The Brigham and Women's Hospital Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity is dedicated to providing the best possible care for patients with rheumatic conditions. We are nationally and internationally recognized for excellence in rheumatologic care, research and training.
The history of the Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity begins in 1914, with the founding of the Robert Breck Brigham Hospital for Incurables. Robert Brigham, a local patron, established the institution to care for people with chronic or incurable diseases. Over time, the hospital shifted its focus to rheumatic diseases and became the country's first teaching hospital devoted exclusively to arthritis and related diseases.
In 1972, under the guidance of K. Frank Austen, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, an independent Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School was established at what was then called the Robert B. Brigham Hospital. Eight years later, three Harvard teaching hospitals — the Robert B. Brigham Hospital, the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital and the Boston Hospital for Women — merged to form Brigham and Women's Hospital.
The current Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity resides within the Brigham's Department of Medicine. Our division has grown steadily over the years to become one of the leading centers of its kind in the world. We now have over 60 clinical and research faculty members and 25,667 square feet of research space in the Hale Building for Transformative Medicine in Boston's Longwood Medical and Academic Area.
Ellen M. Gravallese, MD, division chief and the Theodore Bevier Bayles Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, is an internationally recognized and accomplished rheumatologist, immunologist and basic scientist. She completed her residency in internal medicine and pathology at the Brigham and served on the hospital's faculty from 1991 to 1998. After spending 13 years as chief of the Division of Rheumatology at UMass Medical School, she returned to the Brigham to lead our division in 2019.
Dr. Gravallese's research on fundamental mechanisms of inflammation and joint destruction in inflammatory arthritis has changed our understanding of the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and subsequent mechanisms of joint destruction in this disease. Among her many professional honors, she was the 2019-2020 president of the American College of Rheumatology and the 2019 recipient of the prestigious international Carol Nachman Prize for career achievements in rheumatology research.
The Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation, and Immunity is ranked fifth in the country by U.S. News and World Report. Our standing is the product of our longstanding commitment to outstanding patient care, research, education and training.
Our multidisciplinary team includes board-certified physicians with fellowship training in rheumatology. These specialists work separately and together to develop precise treatment plans for each patient.
For over a century, a leader in patient care, medical education and research, with expertise in virtually every specialty of medicine and surgery.