WKoopmanDistinguished Professor
Chairman Emeritus of Medicine


Faculty Office Tower, room 802

Telephone: (205) 996-5047
Fax: (205) 934-4198
Email: wkoopman@uab.edu

Research and Clinical Interests and Achievements

In nearly 30 years at UAB, Dr. Koopman has earned worldwide recognition for defining the critical role synovial tissue cells play in rheumatoid arthritis. His insights into the molecular biology of the disease have inspired groundbreaking treatment options, including arthritis-fighting proteins, a monoclonal antibody, and even a vaccine. He also led UAB’s rheumatology programs to national prominence as director of the clinical immunology and rheumatology division and as founding director of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases Center. Since 1995 Koopman has held the Spencer Chair in Medical Science Leadership, overseeing the launch of new divisions and research centers. He also sowed the seeds of scientific discovery as chair of the UAB Research Advisory Group, a collaboration of researchers focused on streamlining the funding process. 

The Koopman File:

  • Only UAB faculty member to have held three endowed chairs
  • Helped establish UAB’s largest privately sponsored research program with Japan’s Sankyo pharmaceutical company
  • Listed among the most cited scientists by Clinical Medicine
  • Member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine and Britain’s Royal Society of Medicine; winner of the Carol-Nachman Prize in rheumatology research
  • Chaired scientific counselor board for National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
  • Former president of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and American College of Rheumatology
  • 2011 Recipient of the Presidential Gold Medal from the American College of Rheumatology
  • 2012 Laureate of the American College of Physicians, Alabama Chapter


Selected Publications

Koopman WJ.
2008. Dawn of the era of biologics in the treatment of the rheumatic diseases. Arthritis Rheum. 58(2 Suppl):S75-8. No abstract available. PMID: 18240221

Yang X, Wang J, Liu C, Grizzle WE, Yu S, Zhang S, Barnes S, Koopman WJ, Mountz JD, Kimberly RP, Zhang HG. 2005. Cleavage of p53-vimentin complex enhances tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-mediated apoptosis of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Am J Pathol. 167(3):705-19. PMID: 16127151

Ichikawa K, Liu W, Fleck M, Zhang H, Zhao L, Ohtsuka T, Wang Z, Liu D, Mountz JD, Ohtsuki M, Koopman WJ, Kimberly R, Zhou T. 2003. TRAIL-R2 (DR5) mediates apoptosis of synovial fibroblasts in rheumatoid arthritis. J Immunol. 171(2):1061-9. PMID: 12847280

Xu Y, Szalai AJ, Zhou T, Zinn KR, Chaudhuri TR, Li X, Koopman WJ, Kimberly RP. 2003. Fc gamma Rs modulate cytotoxicity of anti-Fas antibodies: implications for agonistic antibody-based therapeutics. J Immunol. 171(2):562-8. PMID: 12847219

Ichikawa K, Liu W, Zhao L, Wang Z, Liu D, Ohtsuka T, Zhang H, Mountz JD, Koopman WJ, Kimberly RP, Zhou T. 2001. Tumoricidal activity of a novel anti-human DR5 monoclonal antibody without hepatocyte cytotoxicity. Nat Med. 7(8):954-60. PMID: 11479629

Koopman WJ. 2001. Prospects for autoimmune disease: Research advances in rheumatoid arthritis. JAMA. 285(5):648-50. PMID: 11176875

Rundle CH, Schroeder HW Jr, Koopman WJ. 1998. In situ hybridization analysis of immunoglobulin heavy chain variable gene expression with family specific oligonucleotide probes. J Immunol Methods. 218(1-2):31-52. PMID: 9819121

Moreland LW, Morgan EE, Adamson TC 3rd, Fronek Z, Calabrese LH, Cash JM, Markenson JA, Matsumoto AK, Bathon J, Matteson EL, Uramoto KM, Weyand CM, Koopman WJ, Heck LW, Strand V, Diveley JP, Carlo DJ, Nardo CJ, Richieri SP, Brostoff SW. 1998. T cell receptor peptide vaccination in rheumatoid arthritis: a placebo-controlled trial using a combination of Vbeta3, Vbeta14, and Vbeta17 peptides. Arthritis Rheum. 41(11):1919-29. PMID: 9811045

Baggott JE, Morgan SL, Koopman WJ. 1998. The effect of methotrexate and 7-hydroxymethotrexate on rat adjuvant arthritis and on urinary aminoimidazole carboxamide excretion. Arthritis Rheum. 41(8):1407-10. PMID: 9704638

Lee SK, Song CH, Kim JB, Chwae YJ, Choi IH, Bridges SL Jr, Koopman WJ, Schroeder HW Jr. 1998. Enhanced expression of immunoglobulin kappa light chains with unusually long CDR3 regions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 1925(6):1067-71. PMID: 9632065

Clausen BE, Bridges SL Jr, Lavelle JC, Fowler PG, Gay S, Koopman WJ, Schroeder HW Jr. 1998. Clonally-related immunoglobulin VH domains and nonrandom use of DH gene segments in rheumatoid arthritis synovium. Mol Med. 4(4):240-57. PMID: 9606177



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