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The Gregory Fleming James Cystic Fibrosis Research Center was conceived when the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) 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 its inception.

Today, the CF Research Center is one of the leading Centers in the nation, and is recognized worldwide as a trailblazer in developing cutting-edge approaches to studying and treating CF. Using the resources described above, as well as University funds and an allotment provided through the State of Alabama, the Center maintains Core facilities that offer a wide array of state-of-the-art resources for studies of cell biology, ion transport, and translational aspects of CF research. The CF Research Center is home to nearly 100 outstanding faculty physicians and researchers.

Vision: The UAB CF Research Center is dedicated to providing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary understanding of CF pathogenesis and advancing innovative therapies to increase life expectancy and quality of life for people with CF. To fulfill this vision, the Center strives to position its Research Base with superior resources, expertise, and a state-of-the-art framework to conduct a broad array of CF research, focusing on research initiatives with a high likelihood of stimulating or advancing therapeutic translation.

Mission: The overarching goal of the UAB CF Research Center is to stimulate progress in CF fundamental, clinical, and translational science that will have therapeutic potential of greatest impact