Back to Main

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  Biomedical Engineering  Biomatrix Eng Regen Med (BERM) Ctr Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Center for Outcomes & Effectiveness Res & Educ Professor
Center  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr  Comp Arthritis, MSK, Bone & Autoimmunity Ctr 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  Informatics Institute  Informatics Institute Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Minority Health & Research Center Professor
Center  UAB Ctr for Study of Community Health  UAB Ctr for Study of Community Health Professor

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

Biographical Sketch 
Robert P. Kimberly, MD, a native of New Haven, Connecticut, received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School after receiving a baccalaureate degree magna cum laude from Princeton University and a baccalaureate / master's degree from the University of Oxford, Oxford, England. Dr. Kimberly's achievements and honors include election to Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, a "First" class degree from Oxford, and election to both the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Kimberly proceeded to do his internship and residency in Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. His professional training and experience has included appointments as Clinical Associate at the Arthritis and Rheumatism Branch of the National Institute of Arthritis, Metabolism, and Digestive Diseases; Fellow, Assistant, Associate, and Professor of Medicine at Cornell University Medical Center; Director of the Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases Center at Cornell; and Program Director of the NIAMS Research Training Program in Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases at Cornell. Dr. Kimberly joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1996 as Professor of Medicine and the Howard L. Holley Research Chair of Rheumatology. He began his career at UAB as the Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology (1996-2007). Presently, he is Associate Vice President for Medicine and Biomedical Research (2012 – present) and the Senior Associate Dean for Research (2006-present). His responsibilities include strategic and space planning as well as supervision of research activities in the School of Medicine. He also oversees implementation of the recommendations put forth by the strategic planning initiatives in the School. In addition, Dr. Kimberly is Director of the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science. Dr. Kimberly serves on the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group of Research Advancement and Development (GRAND) Steering Committee in addition to being director of the UAB FOCIS Center of Excellence in Clinical Immunology. Dr. Kimberly is a clinical rheumatologist, immunologist and human geneticist; therefore, his research expertise involves the use of molecular immunology and immunogenetics to identify susceptibility and severity factors for human autoimmune disease and to identify new targets for therapeutic approaches. He is currently applying these strategies in several key clinical areas, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the systemic vasculitides.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Association of Immunologists (AAI) 
American College of Physicians (ACP) 
American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 
American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 
Association of American Physicians (AAP) 
Clinical Immunology Society (CIS)  
The American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)  

Research/Clinical Interest
Autoimmunity, Molecular Mechanisms and Genetic Risk
