Elena Joerns, M.D., is an Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and a member of its Division of Rheumatic Diseases. She specializes in interstitial pneumonia with autoimmune features (IPAF) and rheumatic disease-related interstitial lung disease (RD-ILD).

Dr. Joerns holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she graduated with honors. She earned her medical degree at the Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago. She completed an internal medicine internship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, followed by internal medicine residency training at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She then obtained advanced training through a fellowship in rheumatology at UT Southwestern, and a research fellowship in rheumatology studying IPAF, also at UT Southwestern. She is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology degree at the UTHealth School of Public Health in Dallas.

Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and rheumatology, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2022.

Her research interests include IPAF, RD-ILD, biomarker analysis, and clinical outcomes. She has delivered numerous presentations, contributed to the book Netter’s Integrated Review of Medicine: Pathogenesis to Treatment, and published several academic articles related to her areas of expertise.

Dr. Joerns is an active member of the American College of Rheumatology and the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions.


Medical School
Chicago Medical School-Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science (2014)
Washington University Barnes Jewish Hospital/ St. Louis Children's Hospital Consortium Program (2015), Internal Medicine
Yale New Haven Medical Center (2017), Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2020), Rheumatology
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2022), Research

Research Interest

  • Biomarkers
  • Clinical Outcomes
  • Interstitial Pneumonia with Autoimmune Features
  • Pneumococcal Vaccination Rates in Immunosuppressed Patients
  • Rheumatic Disease-related Interstitial Lung Disease


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow-in-Training
    American College of Rheumatology (2019)
  • Dean's Award
    Chicago Medical School (2014)
  • Outstanding Senior
    University of Missouri-Columbia (2009)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (2019)
  • American College of Rheumatology (2016)