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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 9 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 90 faculty members. Using the resources described above, as well as University funds and an allotment provided through the State of Alabama, the Center maintains Core facilities available for studies of cell biology, ion transport, and translational aspects of CF research.

These include:
1) Cell Model and Evaluation Core
2) Animal and Preclinical Models Core
3) Clinical and Translational Core
4) Assay Core
5) Gene Expression Core
6) CFTR Rat Models Core
7) CFTR Protein Production Core (separately funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, independent of the Center)

In addition to an experienced CF research center, a strong Cystic Fibrosis Care Center is located at the Children's Hospital of Alabama and UAB Hospital. This Center provides state-of-the-art care for approximately 400 CF patients. Interactions between the research and care centers provide a direct and creative link between basic scientists and clinicians, and fosters a spirit of cooperation and concern at all levels from the research laboratory to the patients' bedside.