Dr. Kimberly is an internationally recognized translational scientist with substantial experience in the development and administration of large, multi-site and multiple-investigator scientific programs. His research group is interested in the role of genetic factors in the normal function of the immune system and in the development of autoimmune and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and systemic vasculitis. The group’s approach has focused on receptors for immunoglobulin (Fc receptors) as a model system and has explored molecular mechanisms of receptor signaling and the molecular basis for receptor polymorphisms in humans. Allelic variations in receptor structure profoundly affect receptor function. The team has been a leader in developing several national and international research consortia for the study of human diseases, and they have demonstrated that certain low-binding alleles are enriched in SLE patients. More active alleles are over-represented in patients with vasculitis and severe renal disease. As prominent contributors in major population-based genome wide association studies, the group is pursuing other genes and gene families as they are identified as candidate genes. These genes include complement receptors, cytokine genes and their promoters, signal transduction molecules, and members of the TNF superfamily. In addition to identifying susceptibility alleles, these studies have led to molecular insights into responsiveness to Ig-based therapeutics.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Armstrong DL, Zidovetzki R, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Tsao BP, Criswell LA, Kimberly RP, Harley JB, Sivils KL, Vyse TJ, Gaffney PM, Langefeld CD, Jacob CO. GWAS identifies novel SLE susceptibility genes and explains the association of the HLA region. Genes and immunity. 2014.   24871463 
Guthridge JM, Lu R, Sun H, Sun C, Wiley GB, Dominguez N, Macwana SR, Lessard CJ, Kim-Howard X, Cobb BL, Kaufman KM, Kelly JA, Langefeld CD, Adler AJ, Harley IT, Merrill JT, Gilkeson GS, Kamen DL, Niewold TB, Brown EE, Edberg JC, Petri MA, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Kimberly RP, Freedman BI, Stevens AM, Boackle SA, Criswell LA, Vyse TJ, Behrens TW, Jacob CO, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Sivils KL, Choi J, Joo YB, Bang SY, Lee HS, Bae SC, Shen N, Qian X, Tsao BP, Scofield RH, Harley JB, Webb CF, Wakeland EK, James JA, Nath SK, Graham RR, Gaffney PM. Two functional lupus-associated BLK promoter variants control cell-type- and developmental-stage-specific transcription. American journal of human genetics. 2014;94(4):586-98.   24702955 
Freedman BI, Langefeld CD, Andringa KK, Croker JA, Williams AH, Garner NE, Birmingham DJ, Hebert LA, Hicks PJ, Segal MS, Edberg JC, Brown EE, Alarcon GS, Costenbader KH, Comeau ME, Criswell LA, Harley JB, James JA, Kamen DL, Lim SS, Merrill JT, Sivils KL, Niewold TB, Patel NM, Petri M, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Salmon JE, Tsao BP, Gibson KL, Byers JR, Vinnikova AK, Lea JP, Julian BA, Kimberly RP. End-stage renal disease in African Americans with lupus nephritis is associated with APOL1. Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, NJ). 2014;66(2):390-6. PMID:   24504811 
Li X, Kimberly RP. Targeting the Fc receptor in autoimmune disease. Expert opinion on therapeutic targets. 2014;18(3):335-50.  24521454 
Morris DL, Fernando MM, Taylor KE, Chung SA, Nititham J, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Barcellos LF, Behrens TW, Cotsapas C, Gaffney PM, Graham RR, Pons-Estel BA, Gregersen PK, Harley JB, Hauser SL, Hom G, Langefeld CD, Noble JA, Rioux JD, Seldin MF;Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Genetics Consortium, Vyse TJ, Criswell LA. MHC associations with clinical and autoantibody manifestations in European SLE. Genes and immunity. 2014;15(4):210-7.   24598797 
