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Faculty Detail    
Campus Address SHEL 178C Zip 2182
Phone  (205) 975-1119
Other websites

Undergraduate  University of Notre Dame    1980  BS 
Medical School  LSU School of Medicine, New Orleans    1984  MD 
Residency  University of Texas Medical Branch    1988  Internal Medicine 
Fellowship  University of Alabama at Birmingham    1991  Fellowship 
Graduate  University of Alabama at Birmingham    1995  PhD 

Internal Medicine  1987 
Rheumatology  1990 
Rheumatology  2000 
Rheumatology  2010 

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

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Bridges obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1980, and his medical degree from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans in 1984. He was a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and served as Chief Medical Resident from 1987 to 1988. He was a fellow in the UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology from 1988 until 1991. He then joined the faculty at UAB and entered the Cellular and Molecular Biology graduate program, resulting in a Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1995. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine in 2000 and to Professor of Medicine in 2007. In 2009, he was named the Director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology and the first holder of the Marguerite Jones Harbert-Gene V. Ball, MD Endowed Chair in Rheumatology. In 2013, he was named Director of the UAB Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Autoimmunity Center.

Research/Clinical Interest
Genetic influences on susceptibility, severity, and treatment response in rheumatoid arthritis
Our research program is focused on identification of genetic and non-genetic influences on rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility, severity, and treatment response. My earliest research interest, the role of B lymphocytes and autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), particularly immunoglobulin gene expression and antibody repertoires in synovial tissue, formed the basis of my PhD studies. In addition, my research has focused on identification of genetic influences on RA susceptibility and severity, particularly in African-Americans, and on biomarkers of treatment response in RA. In collaboration with investigators at the HudsonAlpha Institute of Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama, we are identifying genetic loci associated with RA in African-Americans through the project Genome-Wide Association Study in African-Americans with Rheumatoid Arthritis (NIH R01 AR057202-01 - SL Bridges, Jr., PI). The goals of this project are to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) in African-Americans with RA and African-American controls to identify novel genetic associations; to replicate these putative associations in independent set of African-American RA patients and controls by establishing the African-American Rheumatoid Arthritis Network (AARAN); and to analyze genome-wide associations with radiographic severity; bone mineral density, and expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) of genes expressed in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. “Dissection of the ACPA response in African-Americans with Rheumatoid Arthritis” (NIH R01 AR062376 - SL Bridges, Jr., PI) will address important unanswered questions regarding the relationship of RA, periodontal disease, and RA-associated B cells/autoantibodies among African-Americans. These novel studies will provide important new information on the pathogenesis of RA in African-Americans and may lead to innovative ways to diagnose, treat, or prevent this disease. As Director of UAB's Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Center (MCRC), funded by NIH P60 AR064172, I oversee a multidisciplinary program to promote research related to the causes, diagnoses, treatments and improved care of patients with arthritis and musculoskeletal diseases. The MCRC contains an Administrative Core, a Methodology Core (led by David Redden, PhD; UAB Department of Biostatistics, SOPH) and two research projects: 1. Facilitating Treat-to-Target Strategies Using Novel Health Technology with Decision Support (PI: Jeffrey R. Curtis, MD, MS, MPH). This project will extend and evaluate novel health information technology to enable the systematic collection and integration of Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) and healthcare provider data in routine clinical practice; make use of this data to facilitate patient-provider interaction around optimal use of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) therapies; integrate this data with information in Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems; and demonstrate benefit for both process and outcomes among patients with RA. 2. Adaptive Immune Responses to Gut Microbiota in Juvenile and Adult Spondyloarthritis (PI: Charles O. Elson, MD, and Co-PI: Matthew Stoll, MD, PhD). This project will integrate cutting-edge technologies of antigen identification with microbiome/metagenome analysis to provide novel information on the microbial contributions to spondyloarthritis. The data will result in new insights into the pathogenesis of SpA, suggest potential new biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring, and lead to new approaches to therapy by manipulating the microbiota and adaptive immune responses to it. As Co-Director of the UAB Center of Research Translation (CORT) in Gout and Hyperuricemia (NIH P50 AR060772 - KG Saag, Contact PI; SL Bridges, Jr., PI), I am involved in three research projects focused on characterizing biomarkers of inflammation (CRP), vascular disease (endothelial function), and blood pressure changes associated with allopurinol (Project 1); examining factors associated with suboptimal gout care and factors influencing effective and safer dosing of allopurinol and colchicine in African-Americans and Caucasians (Project 2); and comparing the effectiveness of a novel pharmacy-based "virtual" Gout Clinic that includes protocol-driven care to usual care in the treatment of chronic gout (Project 3). The overall goal of our CORT (K. Saag, Director) is to improve the health of patients with gout and hyperuricemia by applying scientifically rigorous, state-of-the-art methodology to clinically important questions in translational investigation and to educate clinical investigators through an enrichment program. These innovative projects hold the promise of significant improvements in our understanding of the pathogenesis of gout and related co-morbid conditions, and may ultimately lead to better ways to predict, treat, or prevent gout and hyperuricemia. As Associate Director of the UAB Rheumatic Disease Cores Center (RDCC) (NIH P30 AR048311, John D Mountz, MD, PhD, PI and Director), I serve as collaborate with Dr. Mountz to provide assistance in the strategic planning, management and evaluation functions of the RDCC; and have primary responsibility for the development of Scientific Programs & Career Development program and for the management and monitoring the progress of the Pilot & Feasibility (P&F) Program. The RDCC consists of UAB investigators pursuing research in the rheumatic diseases, the Administrative Core, and three Research Cores: Comprehensive Flow Cytometry Core (CFCC); Analytical Imaging and Immunoreagent Core (AIIC); and Analytical Genomics and Transgenics Core (AGTC).

