Professor of Medicine
Rheumatology and Immunology

Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

Wilson Family Chair in Medicine

Professional Bio

Leslie J. Crofford, MD, is a Professor in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Dr. Crofford is Wilson Family Chair in Medicine, Professor of Medicine and Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology. She has been Division Chief of Rheumatology & Immunology since 2014. Her research is focused on understanding autoimmunity, inflammation, pain, and stress as mediators of rheumatic diseases. More than 250 journal articles and book chapters have been published as a result of her research.

She is a native of Nashville and a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences. She served her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Washington University’s Barnes Hospital. Following training in Internal Medicine, she pursed research and clinical fellowships in Molecular Genetics and Rheumatology at the National Institutes of Health. She held faculty positions at the University of Michigan and the University of Kentucky prior to returning to Vanderbilt.  

Dr. Crofford is a past president of the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation (now the Rheumatology Research Foundation) and on the executive committee of the Board of Directors for the American College of Rheumatology. Other significant leadership positions she has held include service on the American Board of Internal Medicine for Rheumatology and Advisory Council to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.  

Dr. Crofford is active as a clinical rheumatologist and has been named one of America’s Top Doctors and Best Doctors.


MD - University of Tennessee - 1984
Internship - Internal Medicine - Washington University - 1987
Residency - Internal Medicine - Washington University - 1987
Fellowship - Human Genetics and Molecular Genetics - National Institutes of Health - 1989
Fellowship - Arthritis and Rheumatism - National Institutes of Health - 1993