Dong C, Ptacek TS, Redden DT, Zhang K, Brown EE, Edberg JC, McGwin G, Jr., Alarcon GS, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Petri M, Qin A, Wu J, Kimberly RP. Fcgamma receptor IIIa single-nucleotide polymorphisms and haplotypes affect human IgG binding and are associated with lupus nephritis in African Americans. Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, NJ). 2014;66(5):1291-9.  24782186 
Manku H, Langefeld CD, Guerra SG, Malik TH, Alarcon-Riquelme M, Anaya JM, Bae SC, Boackle SA, Brown EE, Criswell LA, Freedman BI, Gaffney PM, Gregersen PA, Guthridge JM, Han SH, Harley JB, Jacob CO, James JA, Kamen DL, Kaufman KM, Kelly JA, Martin J, Merrill JT, Moser KL, Niewold TB, Park SY, Pons-Estel BA, Sawalha AH, Scofield RH, Shen N, Stevens AM, Sun C, Gilkeson GS, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Nath SK, Tsao BP, Vyse TJ. Trans-ancestral studies fine map the SLE-susceptibility locus TNFSF4. PLoS genetics. 2013;9(7):e1003554.   23874208 
Molineros JE, Maiti AK, Sun C, Looger LL, Han S, Kim-Howard X, Glenn S, Adler A, Kelly JA, Niewold TB, Gilkeson GS, Brown EE, Alarcon GS, Edberg JC, Petri M, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Freedman BI, Tsao BP, Criswell LA, Jacob CO, Moore JH, Vyse TJ, Langefeld CL, Guthridge JM, Gaffney PM, Moser KL, Scofield RH, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Williams SM, Merrill JT, James JA, Kaufman KM, Kimberly RP, Harley JB, Nath SK. Admixture mapping in lupus identifies multiple functional variants within IFIH1 associated with apoptosis, inflammation, and autoantibody production. PLoS genetics. 2013;9(2):e1003222.  23441136 
Sakurai D, Zhao J, Deng Y, Kelly JA, Brown EE, Harley JB, Bae SC, Alarcomicronn-Riquelme ME, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Ramsey-Goldman R, Petri MA, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Alarcon GS, Kaufman KM, Vyse TJ, Jacob CO, Gaffney PM, Sivils KM, James JA, Kamen DL, Gilkeson GS, Niewold TB, Merrill JT, Scofield RH, Criswell LA, Stevens AM, Boackle SA, Kim JH, Choi J, Pons-Estel BA, Freedman BI, Anaya JM, Martin J, Yu CY, Chang DM, Song YW, Langefeld CD, Chen W, Grossman JM, Cantor RM, Hahn BH, Tsao BP. Preferential binding to Elk-1 by SLE-associated IL10 risk allele upregulates IL10 expression. PLoS genetics. 2013;9(10):e1003870.   24130510 
Li X, Wu J, Ptacek T, Redden DT, Brown EE, Alarcon GS, Ramsey-Goldman R, Petri MA, Reveille JD, Kaslow RA, Kimberly RP, Edberg JC. Allelic-dependent expression of an activating Fc receptor on B cells enhances humoral immune responses. Science translational medicine. 2013;5(216):216ra175.  24353158 
Kaufman KM, Zhao J, Kelly JA, Hughes T, Adler A, Sanchez E, Ojwang JO, Langefeld CD, Ziegler JT, Williams AH, Comeau ME, Marion MC, Glenn SB, Cantor RM, Grossman JM, Hahn BH, Song YW, Yu CY, James JA, Guthridge JM, Brown EE, Alarcon GS, Kimberly RP, Edberg JC, Ramsey-Goldman R, Petri MA, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Anaya JM, Boackle SA, Stevens AM, Freedman BI, Criswell LA, Pons Estel BA, Lee JH, Lee JS, Chang DM, Scofield RH, Gilkeson GS, Merrill JT, Niewold TB, Vyse TJ, Bae SC, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Jacob CO, Moser Sivils K, Gaffney PM, Harley JB, Sawalha AH, Tsao BP. Fine mapping of Xq28: both MECP2 and IRAK1 contribute to risk for systemic lupus erythematosus in multiple ancestral groups. Annals of the rheumatic diseases. 2013;72(3):437-44.  22904263 
Falola MI, Wiener HW, Wineinger NE, Cutter GR, Kimberly RP, Edberg JC, Arnett DK, Kaslow RA, Tang J, Shrestha S. Genomic copy number variants: evidence for association with antibody response to anthrax vaccine adsorbed. PloS one. 2013;8(5):e64813.   23741398 
