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Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Autoimmunity Center

Summary:
The Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Autoimmunity Center (CAMAC) serves as the focal point for fundamental and clinical research in arthritis, autoimmunity, and musculoskeletal diseases and is dedicated to generating and applying new knowledge to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with rheumatic disease. This charge includes integrating and promoting fundamental research with clinical care, developing and applying new diagnostics and therapeutics, educating the public about arthritis, musculoskeletal, and autoimmune diseases, and training future investigators and health care professionals.

Membership:
The Center’s membership includes over 189 faculty constitute the Center membership representing 9 schools including SOD, SOE, SHP, SOM, NSM, SON, SOO, SOPH and SSBS, as well as the Joint Health Sciences.

The UAB CAMAC has a commitment to create an effective multidisciplinary environment that supports fundamental and clinical research. It is designated as one of the international Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies’ (FOCIS) “Centers of Excellence” in addition to being a nationally top-ranked, peer-reviewed recipient of an Autoimmunity Center of Excellence (ACE) award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID)/National Institutes on Health (NIH). It hosts both a Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (MCRC) and Rheumatic Disease Core Center (RDCC) funded by the NIH, which support several lines of established research in addition to innovative pilot projects. These grants also support several state-of-the-art research core facilities that facilitate ongoing investigation, including a pain and analgesia assessment module, methodology, epitope recognition and immunoreagent, analytic and preparative cytometry, high-resolution imaging, transgenic/gene targeting cores. The CAMAC also hosts the Program Project in the Genetics of SLE, an international consortium studying the underlying genetic bases of predisposition and severity in lupus.

The Center also has an international reputation for its emphasis on patient-oriented translational research—advancing the use of novel, state-of-the-art diagnostics and therapeutics. Key to this capability is the Arthritis Clinical Intervention Program (ACIP) under the direction of Jeffrey Curtis, M.D. Additionally, the establishment of an Infusion Therapy Center in The Kirklin Clinic has allowed for improved treatment of patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and multiple sclerosis with novel therapeutics.

Partnerships and Collaborations:
The UAB The Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Autoimmunity Center has a model record of academic and pharmaceutical R&D partnerships. The Treatment of Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis study (TEAR) is a multi-center, national, clinical trial, with support from academia and industry, to identify the most advantageous timing and combination of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis patients. The continued operation of the UAB/DAIICHI SANKYO Program for Rheumatic Diseases and Cancer Research reflects the achievement of the AMC in successfully interfacing fundamental and clinical investigation to generate productive interdisciplinary translational research.

The UAB CAMAC plays a national role in clinical research and provides the leadership for multiple national patient databases including: LUMINA, CLEAR, PROFILE and the WGGER Repository. Additionally, it supports the Osteoporosis Prevention and Treatment Clinic, led by Sarah Morgan, M.D., M.S., which offers treatment and prevention of osteoporosis through coordinated patient care, professional and lay education, and clinical bone-related research.

Services:
The UAB CAMAC has the only AHRQ-funded Deep South Musculoskeletal Center for Education Research in Therapeutics (CERTs) in Musculoskeletal Diseases (DSMC), which aims to evaluate the effectiveness, safety, and impact on health and related quality of life of therapeutics used in the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. With the DSMC, the Center’s national reputation helped to establish a partnership with the Alabama Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and the State of Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) under aegis of the CDC’s National Arthritis Action Plan (NAAP). In collaboration with ADPH, the Center for Health Promotion and the UAB School of Public Health, the CAMAC has developed a statewide surveillance, assessment and intervention strategy for arthritis. The Center educates practitioners, insurers, and policy makers, and combines the substantial clinical and health services research expertise of UAB with consultants and private sector partners. Center faculty also regularly conduct presentations for senior citizen groups, community organizations, corporations, and churches throughout Alabama, and participate in broadcasted discussions (radio, television, and web).

Opportunity for faculty involvement:
The CAMAC-affiliated Training Program in Rheumatic Diseases Research supports several postdoctoral and predoctoral trainees, most of whom go on to pursue academic and industry research careers. The UAB CAMAC also fosters a collaborative investigation climate for faculty with interests in arthritis, musculoskeletal and autoimmune disease. Faculty participation in a number of fundamental and clinical/translational research projects, patient registries, and community outreach opportunities is also available.

Primary Contact Person:

, M.D.
Professor of Medicine
Howard L. Holley Research Chair in Rheumatology
Senior Associate Dean for Research Director
Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology
Director, UAB Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Autoimmunity Center
1825 University Boulevard—SHEL 172D
Birmingham, AL 35294-2182
(tel) (205) 934-0245
(fax) (205) 934-1564
Web site: www.uab.edu/amc

Leaders and Key Staff:

  • Robert P. Kimberly, M.D., Director
  • Jennifer A. Croker, Ph.D., Program Manager
  • Judy D. Thomas, Financial Officer

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