News Release

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NIAMS Names Dr. Robert Carter as Deputy Director

Robert H. Carter, M.D., former director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), has been selected as deputy director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Carter will be assuming his official responsibilities as of October 1, 2008.

As deputy director, Dr. Carter will assist NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., in providing strong and visionary leadership to the NIAMS, an organization dedicated to a national innovative research program in diseases of bones, muscles, joints, and skin. In addition, he will contribute to the NIAMS’ pursuit of cutting-edge research on a broad spectrum of investigations, from basic science to clinical studies, with translational research as a particular area of interest.

"I am delighted to welcome Dr. Carter to the NIAMS," said Dr. Katz. "His stellar credentials as a scientist and his broad experience in NIH extramural activities will contribute to NIAMS’ long history of excellence in biomedical research."

Dr. Carter is professor of medicine at UAB and has most recently served as director of the Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology. He is the principal investigator (PI) of the NIAMS-supported UAB Rheumatic Disease Core Center, and the PI of an Autoimmunity Center of Excellence supported by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He also serves as staff physician at the Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Carter is board certified in rheumatology and internal medicine and has an established record of exemplary career achievements in the fields of rheumatology and immunology. Specifically, Dr. Carter and his colleagues have been leaders in contributing to the understanding of molecular regulation of B lymphocyte activation to identify targets for therapeutic control of autoantibody production. A major focus of his work has been on signal transduction by the B cell surface molecule CD19. Recently, Dr. Carter and his group have expanded their focus to include target identification in human lupus and the study of B cells in the immune response of healthy individuals. His work is funded by grants from the NIAMS, the NIAID, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and private industry.

Dr. Carter has proven his scientific leadership through an extensive record of publications and editorial activities; committee and training commitments; teaching and mentoring dedication; consultations and speaking engagements; and awards and honors. He holds memberships with the Association of American Physicians, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), the American College of Physicians, the American Association of Immunologists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He serves on the Committee for Research of the ACR, the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee for the Lupus Foundation of America, Inc., and on the program committee for the 2008 annual meeting of the Henry Kunkel Society. He has served on numerous study sections and served as a consultant to the NIH Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee. He is also a VA Merit Awardee.

Dr. Carter received his bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., in 1978, Magna cum Laude, in biology. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1982. He trained in internal medicine at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville. In addition, he was a fellow in rheumatology and immunology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and in molecular and clinical rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health (NIH), is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases; the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research; and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. For more information about NIAMS, call the information clearinghouse at 301-495-4484 or 877-22-NIAMS (free call) or visit the NIAMS Web site at

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

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At the request of the institute, an image of Dr. Carter was added to this release on 8/14/2008