Absher DM, Li X, Waite LL, Gibson A, Roberts K, Edberg J, Chatham WW, Kimberly RP. Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of systemic lupus erythematosus reveals persistent hypomethylation of interferon genes and compositional changes to CD4+ T-cell populations. PLoS genetics. 2013;9(8):e1003678.  23950730 
Pajewski NM, Shrestha S, Quinn CP, Parker SD, Wiener H, Aissani B, McKinney BA, Poland GA, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP, Tang J, Kaslow RA. A genome-wide association study of host genetic determinants of the antibody response to Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed. Vaccine. 2012;30(32):4778-84.   22658931 
Morris DL, Taylor KE, Fernando MM, Nititham J, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Barcellos LF, Behrens TW, Cotsapas C, Gaffney PM, Graham RR, Pons-Estel BA, Gregersen PK, Harley JB, Hauser SL, Hom G, Langefeld CD, Noble JA, Rioux JD, Seldin MF, Criswell LA, Vyse TJ. Unraveling multiple MHC gene associations with systemic lupus erythematosus: model choice indicates a role for HLA alleles and non-HLA genes in Europeans. American journal of human genetics. 2012;91(5):778-93.   23084292 
Kim K, Brown EE, Choi CB, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Kelly JA, Glenn SB, Ojwang JO, Adler A, Lee HS, Boackle SA, Criswell LA, Alarcon GS, Edberg JC, Stevens AM, Jacob CO, Gilkeson GS, Kamen DL, Tsao BP, Anaya JM, Guthridge JM, Nath SK, Richardson B, Sawalha AH, Kang YM, Shim SC, Suh CH, Lee SK, Kim CS, Merrill JT, Petri M, Ramsey-Goldman R, Vila LM, Niewold TB, Martin J, Pons-Estel BA, Vyse TJ, Freedman BI, Moser KL, Gaffney PM, Williams A, Comeau M, Reveille JD, James JA, Scofield RH, Langefeld CD, Kaufman KM, Harley JB, Kang C, Kimberly RP, Bae SC. Variation in the ICAM1-ICAM4-ICAM5 locus is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus susceptibility in multiple ancestries. Annals of the rheumatic diseases. 2012;71(11):1809-14.  22523428 
Manjarrez-Orduno N, Marasco E, Chung SA, Katz MS, Kiridly JF, Simpfendorfer KR, Freudenberg J, Ballard DH, Nashi E, Hopkins TJ, Cunninghame Graham DS, Lee AT, Coenen MJ, Franke B, Swinkels DW, Graham RR, Kimberly RP, Gaffney PM, Vyse TJ, Behrens TW, Criswell LA, Diamond B, Gregersen PK. CSK regulatory polymorphism is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and influences B-cell signaling and activation. Nature genetics. 2012;44(11):1227-30.  23042117 
Adrianto I, Wang S, Wiley GB, Lessard CJ, Kelly JA, Adler AJ, Glenn SB, Williams AH, Ziegler JT, Comeau ME, Marion MC, Wakeland BE, Liang C, Kaufman KM, Guthridge JM, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Alarcon GS, Anaya JM, Bae SC, Kim JH, Joo YB, Boackle SA, Brown EE, Petri MA, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Criswell LA, Edberg JC, Freedman BI, Gilkeson GS, Jacob CO, James JA, Kamen DL, Kimberly RP, Martin J, Merrill JT, Niewold TB, Pons-Estel BA, Scofield RH, Stevens AM, Tsao BP, Vyse TJ, Langefeld CD, Harley JB, Wakeland EK, Moser KL, Montgomery CG, Gaffney PM. Association of two independent functional risk haplotypes in TNIP1 with systemic lupus erythematosus. Arthritis and rheumatism. 2012;64(11):3695-705.   22833143 
Kelley JM, Monach PA, Ji C, Zhou Y, Wu J, Tanaka S, Mahr AD, Johnson S, McAlear C, Cuthbertson D, Carette S, Davis JC, Jr., Dellaripa PF, Hoffman GS, Khalidi N, Langford CA, Seo P, St Clair EW, Specks U, Stone JH, Spiera RF, Ytterberg SR, Merkel PA, Edberg JC, Kimberly RP. IgA and IgG antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody engagement of Fc receptor genetic variants influences granulomatosis with polyangiitis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2011;108(51):20736-41.  22147912 
