September 17, 2013

Bridges to direct the CAMAC

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Bridges-Blazer-FacultyPage2011S. Louis Bridges Jr., M.D., Ph.D., will succeed Robert P. Kimberly, M.D., as the next director of the Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Autoimmunity Center, effective Oct. 1, 2013. Bridges is the Marguerite Jones Harbert-Gene V. Ball, M.D. Professor of Medicine and director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology and deputy director of the CAMAC. 

Kimberly, the Howard L. Holley Professor of Medicine in the UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology in the Department of Medicine, senior associate dean for Research and director of the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science, recently announced his decision to step down as CAMAC director. He will maintain his other leadership roles.

“Dr. Kimberly is a true team leader and remarkable collaborator,” said Anupam Agarwal, M.D., interim senior vice president for Medicine and dean of the School of Medicine. Kimberly came to UAB in 1996 as director of the CAMAC and of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. Through his leadership, the CAMAC has become one of UAB’s most renowned areas of excellence. The center’s milestones include:

  • Becoming the only center in the nation focusing on adult arthritis, autoimmune and rheumatic diseases and supported by both P30 and P60 awards from NIAMS
  • Playing a central role in defining death receptors in cancer and autoimmunity, which happened under the aegis of the UAB /Daiichi Sankyo program in Rheumatic Diseases Research
  • Achieving Center of Excellence status from the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies
  • Successfully acquiring/renewing several multi-investigator grant awards from NIH/NIAMS, including the NIAMS Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center and the Rheumatic Disease Core Center in addition to the Training Program in Rheumatic Diseases Research
  • Kimberly was principal investigator of the Program Project in the Genetics of SLE, which has assembled the largest longitudinal SLE cohorts in the country; he also was PI of an ARRA-funded NIH Grand Opportunities Grant, which brought together a national consortium to explore the genetic basis of End Stage Renal Disease resulting from SLE and which has led to new biological insights into health disparities.

Bridges, who became director of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology in 2008, has been instrumental in many of the CAMAC’s successes. He is director of the NIAMS Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center, co-director of the NIAMS Center of Research Translation in Gout and Hyperuricemia, associate director of the NIAMS Rheumatic Disease Cores Center and is PI on two active NIH R01 grants. Bridges was PI of the NIAMS Consortium for the Longitudinal Evaluation of African-Americans with Rheumatoid Arthritis. He is co-editor of Arthritis & Rheumatism, a member of the ACR Committee on Research and is chair of the NIH Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin study section.

Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology continues to be one of the most highly funded in the Department of Medicine and has been the highest ranked clinical program at UAB by U.S. News & World Report for the past 22 years.