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The American College of Rheumatology is the premier society for the advancement of rheumatology in the U.S. This year’s ACR President, a newly designated Master, and a Distinguished Fellow all call UAB home.

The UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology is home to some of the best clinicians and investigators in the nation. Our faculty regularly contribute their expertise to national rheumatology organizations, including the American College of Rheumatology.

Dr. Tony Merriman

Kenneth Saag, M.D., MSc, serves as the 85th president of the ACR this year. A world-renowned expert in gout and osteoporosis, Saag is Professor of Medicine and Director of the UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, where he holds the Anna Lois Waters Endowed Chair in Rheumatology. Saag concurrently directs the UAB Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone, and Autoimmunity Center.

Saag previously served as the president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation Board of Trustees and remains the only rheumatologist to have held that position.

Dr. Tony Merriman

Winn Chatham, M.D., was recognized as a Master of the ACR in 2021, one of the highest honors the College bestows. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members who have made outstanding contributions to the ACR and the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement andor service to their patients, students, and profession. He is also the recipient of the ACR Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award.

Chatham is Professor of Medicine and the Louis W. Heck Clinical Scholar in Rheumatology. He has authored more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, contributed to over 12 textbook chapters, and has been a Primary Investigator in over 30 clinical trials. His clinical and research interests are focused on systemic lupus erythematosus, immunodeficiency-associated autoimmunity, and macrophage activation syndrome in the setting of autoimmune and viral disorders.

Dr. Tony Merriman

Lesley Jackson, M.D., was named a Distinguished Fellow of the ACR in 2021. She is a third-year Fellow and Instructor in the UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. After earning her medical doctorate in 2015 from Indiana University School of Medicine, she completed her internal medicine residency at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, TN. Jackson went on to a fellowship in Global Health sponsored by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School under the aegis of The Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership.

In 2019, Jackson began her rheumatology fellowship at UAB, and in 2020, she was selected for the T32 Training Program in Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Disease Research. Dr. Jackson’s long-term goal is to become a clinician-scientist focused on addressing health disparities and improving patient-centered outcomes for patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic disease as an independent investigator. She will join the division as a full-time Instructor of Medicine in July 2022.