The Training Program in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases Research builds on trans-departmental initiatives in mechanisms of arthritis, autoimmunity, inflammation, bone, and musculoskeletal diseases, and state of the art basic, translational, clinical, and outcomes research. An effective interdisciplinary training program requires faculty with collaborative and synergistic scientific interests and projects, as well as systematic coordination of training opportunities. There are a large number of faculty members from a diverse set of Departments and Programs among our Faculty Mentors.


S. Louis BridgesJohn Mountz, MD, PhD
Goodwin-Blackburn Professor of Medicine






Associate Directors:

Yi Ping Li, PhDYi-Ping Li, PhD
Jay M. McDonald Endowed Professor in Bone Biology in the Department of Pathology


Kenneth G. Saag, MD, MScKenneth Saag, MD, MSc
Jane Knight Lowe
Professor of Medicine in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology



About the Program

To provide an effective interdisciplinary training environment, this program builds on a large infrastructure with established research programs and a longstanding history of outstanding basic, translational, and clinical research, and multidisciplinary training programs in research. The collaborative environment at UAB, embodied in the UWIRC program and the multiple longstanding research programs spanning Divisions, Departments, and Schools, provides a strong research foundation. The committed training environment afforded by the thematically organized graduate program and an outstanding Office of Postdoctoral Education, provides an ideal setting for the implementation of interdisciplinary research and training in rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease research. Specifically, this program builds on the following:

  • The interdisciplinary translational investigative efforts supported by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone, and Autoimmunity Center (CAMBAC), a university-wide interdisciplinary research center (UWIRC) chartered by the Board of Trustees, with a large membership of accomplished, well-funded investigators across a variety of disciplines directly relevant to rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases

  • The UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, a strong, internationally renowned unit with substantial investigative, clinical, and educational resources within the UAB Department of Medicine/School of Medicine

  • The UAB Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, a young but vibrant division with burgeoning investigative, clinical, and educational resources and a recently established fellowship program in Pediatric Rheumatology to provide a pipeline of academic researchers in pediatric rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases

  • The interdisciplinary investigative efforts supported by other UAB UWIRCs, such as the Center for Outcomes and Effectiveness Research and Education (COERE), the Center for Exercise Medicine (UCEM), and others; and other academic units and programs such as the Program in Immunology, the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, the Division of Orthopaedic Surgery

  • The established strengths in immunology; genetics and genomics; and pathobiology and molecular medicine; within the thematically based Graduate

  • A nationally recognized commitment to training, exemplified by our Office of Postdoctoral Education

 View Faculty Mentors List

For more information please contact:

Jeanne Merchant, MPH | Program Manager
P: 205.492.9744 |