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Use of a multiethnic approach to identify rheumatoid arthritis susceptibility loci, 1p36 and 17q12.
Kurreeman FA, Stahl EA, Okada Y, Liao K, Diogo D, Raychaudhuri S, Freudenberg J, Kochi Y, Patsopoulos NA, Gupta N; CLEAR investigators, Sandor C, Bang SY, Lee HS, Padyukov L, Suzuki A, Siminovitch K, Worthington J, Gregersen PK, Hughes LB, Reynolds RJ, Bridges SL Jr, Bae SC, Yamamoto K, Plenge RM.
Am J Hum Genet. 2012 Mar 9;90(3):524-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.01.010. Epub 2012 Feb 23. 
2012 update of the 2008 American College of Rheumatology recommendations for the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic agents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Singh JA, Furst DE, Bharat A, Curtis JR, Kavanaugh AF, Kremer JM, Moreland LW, O'Dell J, Winthrop KL, Beukelman T, Bridges SL Jr, Chatham WW, Paulus HE, Suarez-Almazor M, Bombardier C, Dougados M, Khanna D, King CM, Leong AL, Matteson EL, Schousboe JT, Moynihan E, Kolba KS, Jain A, Volkmann ER, Agrawal H, Bae S, Mudano AS, Patkar NM, Saag KG.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2012 May;64(5):625-39. doi: 10.1002/acr.21641.  
A randomized comparative effectiveness study of oral triple therapy versus etanercept plus methotrexate in early aggressive rheumatoid arthritis: the treatment of Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis Trial.
Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Paulus HE, Curtis JR, Bathon JM, St Clair EW, Bridges SL Jr, Zhang J, McVie T, Howard G, van der Heijde D, Cofield SS; TEAR Investigators.
Arthritis Rheum. 2012 Sep;64(9):2824-35. doi: 10.1002/art.34498 
Genome-wide association analysis of anti-TNF drug response in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
Umicevic Mirkov M, Cui J, Vermeulen SH, Stahl EA, Toonen EJ, Makkinje RR, Lee AT, Huizinga TW, Allaart R, Barton A, Mariette X, Miceli CR, Criswell LA, Tak PP, de Vries N, Saevarsdottir S, Padyukov L, Bridges SL, van Schaardenburg DJ, Jansen TL, Dutmer EA, van de Laar MA, Barrera P, Radstake TR, van Riel PL, Scheffer H, Franke B, Brunner HG, Plenge RM, Gregersen PK, Guchelaar HJ, Coenen MJ.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 Aug;72(8):1375-81. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202405. Epub 2012 Dec 11. 
Changes in lipoproteins associated with methotrexate or combination therapy in early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the treatment of early rheumatoid arthritis trial.
Navarro-Millán I, Charles-Schoeman C, Yang S, Bathon JM, Bridges SL Jr, Chen L, Cofield SS, Dell'Italia LJ, Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Paulus HE, Curtis JR.
Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Jun;65(6):1430-8. doi: 10.1002/art.37916. 
Genetic variants associated with methotrexate efficacy and toxicity in early rheumatoid arthritis: results from the treatment of early aggressive rheumatoid arthritis trial.
Aslibekyan S, Brown EE, Reynolds RJ, Redden DT, Morgan S, Baggott JE, Sha J, Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Curtis JR, Mikuls TR, Bridges SL Jr, Arnett DK.
