander, MD (1910–2000). A 1935 graduate of the Perelman School of Medicine, Dr. Hollander pioneered direct intra-articular steroid therapy, which became a standard treatment for arthritis. He was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize.

From 1946 to 1987, Dr. Hollander served as Chief of the Arthritis Section at Penn Medicine and Chief of Pediatric Rheumatology at CHOP. His experiences treating children with severe rheumatoid arthritis during his residency at Pennsylvania Hospital, and serving with Dr. Philip Hench, one of the originators of corticosteroid treatment, during World War II both profoundly influenced his career.

Dr. Hollander vigorously advocated for arthritis research and care. He helped found the Arthritis Foundation, which awarded him its Distinguished Service Award four times and, in 1998, recognized him as one of 50 nationwide “Heroes Overcoming Arthritis.”

He trained a number of leading rheumatologists, edited five editions of an important textbook, and, in 1961 and 1962, was President of the American Rheumatism Association, the professional society for rheumatologists. Among his many honors, in 1972 he was named a Master by the American College of Physicians.


Edward M. BehrensCurrent Chairholder
Edward M. Behrens, MD

Edward M. Behrens, MD is a physician-scientist specializing in pediatric rheumatology. He has dedicated his career to finding the causes of and cures for Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH is the fatal end result of a hyperstimulated immune system and can occur as a complication of rheumatologic, genetic, infectious, or malignant causes. Combining his clinical expertise with his background as a basic immunologist, Dr. Behrens uses both animal models and patient samples to understand how the immune system goes awry during HLH. Armed with the fundamental immunologic knowledge gained at the lab bench, Dr. Behrens is attempting to treat patients with various forms of HLH using rationally chosen immunomodulators to improve outcomes for children with this deadly disease.

Previous Chairholders

  • Terri H. Finkel, MD, PhD 1999–2011