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Karen B. Onel, MD

Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Section Chief, Pediatric Rheumatology

An expert in pediatric rheumatology, Karen Onel, MD, cares for children and teens with arthritis and other autoimmune disorders. In particular, she diagnoses and treats: lupus, juvenile arthritis, vasculitis, uveitis (an inflammatory disorder of the eye), dermatomyositis and the periodic fever syndromes. Her goal is to work with the patient and his/her family to create a long-term care plan that will lead to improved quality of life.

Dr. Onel's research focuses on gaining a greater understanding of the causes of rheumatic illnesses, as well as evaluating the safety and tolerability of new treatments. She is collaborating with other institutions to establish a clinical database that will allow physician-scientists to study the childhood rheumatic diseases more effectively.

Dr. Onel has authored numerous papers, reviews and book chapters on pediatric rheumatology. In addition, she serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals, including Arthritis and Rheumatism, Lupus, Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism and Pediatric Rheumatology.

Practice Locations

The University of Chicago Medicine
Comer Children’s Hospital
5721 S. Maryland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's at Edward
Medical Office Building II
120 Spalding Drive, Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60540

Year Started Practice


Board Certifications

Pediatric Rheumatology

Medical School

Cornell University Medical College

Internship and Residency

Babies Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York


The Hospital for Special Surgery, New York (pediatric rheumatology)


American College of Rheumatology
Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA)

Language Spoken



Office Phone

(773) 702-6169

Office Fax

(773) 702-4766

Office Postal Address

Karen B. Onel, MD
The University of Chicago Medicine
5841 S. Maryland Avenue, MC 5044
Chicago, IL 60637

Physician Photo

Clinical Interests

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Read More About Dr. Onel

Under Dr. Onel's care, Nick Pecoraro's juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) symptoms improved significantly. With treatment and occupational therapy, he began participating -- and excelling -- in athletic activities. Read Nick's story.

When Skylar Houseman was diagnosed with uveitis -- chronic inflammation of the middle layer of the eye -- her parents brought her to Dr. Onel, who has helped stabilize the young girl's vision. Read Skylar's story.

Dr. Onel talks about caring for a child with rheumatic disease in an advertorial that originally appeared in Chicago Parent.

Selected Publications

View a partial list of Dr. Onel's publications through the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.