Associate Professor of Medicine

Associate Professor of Medicine
Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine

Professional Bio

Dr. James Tolle is Director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program and Medical Director of the Pulmonary Function Laboratory at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He received his MD degree from the University of Texas-Southwestern Medical School. He completed internship and residency in Internal Medicine, and fellowship in Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. During that time, he developed clinical and research expertise in respiratory physiology and cardiopulmonary exercise testing under the mentorship of Dr. David Systrom. He has continued this work at Vanderbilt, forming collaborations with colleagues within the Department of Medicine, as well as outside academic institutions.

Dr. Tolle has been involved in the care of adult cystic fibrosis patients since fellowship, and he has served as Director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program since 2016. He also serves as Associate Director of the Vanderbilt Cystic Fibrosis Center and Co-Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Therapeutic Development Network clinical research program. Under his leadership, the adult program received the Quality Award by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 2018.

Dr. Tolle has served as site primary investigator for several clinical trials of different therapeutic agents involved in the treatment of cystic fibrosis patients, and he also engages in collaborative investigator-initiated research in cystic fibrosis, respiratory physiology and cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

Dr. Tolle enjoys teaching and supervising medical students, internal medicine residents and pulmonary/critical care fellows. He serves as a preceptor in the pulmonary fellows’ clinic and also serves as a research mentor to residents and fellows. He received the Judge Sidney H. Reiss Award for Teaching Excellence in Pulmonary Medicine in 2019.


MD - U of TX Southwestern - 2001
Internship - IM - Massachusetts General-Harvard Medical School - 2002
Residency - IM - Massachusetts General-Harvard Medical School - 2004
Fellowship - Pulmonary and critical care - Massachusetts General-Harvard Medical School - 2008