Founded in 1863, HSS is a non-profit hospital dedicated to rheumatic and orthopedic diseases. Since the inception of an academic program in rheumatology following the appointment of Richard Freyberg in 1945, HSS has shown a steady and growing research commitment. Dr. Charles Christian was instrumental in building a research base that was fully integrated with clinical activities in rheumatic diseases, providing a strong environment for successful research. Since 1996, Dr. Stephen Paget has continued the tradition of strong support for research activities that are characterized by detailed and focused investigation of the basic pathogenic mechanisms of human autoimmune and rheumatic diseases. In this unique environment, basic research is integrated with patient-oriented research through daily interactions and collaborations among rheumatologists and investigators active in clinical activities and bench research. Over the past 10 years, HSS has held NIH/NIAMS Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease Center and Specialized Center of Research in Lupus grants, as well as individual research awards from NIH, the Arthritis Foundation, the S.L.E. Foundation, Inc., the Alliance for Lupus Research, the Lupus Research Institute, and other funding agencies. The Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease was established in 1997, and the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research was established in 2001. Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Registries and Tissue/DNA Repositories established since 1995 now include clinical information, tissue, and DNA samples from more than 1500 patients. Throughout its distinguished history, HSS Rheumatology Research has taken the approach that progress in understanding systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other rheumatic diseases will move most rapidly toward new and more effective therapies if basic research is combined with research driven by the patient. There are few centers of rheumatic disease research as well organized for multidisciplinary studies of underlying disease mechanisms and clinical aspects of rheumatic and systemic autoimmune diseases by collaborating basic and clinical scientists, of whom many are rheumatologists.