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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 177-
Phone  (205) 934-1448
Other websites

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Medicine  Med - Immunology/Rheumatology Professor Emeritus
Secondary  Epidemiology  Epidemiology Professor

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Fine is a graduate of Southern Illinois University (BA, 1966), the University of Missouri (MSPH, 1967) and the University of Oklahoma (PhD, 1970). While pursuing his doctorate in biostatistics and epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma's School of Public Health at the Medical Center in Oklahoma City (1967 to 1970), Dr. Fine was a member of the Federal Aviation Administration's Human Factors Team where he served as an Aviation Crash Investigator for the FAA's Civil Aeromedical Research Institute. From mid-1970 until late 1971, he was Director of Research, Planning, and Development for the Chicago Board of Health, leaving to establish and direct the Illinois Department of Public Health's (IDPH) Statewide Pediatric Lead Poisoning Program. In 1970, he was appointed Health Services Coordinator for the IDPH where he worked closely with Dr. David Boyd and the late Dr. Bruce Flashner in conceptualizing and implementation the Illinois Trauma System. Dr. Fine returned to the private sector where he and Dr. Flashner did health care systems consulting from 1972 to 1974. In early 1975, Dr. Fine was recruited by the UAB School of Medicine (SOM) to be the first injury epidemiologist to serve on its faculty. From 1975 until 1987, Dr. Fine was a faculty member in UAB's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation where he was awarded tenure in 1975 and achieved the rank of full professor in 1983. While there, he served as the Department's Director of Research and Scientific Affairs, Director of Research for the Department's Medical Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Spinal Cord Dysfunction, Co-Director of the UAB Spinal Cord Injury Care System, and Co-Director of the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center. In 1988, Dr. Fine transferred his faculty appointment and research activities to UABís Department of Medicine. In addition to his ICRC-related responsibilities, Dr. Fine is Professor of Medicine and a research design specialist for Rehabilitation Research for UAB's NIH-sponsored Multi-Purpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease Center. He holds secondary appointments in the School of Public Health and UAB Graduate School. He is also the Principal Investigator and Director of the Southern Consortium for Injury Biomechanics, the separately funded biomechanics research component of the UAB-ICRC, which he helped establish in 2000. Between April 1, 1991 and January 31, 1992, Dr. Fine was on loan to CDC's Division of Injury Control, later renamed the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC). While at CDC, Dr. Fine headed the Division's Science Development Activity and was responsible for overseeing scientific quality assurance and policy leadership, and for conceptualizing and drafting the Division's first and only Scientific Oversight Plan adopted by the NCIPC in 1992. Dr. Fine is Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology and member of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the World Federation of Neurology's Research Committee on Neuroepidemiology, the American Association for Automotive Medicine, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Society of Sigma Xi. He was co-chair of the National Task Force on the Evaluation of Model Spinal Cord Injury Care Systems and is past member of the Alabama EMS Technical Advisory Committee and the UAB Research Council. He chaired the Alabama Governor's Task Force on Drunk Driving and was the co-founder, along with his wife, Dee Fine, of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in Alabama, serving as Jefferson County MADD president from 1984-86. He is a permanent appointee to the Advisory Board of the Alabama Impaired Drivers Trust Fund. He has published over 60 articles in peer reviewed scientific and technical journals, and since 1975 has served as PI or co-PI on peer reviewed scientific research grants totaling over $40 million.

