Welcome to the


Leslie J. Crofford, M.D.    

Director, Division of Rheumatology & Immunology
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology

The Division is strongly committed to our core missions of clinical care, training, & research to benefit patients with systemic autoimmune & musculoskeletal disorders. Supporting this mission are 4 clinical fellows, 21 faculty (including 7 M.D. & Ph.D. research faculty) who are integral to the Division. Our laboratories also include post-doctoral students that enhance our research mission. Our Division is supported by $4 million in grants to investigate immune mechanisms & complications of rheumatic diseases. The Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt is ranked 4th among departments of Medicine in funding from the National Institutes of Health & there is a robust commitment to core facilities at Vanderbilt that enables cutting edge research. For example, the BioVU project collects clinical information in a de-identified dataset of more than 2 million records that is paired with a DNA repository of more than 200,000 samples.

There is a robust career development environment at Vanderbilt, offering fellows & young faculty members abundant opportunity for scholarly activities. We have close ties with our colleagues in Pediatric Rheumatology to enhance our clinical training. Trainees have the opportunity to participate in Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Clinical Investigation, & Master of Health Professions Education degree programs. NIH funding for career development at Vanderbilt has tripled over the last 10 years.

Our clinical activities include ambulatory care at the Vanderbilt Clinic, the Nashville Veterans Administration Hospital, the Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, the Williamson County-Cool Springs facility, & Hillsboro Medical Group. In addition to our general Rheumatology Clinics, we offer specialized care. MYSTIC (Myositis Scleroderma Treatment & Investigative Center) offers care for patients with connective tissue diseases at risk for interstitial lung diseases in close collaboration with our colleagues in the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care. Our Lupus Center works together with faculty in the Divisions of Nephrology & Dermatology to offer coordinated care for our patients with lupus. We work closely with the Department of Orthopedic surgery to identify & treat patients with fragility fractures due to osteoporosis through our Bone Center. A busy consultation service covers four hospitals with over 1,000 beds. The Division has close ties with the Division of Pediatric Rheumatology & other very strong academic Divisions that enhance our clinical care, training, & research programs. Our faculty & fellows are also engaged in the quality of care programs & medical education programs that enhance the activities of the Medical Center & School of Medicine.

The Division of Rheumatology & Immunology faculty & fellows is strongly committed to scholarship & excellence. Vanderbilt University & the Department of Medicine provide a robust environment for us to accomplish our goals.


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