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S. Louis Bridges, Jr., MD, PhD


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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Special Expertise

Rheumatoid arthritis 

Patient Stories



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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


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


Internal Medicine


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 


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  1984-85


Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX  1985-87
Chief Medical Resident, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX  1987-88


Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1988-91

State Licensure



Publications by Dr. Bridges

Patient Education

Selected Journal Articles

Curtis JR, Cofield SS, Bridges SL Jr, Bassler J, Deodhar A, Ford TL, Huffstutter J, Jankeel A, Kivitz A, Kamal S, Lindsey S, Messaoudi I, Mendoza N, Michaud K, Mikuls TR, Ridley D, Shergy W, Siegel SAR, Winthrop KL. The Safety and Immunologic Effectiveness of the Live Varicella-Zoster Vaccine in Patients Receiving Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor Therapy : A Randomized Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2021 Nov. PMID: 34570596
Ptacek J, Hawtin RE, Sun D, Louie B, Evensen E, Mittleman BB, Cesano A, Cavet G, Bingham CO 3rd, Cofield SS, Curtis JR, Danila MI, Raman C, Furie RA, Genovese MC, Robinson WH, Levesque MC, Moreland LW, Nigrovic PA, Shadick NA, O'Dell JR, Thiele GM, Clair EWS, Striebich CC, Hale MB, Khalili H, Batliwalla F, Aranow C, Mackay M, Diamond B, Nolan GP, Gregersen PK, Bridges SL Jr. Diminished cytokine-induced Jak/STAT signaling is associated with rheumatoid arthritis and disease activity.LoS One. 2021 Jan. PMID: 33444321 
Laufer VA, Tiwari HK, Reynolds RJ, Danila MI, Wang J, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Kottyan LC, Harley JB, Mikuls TR, Gregersen PK, Absher DM, Langefeld CD, Arnett DK, Bridges SL Jr. 
Genetic influences on susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis in African-Americans. Hum Mol Genet. 2019 Mar 1.PMID: 30423114 
Mandelin AM 2nd, Homan PJ, Shaffer AM, Cuda CM, Dominguez ST, Bacalao E, Carns M, Hinchcliff M, Lee J, Aren K, Thakrar A, Montgomery AB, Bridges SL Jr, Bathon JM, Atkinson JP, Fox DA, Matteson EL, Buckley CD, Pitzalis C, Parks D, Hughes LB, Geraldino-Pardilla L, Ike R, Phillips K, Wright K, Filer A, Kelly S, Ruderman EM, Morgan V, Abdala-Valencia H, Misharin AV, Budinger GS, Bartom ET, Pope RM, Perlman H, Winter DR. Transcriptional Profiling of Synovial Macrophages Using Minimally Invasive Ultrasound-Guided Synovial Biopsies in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2018 Jun. PMID: 29439295 

Laufer VA, Chen JY, Langefeld CD, Bridges SL Jr. Integrative Approaches to Understanding the Pathogenic Role of Genetic Variation in Rheumatic Diseases. Rheum Dis Clin North Am. 2017 Aug. PMID: 28711145 


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

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 November 19, 2021, 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.

Dr. Bridges in the News

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