Research/Clinical Interest
I am an injury epidemiologist with experience in neurotrauma, specifically, spinal cord injury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). In recent years my research has gravitated toward the study of overall rehabilitation outcomes among persons who sustained neurotrauma, intra-articular fractures of the lower extremities or severe burns. This aspect of my research is conducted under auspices of the CDC-sponsored Injury Control Research Center, here at UAB. In addition, I have devoted considerable effort to examining various means to improve the vocational rehabilitation outcomes of persons with arthritis or related musculoskeletal disorders. This aspect of my research is conducted under the auspices of the Epidemiology, Education and Health Services Research component of UABís NIH-sponsored Multipurpose Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disease Center. In 2001, Dr. Jay Goldman, Dean Emeritus of the UAB School of Engineering and I established the Southern Consortium for Injury Biomechanics at the UAB Injury Control Research Center. It is an entity quite unlike any other in the US and perhaps, the world. It was made possible with funds ear-marked by Congress through the US Department of Transportation (DOT). It is a confederation of highly regarded physicians, biomechanical engineers and allied scientists who have made a commitment to work cooperatively and collaboratively towards the goal of achieving a significant reduction in vehicle crash-related injuries and deaths. To achieve this goal, the SCIB provides an operational platform from which participants collaboratively design and conduct cutting edge injury biomechanics research designated as high priority by the DOT. A number of projects are currently being conducted. The first project, Pediatric Head and Neck Impact Injury, is providing information that will be used to design appropriate child Anthropometric Testing Devices (ATDs) (read: child crash dummies). In turn, these ATDs will be used to develop child-safe vehicle and vehicle restraint designs to prevent or at least minimize pediatric head and neck injuries. The second project is Evaluation and Enhancement of the Predictive Capabilities of the Simulated Injury Monitoring Model (SIMon) for Head and Brain Injury. SIMon is a state of the art computer-based tool initially developed by NHTSA. When perfected through the Southern Consortiumís efforts, it will enable scientists to predict the magnitude and extent of head and brain injuries under virtually any conceivable set of vehicle crash parameters. Because of its immense injury prevention potential in the areas of vehicle and protective equipment design, SIMon will be made widely available to vehicle manufacturers as well as to government and academic researchers. The third project is Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): A Research Applicable Model. DAI, a severe type of brain injury resulting from sudden deceleration like that experienced in a vehicle crash, is being studied in laboratory rats. Small laboratory animals, such as rats, have the advantage of allowing prospective studies to be conducted in which mechanical measures and injury outcomes can be evaluated both experimentally and computationally. The fourth project is Computational Modeling and Analysis of Neck Injuries in Vehicular Collisions. This project is developing a detailed, dynamic musculoskeletal model of the human neck which will enable us to better understand the mechanisms associated with catastrophic neck injury and whiplash. Information derived from the model will be incorporated into vehicle and protective equipment design. Other Consortium-driven research includes the development of eye injury biomechanics models for the prevention of air bag injuries, as well as a study addressing joint cartilage tolerance limits.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Straaton, K., Fine P.R., et al. (1996) Barriers to return to work among persons unemployed due to arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. Arthritis and Rheumatism. 39:(1)101-109.  8546718 
Fine, P.R., Roseman, J.M., et al. (1994) Homicide Among Black Males in Jefferson County, Alabama 1978-1989, J. Forensic Sci, 39, (3) 674-684.  8006616 
Straaton, K., Fine, P.R., et al. (1995) Musculoskeletal disability, employment, and rehabilitation. J. of Rheum. 22:505-513.  7783071 
DeVivo, M.J., Fine, P.R., et al. (1980) Prevalence of spinal cord injury: a re-estimation employing life-table techniques. Arch. Neurol. 37, (11), 707-708.  7436813 
Kuhlemeier, K.V., Fine, P.R., et al. (1984) Renal function after acute and chronic spinal cord injury. J. Urol. 131, 439-445.  6699981 
Enoch, P.G., Fine, P.R., et al. (1981) Tissue disaggregation of human kidney cells with further isopycnic and isokinetic gradient purification. Invest. Urol. 18, 345-348.
Fine, P.R., Thomas, C.W., et al. (1972) Pediatric blood lead levels: a study in 14 Illinois cities of intermediate population. JAMA 221, 13, 1475-1484.  5068647 
Fine, P.R., Kuhlemeier, K.V., et al. (1979) Spinal cord injury: an epidemiologic perspective. Paraplegia, 17, 237-250.  492764 
Better, S.R., Fine, P.R., et al. (1979) Disability benefits as disincentives to rehabilitation. Milbank Mem. Fund Q. 57, (3), 412-427.  157443 
Underhill A.T., Fine P.R., et al. (2003) Depression and life satisfaction in patients with traumatic brain injury: A longitudinal study. Brain Injury 17:973-982.  14514448