Adrianto I, Wen F, Templeton A, Wiley G, King JB, Lessard CJ, Bates JS, Hu Y, Kelly JA, Kaufman KM, Guthridge JM, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Anaya JM, Bae SC, Bang SY, Boackle SA, Brown EE, Petri MA, Gallant C, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Criswell LA, Edberg JC, Freedman BI, Gregersen PK, Gilkeson GS, Jacob CO, James JA, Kamen DL, Kimberly RP, Martin J, Merrill JT, Niewold TB, Park SY, Pons-Estel BA, Scofield RH, Stevens AM, Tsao BP, Vyse TJ, Langefeld CD, Harley JB, Moser KL, Webb CF, Humphrey MB, Montgomery CG, Gaffney PM. Association of a functional variant downstream of TNFAIP3 with systemic lupus erythematosus. Nature genetics. 2011;43(3):253-8.   21336280 
Freedman BI, Edberg JC, Comeau ME, Murea M, Bowden DW, Divers J, Alarcon GS, Brown EE, McGwin G, Jr., Kopp JB, Winkler CA, Nelson GW, Illei G, Petri M, Ramsey-Goldman R, Reveille JD, Vila LM, Langefeld CD, Kimberly RP. The non-muscle Myosin heavy chain 9 gene (MYH9) is not associated with lupus nephritis in African Americans. American journal of nephrology. 2010;32(1):66-72.   20523037 
Gateva V, Sandling JK, Hom G, Taylor KE, Chung SA, Sun X, Ortmann W, Kosoy R, Ferreira RC, Nordmark G, Gunnarsson I, Svenungsson E, Padyukov L, Sturfelt G, Jonsen A, Bengtsson AA, Rantapaa-Dahlqvist S, Baechler EC, Brown EE, Alarcon GS, Edberg JC, Ramsey-Goldman R, McGwin G, Jr., Reveille JD, Vila LM, Kimberly RP, Manzi S, Petri MA, Lee A, Gregersen PK, Seldin MF, Ronnblom L, Criswell LA, Syvanen AC, Behrens TW, Graham RR. A large-scale replication study identifies TNIP1, PRDM1, JAZF1, UHRF1BP1 and IL10 as risk loci for systemic lupus erythematosus. Nature genetics. 2009;41(11):1228-33.   19838195 
Li X, Su K, Ji C, Szalai AJ, Wu J, Zhang Y, Zhou T, Kimberly RP, Edberg JC. Immune opsonins modulate BLyS/BAFF release in a receptor-specific fashion. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md : 1950). 2008;181(2):1012-8.  18606652 
Nath SK, Han S, Kim-Howard X, Kelly JA, Viswanathan P, Gilkeson GS, Chen W, Zhu C, McEver RP, Kimberly RP, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Vyse TJ, Li QZ, Wakeland EK, Merrill JT, James JA, Kaufman KM, Guthridge JM, Harley JB. A nonsynonymous functional variant in integrin-alpha(M) (encoded by ITGAM) is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus. Nature genetics. 2008;40(2):152-4.   18204448 
Harley JB, Alarcon-Riquelme ME, Criswell LA, Jacob CO, Kimberly RP, Moser KL, Tsao BP, Vyse TJ, Langefeld CD, Nath SK, Guthridge JM, Cobb BL, Mirel DB, Marion MC, Williams AH, Divers J, Wang W, Frank SG, Namjou B, Gabriel SB, Lee AT, Gregersen PK, Behrens TW, Taylor KE, Fernando M, Zidovetzki R, Gaffney PM, Edberg JC, Rioux JD, Ojwang JO, James JA, Merrill JT, Gilkeson GS, Seldin MF, Yin H, Baechler EC, Li QZ, Wakeland EK, Bruner GR, Kaufman KM, Kelly JA. Genome-wide association scan in women with systemic lupus erythematosus identifies susceptibility variants in ITGAM, PXK, KIAA1542 and other loci. Nature genetics. 2008;40(2):204-10.  18204446 
Su K, Wu J, Edberg JC, Li X, Ferguson P, Cooper GS, Langefeld CD, Kimberly RP. A promoter haplotype of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif-bearing FcgammaRIIb alters receptor expression and associates with autoimmunity. I. Regulatory FCGR2B polymorphisms and their association with systemic lupus erythematosus. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md : 1950). 2004;172(11):7186-91.   15153543 
Qin H, Edberg JC, Gibson AW, Page GP, Teng L, Kimberly RP. Differential gene expression modulated by the cytoplasmic domain of Fc gamma RIa (CD64) alpha-chain. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md : 1950). 2004;173(10):6211-9.   15528358 
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 

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