Dr. Bridges is Physician-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Hospital for Special Surgery, as well as Chief of the Division of Rheumatology at both HSS and NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He is the Franchellie M. Cadwell Professor of Medicine at HSS and the Joseph P. Routh Professor of Rheumatic Diseases in Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Bridges leads 75 full-time physicians, including 38 adult and 5 pediatric rheumatologists. They collectively provide outstanding care to patients across the full spectrum of autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases and deliver perioperative medical care to patients undergoing surgical procedures at HSS.
Dr. Bridges served as Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 2008 to 2020. While at UAB, he also served as Director of the UAB Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone, and Autoimmunity Center and Director of the T32 Training Program in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases Research. He has previously served as Chair of the ACR Committee on Research, as a co-editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology and as Chair of the NIH Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Study Section.
Dr. Bridges’ academic and research career has centered on understanding the cellular, molecular, and genetic molecular mechanisms that underlie rheumatoid arthritis, its clinical manifestations, and response to treatment. In particular, he has focused on the role of B lymphocytes and autoantibodies in RA, as well as genetic influences on RA in African Americans. He and his colleagues have defined genetic differences in the MHC and non-MHC genes on susceptibility to RA and on the degree of joint damage between African Americans with RA compared to European and Asian ancestries. More recently, his research program has involved crowdsourcing to facilitate machine learning and big data approaches to answer important clinical questions in RA.
In addition to his leadership roles at HSS and NYPH/WCMC, Dr. Bridges is President of the Rheumatology Research Foundation and has a concurrent role as member of the American College of Rheumatology Executive Committee.
Physician-in-Chief, Hospital for Special Surgery
Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery
Chair, Department of Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery
Chief, Division of Rheumatology, Hospital for Special Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College
Franchellie M. Cadwell Chair, Hospital for Special Surgery
Joseph P. Routh Chair of Rheumatic Diseases in Medicine, Hospital for Special Surgery
Assistant Scientist, Hospital for Special Surgery
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Assistant Attending Physician, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Best Doctors in America
Castle-Connolly Top Doctors
Max Cooper Award for Research Excellence, UAB Department of Medicine
Sam Brown Bridge Builder Award, UAB School of Public Health
President, Rheumatology Research Foundation, and Member of the Executive Committee of the American College of Rheumatology
One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.
As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.
As of August 20, 2020, Dr. Bridges reported no relationships with healthcare industry.
By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.
BS, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 1980
MD, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 1984
PhD, Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 1995
Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 1984-87
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 1987-88
Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1988-91
For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.
Dr. Bridges’ research program is largely focused on rheumatoid arthritis (RA), including immunoglobulin gene expression, B cells/autoantibodies, and pathogenesis; observational clinical studies/clinical trials/biorepositories; genetics and pharmacogenetics; and biomarkers of disease severity and treatment response. He is strongly committed to investigations to better understand the pathogenic mechanisms of RA and risk factors for severe disease such as joint damage. Through multi-investigator efforts, he has contributed to understanding the pathogenesis of RA, and factors associated with radiographic severity. Dr. Bridges has led multi-investigator efforts to identify pharmacogenetic and other biomarkers of response to treatment to TNF inhibitors and DMARDs in RA. He has also examined genetic markers of methotrexate response in the Treatment of Early Aggressive RA (TEAR) Trial and contributed data and samples to larger collaborative efforts. These findings are the underpinnings of personalized, precision medicine in RA.
A major portion of Dr. Bridges’ research has been on better understanding of the role of genetics in susceptibility to RA and other rheumatic diseases, particularly in African Americans, a large minority group underrepresented in clinical research. As PI of the NIH-funded CLEAR (Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African-Americans with RA) Registry, he oversaw enrollment, data and sample collection from 1,100 African-Americans with RA and 550 controls at 5 sites in the southeastern US. This effort many insights into RA in African Americans, including defining genetic differences in MHC and non-MHC genes on susceptibility to RA and on the degree of joint damage between African Americans with RA compared to European and Asian ancestries. He and his colleagues have also studied social determinants of disease in African Americans with rheumatoid arthritis using the CLEAR data. Data and samples from the CLEAR Registry have been shared with many investigators leading to additional insights into inflammatory bowel disease, type I diabetes, and other diseases in African Americans.
More recently, his research program has involved gout and hyperuricemia, as well as crowdsourcing to facilitate machine learning and big data approaches to answer important clinical questions in RA.
B Lymphocytes and Autoantibodies
Biomarkers of Treatment Response