Joel Gelfand

Joel M. Gelfand is an American dermatologist and epidemiologist at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He currently serves as the James J. Leyden Professor in Clinical Investigation, the Vice Chair of Clinical Research, the director of the Psoriasis and Phototherapy Treatment Center, and the medical director of the Clinical Studies Unit in the Department of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.[1] He studies systemic comorbidities of psoriasis and much of his research has centered on the connection between cardiovascular disease and psoriasis.

Joel Gelfand
Academic background
EducationBS, Tufts University
MD, Harvard Medical School
MSCE, University of Pennsylvania
Academic work
InstitutionsPerelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Early life and educationEdit

Gelfand graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biology at Tufts University, and with an MD degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in dermatology and received a Master’s of Science in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed a predoctoral research fellowship in Dr. Mark Lebwohl's lab and a postdoctoral research fellowship in epidemiology at dermatologist Dr. David Margolis’s lab.[2]


In 2003, Gelfand joined the faculty at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In his early career, Gelfand published on the higher rate of cardiovascular events in patients with psoriasis in a database of United Kingdom medical records. In 2006, he published a landmark paper demonstrating that psoriasis is associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction independent of traditional risk factors.[3] He trained cardiologist Dr. Nehal N. Mehta to study the connection between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease, and the two have collaborated extensively on subsequent research.[4]

Gelfand has published over 330 research articles with over 33,000 citations (h-index 92)[5] and is one of the most highly cited researchers in dermatology.[6][7] His research focuses on the epidemiology of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, the impact of psoriasis on quality of life, and the risk of co-morbidities such as obesity,[8] diabetes,[9] hyperlipidemia, liver disease,[10] kidney disease,[11][12] cardiovascular events,[13] and mortality[14] associated with psoriasis.[15] Notably, his research has analyzed the epidemiology of palmoplantar pustulosis and generalized pustular psoriasis in the US population,[16] the epidemiology of psoriatic arthritis in the US population,[17] and the prevalence of psoriasis in African Americans.[18] He has run numerous clinical trials, most recently including a trial on the effect of psoriasis medication apremilast on cardiovascular markers including aortic vascular inflammation using techniques pioneered with Abass Alavi,[19] a trial on patient-centered outcomes in phototherapy comparing home-based phototherapy to office-based phototherapy,[20] and a trial of a novel care coordination model to improve cardiovascular risk prevention in psoriasis patients.[4] He is funded by the NIH, PCORI, and the National Psoriasis Foundation amongst others. [21]

Gelfand has also served as part of the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety, and Journal of Investigative Dermatology, and as the Chief Medical Editor of Healio Psoriatic Disease.[21]

In 2021, he was named the tenured James J. Leyden Professor at the University of Pennsylvania.[22]

Honors and awardsEdit

  • 2011: American Skin Association’s Psoriasis Achievement Award[21]
  • 2011: Marjorie Bowman New Investigator Award, University of Pennsylvania[21]
  • 2013: Elected member of American Society for Clinical Investigation[23]
  • 2017: Marion Sulzlberger MD Memorial Award and Lectureship, American Academy of Dermatology[21]
  • 2017: National Psoriasis Foundation – Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award[24]
  • 2019: Lady Barbara Colyton’s Award for autoimmune research, University of Pennsylvania[21]
  • 2022: Founders Award – American Dermatoepidemiology Network[21]


  1. ^ "Joel Gelfand". Perelman School of Medicine. University of Pennsylvania.
  2. ^ Martin, Kari. "Phototherapy for Psoriasis in the Age of Biologics - Dialogues in Dermatology" (PDF). AAD.
  3. ^ Gelfand, Joel (11 October 2006). "Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Patients With Psoriasis". JAMA. 296 (14): 1735–1741. doi:10.1001/jama.296.14.1735. PMID 17032986. S2CID 631378.
  4. ^ a b Koons, Samantha. "What We Are Learning About Psoriasis and Heart Disease". National Psoriasis Foundation. NPF. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  5. ^ "Joel Gelfand Scholar Profile". Google Scholar.
  6. ^ Maymone, Mayra (July 2020). "Top authors in dermatology by h-index: A bibliometric analysis of 1980-2020". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 83 (1): 201–205. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2019.06.1308. PMID 31279031. S2CID 195819992.
  7. ^ Szeto, Mindy (December 2021). "Top authors in dermatology by h-index: A bibliometric analysis of 1980-2020". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 85 (6): 1573–1579. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2020.10.087. PMID 33217507. S2CID 227102671.
  8. ^ Love, Thorvardur (August 2012). "Obesity and the risk of psoriatic arthritis: a population-based study". Ann Rheum Dis. 71 (8): 1273–1277. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201299. PMC 3645859. PMID 22586165.
  9. ^ Paddock, Catherine (16 November 2017). "Psoriasis severity may influence type 2 diabetes risk". MedicalNewsToday. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  10. ^ Rapaport, Lisa (10 November 2017). "Psoriasis tied to higher risk of serious liver disease". Reuters Health. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  11. ^ Jaslow, Ryan. "Psoriasis may raise risk for diseases of heart, lungs, kidneys". CBS News. CBS. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  12. ^ Wan, Joy (October 15, 2013). "Risk of moderate to advanced kidney disease in patients with psoriasis: population based cohort study". BMJ. 347: f5961. doi:10.1136/bmj.f5961. PMC 3805477. PMID 24129480.
  13. ^ Ogdie, Alexis (February 2015). "Risk of major cardiovascular events in patients with psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis: a population-based cohort study". Ann Rheum Dis. 74 (2): 326–332. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-205675. PMC 4341911. PMID 25351522.
  14. ^ Abuabara, K (19 August 2010). "Cause-specific mortality in patients with severe psoriasis: a population-based cohort study in the U.K." BJD. 163 (3): 586–592. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2133.2010.09941.x. PMC 2966545. PMID 20633008.
  15. ^ Takeshita, Junko (March 2017). [Psoriasis and comorbid diseases: Epidemiology "Psoriasis and comorbid diseases: Epidemiology"]. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 76 (3): 377–390. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2016.07.064. PMC 5731650. PMID 28212759. {{cite journal}}: Check |url= value (help)
  16. ^ Noe, Megan (January 2022). "Evaluation of a Case Series of Patients With Palmoplantar Pustulosis in the United States". JAMA Dermatol. 158 (1): 68–72. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2021.4635. PMC 8655660. PMID 34878495.
  17. ^ Gelfand, Joel (October 2005). "Epidemiology of psoriatic arthritis in the population of the United States". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 53 (4): 573. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2005.03.046. PMID 16198775.
  18. ^ Gelfand, Joel (Jan 2005). "The prevalence of psoriasis in African Americans: results from a population-based study". Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. 52 (1): 23–26. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2004.07.045. PMID 15627076.
  19. ^ Frellick, Marcia. "Apremilast May Have Some Cardiometabolic Benefits in Patients With Psoriasis". Medscape. Medscape. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  20. ^ "Comparing Home- Versus Clinic-Based Phototherapy for the Treatment of Psoriasis -- The LITE Study". PCORI. PCORI. 26 September 2017.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g "About". Gelfand Clinical Research Lab. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  22. ^ Salvaryn, Georgia. "Penn Medicine awards Joel M. Gelfand, MD, MSCE, the James J. Leyden Endowed Professorship". Healio. Healio. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  23. ^ "Profile". American Society for Clinical Investigation. Retrieved 31 October 2022.
  24. ^ Infanti, John. "National Psoriasis Foundation honors two Penn dermatologists". EurekAlert. AAAS.