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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 172B Zip 2182
Phone 205-934-0245
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Medicine  Med - Immunology/Rheumatology Professor
Secondary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Professor
Secondary  Genetics   Genetics Chair Office Professor
Secondary  Microbiology  Microbiology Professor
Center  Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Diseases Center  Arthritis & Musculoskeletal Diseases Center Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  Center for Metabolic Bone Disease  Center for Metabolic Bone Disease Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Center for Outcomes & Effectiveness Res & Educ Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center  Comprehensive Cancer Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Professor
Center  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Ctr for Exercise Medicine Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Minority Health & Research Center Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Hughes Med-Grad Fellowship Program 
Integrative Genetics Graduate Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Robert P. Kimberly, MD, is Senior Associate Dean for Research and Director of the UAB Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Center (AMC). He is a rheumatologist and immunologist with expertise in autoimmune disease including systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic vasculitis and rheumatoid arthritis. He is experienced in establishing collaborative research groups in clinical and translational research, and is currently the Principal Investigator of the UAB Program Project in the Genetics of SLE, a unique consortium of seven academic centers. Dr. Kimberly is co-leader, with Dr. Kaslow, of the Genetics and Functional Genomics workgroup of the AMC. He has served on, and chaired, the Center for Scientific Review GMA-1 Study Section, various review groups for NIAMS Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases Centers, for NIAMS Rheumatic Disease Core Centers, for assorted Program Projects (NIAMS, NIAID, NIDDK), and GCRC review groups. He has chaired the Peer Review Council of the National Arthritis Foundation in 1999 and 2000, the Medical and Scientific Committee of the National Arthritis Foundation and was a member of the Arthritis Foundation’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Research. He was an invited member of the NIAMS Centers Working Group I (1996), was a contributing member to the NIAID Task Force on Immunology XI (1997) and served on the NIAMS Scientific Program Planning Retreat meeting (2001). He has served on multiple national committees for the American College of Rheumatology and is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. He has also served on the Editorial Boards of Arthritis and Rheumatism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Genes and Immunity.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
Alliance for Lupus Research  Scientific Advisory Board   
American Association of Immunology     
American College of Rheumatology     
Arthritis Foundation  Trustee   
Clinical Immunology Society     

Research/Clinical Interest
Autoimmunity, Molecular Mechanisms and Genetic Risk
Our laboratory is interested in the role of genetic factors in the normal function of the immune system and in development of autoimmune and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic vasculitis. Our approach has focused on receptors for immunoglobulin as a model system and has explored molecular mechanisms of receptor signaling and the molecular basis for receptor polymorphisms in humans. Studies in cell lines and in normal donors have demonstrated that despite the common theme of receptor-induced tyrosine phosphorylation the various human Fc receptors engage of different signaling elements which are reflected in important distinctions in function. Similarly, allelic variations in receptor structure profoundly affect receptor function, and certain low-binding alleles are enriched in SLE patients. More active alleles are over-represented in patients with vasculitis and severe renal disease. Other genes and gene families are being pursued as they are identified as candidate genes through genome scans, family studies and linkage studies. These genes include complement receptors, cytokine genes and their promoters, signal transduction molecules, and members of the TNF superfamily.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Wu J, Edberg JC, Redecha PB, Bansal V, Guyre PM, Coleman K, Salmon JE, Kimberly RP: A novel polymorphism of FcgRIIIa (CD16) alters receptor function and predisposes to autoimmune disease. J Clin Invest 100:1059-1070, 1997.  9276722 
Croker JA, Kimberly RP. SLE: challenges and candidates in human disease.
Trends Immunol. 2005 Sep 13.
Yang X, Wang J, Liu C, Grizzle WE, Yu S, Zhang S, Barnes S, Koopman WJ, Mountz JD, Kimberly RP, Zhang HG. Cleavage of p53-vimentin complex enhances tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand-mediated apoptosis of rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. Am J Pathol. 2005 Sep; 167(3):705-19.   16127151 
Croker JA, Kimberly RP. Genetics of susceptibility and severity in systemic lupus erythematosus. Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2005 Sep; 17(5):529-37.   16093829  
