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photo of S. Louis Bridges, Jr., MD, PhD

S. Louis Bridges, Jr., MD, PhD

Rheumatology

About Dr. Bridges

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 a department that collectively provides outstanding care to patients across the full spectrum of autoimmune and inflammatory rheumatic diseases and delivers the highest quality 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 is the immediate past President of the Rheumatology Research Foundation. During his two-year tenure, he also served on the Executive Committee of the American College of Rheumatology. His other past leadership roles include serving 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. 

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Departments

Special Expertise

Rheumatoid arthritis 

Patient Stories

Videos

Insurance

If your insurance is not listed, please call our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. If you have out-of-network benefits, then your insurance may reimburse you for a portion of your office visit. We will work with you and your insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. Financial assistance may be available for patients in need.

Credentials

Appointments

Physician-in-Chief, 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 Professor of Rheumatic Diseases in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
Associate Director, Hospital for Special Surgery Research Institute
Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Affiliations

Rheumatology Research Foundation
American College of Rheumatology
Fellow, American College of Physicians

Certification

Internal Medicine
Rheumatology

Awards

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 

Education

Bachelors: University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, 1980
Medical: Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 1984
Internship: Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX  1984-85
Residency: Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX  1985-87
Chief Medical Resident, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX  1987-88
Fellowship: Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1988-91
Doctorate: Microbiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, 1995

State Licensure

Languages

English

Publications by Dr. Bridges

Patient Education

Research

Dr. Bridges’ research program has been 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. Dr. Bridges has led multi-investigator efforts to identify pharmacogenetic and other biomarkers of response to treatment to TNF inhibitors and other drugs 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. He served as Principal Investigator of the NIH-funded CLEAR (Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African-Americans with RA).  This study led to many insights into RA in African Americans, including social determinants of disease in African Americans with RA. 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, Dr. Bridges’ research program has focused on machine learning and big data approaches to answer important clinical questions in RA.

Research Interests

Rheumatoid arthritis
B Lymphocytes and Autoantibodies
Biomarkers of Treatment Response
Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence

Industry Relationships

Industry Relationships

HSS has a long history of supporting appropriate relationships with industry because they advance HSS's mission to provide the highest quality patient care, improve patient mobility, and enhance the quality of life for all, and to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and their related disciplines through research and education.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Bridges as of January 22, 2024.

  • Bristol Myers Squibb - Received Research Support

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.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

HSS and its physicians make this information available to patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest and Commitment Policy prohibits physicians from collecting royalties on products they develop that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Bridges in the News

 
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