Tonya Russell, MD


Professor of Medicine

Research Interests

I staff the general pulmonary inpatient consult service, as well as a weekly general pulmonary clinic. However, my main clinical interests lie in two areas โ€“ interstitial lung disease (ILD) and sleep disordered breathing. I am the co-director of the Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic. This clinic is staffed by Dr. Adrian Shifren (director) and me. We see a wide variety of ILD patients with an emphasis on idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and auto-immune related ILD. We have a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluating our patients. We meet on a weekly basis with the thoracic radiologists from Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology and the pulmonary pathologists to review new cases, often with input from rheumatology. In addition, I have been the principal investigator in multiple clinical trials evaluating pharmacologic therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Clinical Interests

Interstitial Lung Disease and Sleep Disordered Breathing

I also see patients at the Washington University Multi-Disciplinary Sleep Center. Within sleep medicine, my interest lies in sleep disordered breathing โ€“ specifically obstructive sleep apnea and conditions that lead to sleep related hypoventilation, such as morbid obesity and neuromuscular disease. While continuous positive airway pressure is the mainstay of therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, I also use more advanced modes of non-invasive ventilation such as adaptive servo ventilation and average volume assured pressure support for patients with more complex forms of sleep disordered breathing.

Education and Training

  • 1993-1997 University of Florida College of Medicine Degree: MD
  • 1997-2000 Internship and Residency, Internal Medicine; Washington University School of Medicine
  • 2000-2003 Fellowship, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri


  • 2004-2009 Assistant Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2009-present Associate Professor of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 2010-present Director, Fellowship Program, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine
  • 2014 โ€“ present Associate Director, Interstitial Lung Disease Clinic

Honors and Awards

  • Bachelor of Science, High Honors, University of Florida
  • Robert M. Senior Award for Outstanding Attending Physician, 2009


View Tonya Russell’s research publications on PubMed ยป