Szalai AJ, Alarcon GS, Calvo-Alen J, Toloza SM, McCrory MA, Edberg JC, McGwin G Jr, Bastian HM, Fessler BJ, Vila LM, Kimberly RP, Reveille JD. Systemic lupus erythematosus in a multiethnic US Cohort (LUMINA). XXX: association between C-reactive protein (CRP) gene polymorphisms and vascular events. Rheumatology (Oxford). 2005 Jul; 44(7):864-8.   15797975 
Szalai AJ, Wu J, Lange EM, McCrory MA, Langefeld CD, Williams A, Zakharkin SO, George V, Allison DB, Cooper GS, Xie F, Fan Z, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the C-reactive protein (CRP) gene promoter that affect transcription factor binding, alter transcriptional activity, and associate with differences in baseline serum CRP level. J Mol Med. 2005 Jun; 83(6):440-7.   15778807  
Gottenberg JE, Busson M, Cohen-Solal J, Lavie F, Abbed K, Kimberly RP, Sibilia J, Mariette X. Correlation of serum B lymphocyte stimulator and beta2 microglobulin with autoantibody secretion and systemic involvement in primary Sjogren's syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2005 Jul; 64(7):1050-5.   15640273 
Hughes LB, Criswell LA, Beasley TM, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Moreland LW, Seldin MF, Bridges SL. Genetic risk factors for infection in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. Genes Immun. 5:641-7, 2004.   15526004 
Criswell LA, Lum RF, Turner KN, Woehl B, Zhu Y, Wang J, Tiwari HK, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Moreland LW, Seldin MF, Bridges SL Jr. The influence of genetic variation in the HLA-DRB1 and LTA-TNF regions on the response to treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis with methotrexate or etanercept. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Sep; 50(9):2750-6.   15457442  
Huizinga TWJ, Pisetsky DS, Kimberly RP. Associations, populations and the truth. Recommendations for genetic association studies in Arthritis and Rheumatism. Arthritis Rheum 50: 2066-2071, 2004.  15248203 
Zhou T, Wang H, Luo D, Rowe T, Wang Z, Hogan RJ, Qiu S, Bunzel RJ, Huang G, Mishra V, Voss TG, Kimberly R, Luo M. An exposed domain in the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus spike protein induces neutralizing antibodies. J Virol. 2004 Jul;78(13):7217-26.   15194798 
Liu W, Szalai A, Zhao L, Liu D, Martin F, Kimberly RP, Zhou T, Carter R. Control of spontaneous B lymphocyte autoimmunity with adenovirus-encoded soluble TACI. Arthritis Rheum 50: 1884-1896, 2004.  15188365 
Vassilopoulos D, Younossi ZM, Hadziyannis E, Boparai N, Yen-Lieberman B, His E, Villa-Forte A, Ball E, Kimberly RP, Calabrese LH. Study of host and virological factors of patients with chronic HCV infection and associated laboratory or clinical autoimmune manifestations. Clin Exp Rheumatol 21: S101-111,2003.  14740435 
Tanaka S, Edberg JC, Chatham WW, Fassina F, Kimberly RP. FcRIIIb allele-sensitive release of alpha-defensins: Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA)-induced release of chemotaxins. J Immunol 171:6090-6096, 2003  14634123 
Li X, Wu J, Carter R, Edberg J, Su K, Cooper G, Kimberly R. A novel polymorphism in Fc receptor IIB (CD32B) transmembrane region alters receptor signaling. Arthritis Rheum
48:3242-3252, 2003.
Sanchez ML, Alarcon GS, McGwin G Jr, Fessler BJ, Kimberly RP. Can the weighted criteria improve our ability to capture a larger number of lupus patients into observational and interventional studies? A comparison with the American College of Rheumatology criteria. Lupus. 2003; 12(6):468-70.   12873049  
Ichikawa K, Liu W, Fleck M, Zhang H, Zhao L, Ohtsuka T, Wang Z, Liu D, Mountz J, Ohtsuki M, Koopman W, Kimberly R, Zhou T. TRAIL-R2 (DR5) mediates apoptosis of synovial fibroblasts in rheumatoid arthritis. J Immunol 171:1061-1069, 2003  12847280 
Xu Y, Szalai AJ, Zhou T, Zinn KR, Chaudhuri TR, Li X, Koopman WJ, Kimberly RP. FcRs modulate cytotoxicity of anti-Fas antibodies: Implications for agonistic antibody-based therapeutics. J Immunol 171:562-568, 2003  12847219 
Wu J, Metz C, Xu X, Abe R, Gibson A, Edberg J, Cooke J, Cooper G, Kimberly RP. A novel polymorphic CAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta element in the FasL gene promoter alters fas ligand expression: A candidate background gene in African American systemic lupus erythematosus patients. J Immunol 170:132-138, 2003.  12496392 
Edbert J, Langefeld C, Wu K, Moser K, Kaufman K, Kelly J, Bansal V, Brown M, Salmon J, Rich S, Harley J, Kimberly R P: Genetic linkage and association of Fcy receptor IIIA (CD 16A) on chromosome lq23 with human systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis & Rheumatism 46:2132-40, 2002.  12209518 
Edberg JC, Qin H, Gibson AW, Yee AM, Redecha PB, Indik ZK, Schreiber AD, Kimberly RP. The CY domain of the Fcgamma RIa alpha-chain (CD64) alters gamma-chain tyrosine-based signaling and phagocytosis. J Biol Chem 277:41287-93, 2002.  12200451 
Ichikawa K, Liu W, Wang Z, Liu D, Koopman WJ, Kimberly RP and Zhou T: Tumoricidal Activity of a Novel Anti-Human DR5 Monoclonal Antibody. Nature Medicine 7:954-960, 2001.  11479629 
Gibson AW, Edberg JC, Wu J, Westendorp RGJ, Huizinga TWJ, Kimberly RP: Novel single nucleotide polymorphisms in the distal IL10 promoter affect IL10 production and enhance the risk of SLE. J Immunol 166:3915-3922, 2001.  11238636 
Zhang J, Roschke V, Baker KP, Wang Z, Alarcón GS, Fessler BJ, Bastian HM, Kimberly RP and Zhou T: A role for B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. J Immunol, Cutting Edge 166:6-10, 2001.  11123269 

autoimmunity, immune-mediated inflammatory disease, Fc receptors, single nucleotide polymorphisms, immunogenetics, functional genomics