Welcome to the


Leslie J. Crofford, M.D.    

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

The Division of Rheumatology and Immunology is strongly committed to our core missions of clinical care, education, and research that benefit patients with systemic autoimmune and musculoskeletal disorders. Supporting these missions are our superb and highly collegial faculty and fellows. The division is supported by approximately $3.4 million annually in grants to investigate immune mechanisms and complications of rheumatic diseases. We also have a robust research interest in pharmacogenetics and pharmacoepidemiology.  The Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt is ranked 2nd among Departments of Medicine in funding from the National Institutes of Health and 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 data set of more than 2.5 million records that is paired with a DNA repository of more than 250,000 samples.

There is a robust career development environment at Vanderbilt, offering fellows and young faculty members abundant opportunities 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, and Master of Health Professions Education degree programs. NIH funding for career development at Vanderbilt has tripled over the last 10 years.

The clinical activities of the division include ambulatory care at the Vanderbilt Clinic, Vanderbilt University Hospital,  Nashville Hospital, Nashville Veterans Administration Hospital, Nashville General Hospital at Meharry, Williamson County-Cool Springs facility, and Hillsboro Medical Group. In addition to our general Rheumatology Clinics, we offer specialized care for patients with uncommon systemic diseases who often require multi-disciplinary care. These specialized centers incorporate research within the clinical programs. 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. The Vanderbilt Vasculitis Clinic offers specialized care led by clinicians that have completed vasculitis fellowships. The Lupus Center works together with faculty in the Divisions of Nephrology and Dermatology to offer coordinated care for our patients with lupus. We work closely with the Department of Orthopedic surgery to identify and treat patients with fragility fractures due to osteoporosis through our Bone Center. Busy consultation services cover four hospitals with over 1,000 beds. Our faculty and fellows are also engaged in the quality of care and medical education programs that enhance the activities of the Medical Center and the School of Medicine.

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


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