Pharmacogenomics J. 2014 Feb;14(1):48-53. doi: 10.1038/tpj.2013.11. Epub 2013 Apr 2. 
Genome-wide association study and gene expression analysis identifies CD84 as a predictor of response to etanercept therapy in rheumatoid arthritis.
Cui J, Stahl EA, Saevarsdottir S, Miceli C, Diogo D, Trynka G, Raj T, Mirkov MU, Canhao H, Ikari K, Terao C, Okada Y, Wedrén S, Askling J, Yamanaka H, Momohara S, Taniguchi A, Ohmura K, Matsuda F, Mimori T, Gupta N, Kuchroo M, Morgan AW, Isaacs JD, Wilson AG, Hyrich KL, Herenius M, Doorenspleet ME, Tak PP, Crusius JB, van der Horst-Bruinsma IE, Wolbink GJ, van Riel PL, van de Laar M, Guchelaar HJ, Shadick NA, Allaart CF, Huizinga TW, Toes RE, Kimberly RP, Bridges SL Jr, Criswell LA, Moreland LW, Fonseca JE, de Vries N, Stranger BE, De Jager PL, Raychaudhuri S, Weinblatt ME, Gregersen PK, Mariette X, Barton A, Padyukov L, Coenen MJ, Karlson EW, Plenge RM.
PLoS Genet. 2013 Mar;9(3):e1003394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003394. Epub 2013 Mar 28. 
Crowdsourcing genetic prediction of clinical utility in the Rheumatoid Arthritis Responder Challenge.
Plenge RM, Greenberg JD, Mangravite LM, Derry JM, Stahl EA, Coenen MJ, Barton A, Padyukov L, Klareskog L, Gregersen PK, Mariette X, Moreland LW, Bridges SL Jr, de Vries N, Huizinga TW, Guchelaar HJ; International Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (INTERACT), Friend SH, Stolovitzky G.
Nat Genet. 2013 May;45(5):468-9. doi: 10.1038/ng.2623.  
Gene-body mass index interactions are associated with methotrexate toxicity in rheumatoid arthritis.
Aslibekyan S, Sha J, Redden DT, Moreland LW, O'Dell JR, Curtis JR, Mikuls TR, Reynolds RJ, Danila MI, Bridges SL Jr.
Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Apr;73(4):785-6. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204263. Epub 2013 Nov 29.  
Genetics of rheumatoid arthritis contributes to biology and drug discovery.
Okada Y, Wu D, Trynka G, Raj T, Terao C, Ikari K, Kochi Y, Ohmura K, Suzuki A, Yoshida S, Graham RR, Manoharan A, Ortmann W, Bhangale T, Denny JC, Carroll RJ, Eyler AE, Greenberg JD, Kremer JM, Pappas DA, Jiang L, Yin J, Ye L, Su DF, Yang J, Xie G, Keystone E, Westra HJ, Esko T, Metspalu A, Zhou X, Gupta N, Mirel D, Stahl EA, Diogo D, Cui J, Liao K, Guo MH, Myouzen K, Kawaguchi T, Coenen MJ, van Riel PL, van de Laar MA, Guchelaar HJ, Huizinga TW, Dieudé P, Mariette X, Bridges SL Jr, Zhernakova A, Toes RE, Tak PP, Miceli-Richard C, Bang SY, Lee HS, Martin J, Gonzalez-Gay MA, Rodriguez-Rodriguez L, Rantapää-Dahlqvist S, Arlestig L, Choi HK, Kamatani Y, Galan P, Lathrop M; RACI consortium; GARNET consortium, Eyre S, Bowes J, Barton A, de Vries N, Moreland LW, Criswell LA, Karlson EW, Taniguchi A, Yamada R, Kubo M, Liu JS, Bae SC, Worthington J, Padyukov L, Klareskog L, Gregersen PK, Raychaudhuri S, Stranger BE, De Jager PL, Franke L, Visscher PM, Brown MA, Yamanaka H, Mimori T, Takahashi A, Xu H, Behrens TW, Siminovitch KA, Momohara S, Matsuda F, Yamamoto K, Plenge RM.
Nature. 2014 Feb 20;506(7488):376-81. doi: 10.1038/nature12873. Epub 2013 Dec 25. 

Rheumatoid arthritis; genetics; African-Americans; pharmacogenetics; biomarkers; autoantibodies