The Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center was conceived when the University of Alabama at Birmingham administration approached Governor Forrest H. James with a plan to establish a multi-disciplinary Cystic Fibrosis Center to study CF basic research and therapy. The Center was established at UAB in 1981. 

Also in 1981, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation began a new program for funding CF research known as the Research Development Program (RDP). The UAB Center was the first to receive RDP support from the Foundation, which now sponsors 11 such Centers in the United States. The Center has maintained continuous external funding from the NIH and CF Foundation since 1981.

The CF Research Center includes more than fifty faculty members. Using the resources described above, as well as University funds and an allotment provided by the State of Alabama, the Center maintains Core facilities available for studies of cell biology, ion transport, and translational aspects of CF research.

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