Rheumatology Research Center (RRC)

In 1974, the first Rheumatology Subspecialty Department was created in Shariati Hospital, Tehran University and grew up gradually to become the Rheumatology Research Center (RRC) in 1981. RRC was the first Research Center from Tehran University for Medical Sciences (TUMS) to be recognized officially by the Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education in 1994. It was selected as the Center of excellence for Rheumatology in Iran in 2001.



RRC has the following Research Units: Ankylosing Spondylitis, Behcet’s Disease, Epidemiology, Immunogenetics, Osteoporosis, Polymyositis-Dermatomyositis, Scleroderma, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Each of the research units has its own electronic registry. Behcet’s Disease has the largest number of patients with 7073 patients (in September 2013), registered and updated regularly. It is followed by Systemic Lupus Erythematosus registry containing 2371 patients and Ankylosing Spondylitis with 365 patients. RRC projects are divided in epidemiological studies, clinical studies, basic science and genetics. More than 15 of these projects were international collaborative studies. One of the projects was an international collaboration of 27 countries for the creation of the new International Criteria for Behcet’s Disease (ICBD). RRC started in 2000 a series of epidemiological studies in the framework of WHO-ILAR COPCORD (Community Oriented Program for the Control of Rheumatic Diseases). During “COCPORD stage 1” the prevalence and incidence of Rheumatic diseases was assessed in urban and rural regions of Iran. An APLAR questionnaire for risk factors of knee osteoarthritis (Stage III COPCORD) and a questionnaire for the evaluation of low back pain risk factors were developed in RRC. RRC has started early to take care of Osteoporosis in Iran, since the announcement of WHO in 1991. RRC has created the "first Back School" in Iran in 1994 to help people with low back pain. It has created in 1995 the "Knee School" for Knee Osteoarthritis. It also designed and ran a “multidisciplinary educational program on quality of life and disability of patients with chronic low back pain” in 2010.


Why RRC?

  • RRC is the main Rheumatology representative of Iran in APLAR (Asia and Pacific area League of Associations for Rheumatology). RRC has the APLAR chairmanship of the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Behcet’s Disease, Cochairman of SIGs on Osteoporosis, Scleroderma and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. RRC is one of the founding members of the International Society for Behcet’s Disease (ISBD) created in 2000.
  • In August 2003 RRC became member of the "Molecular Medicine Network of Iran". The same year, RRC created its Genetic lab which resulted in its first steps in the field of genetics in Rheumatology. The genetic lab grew up to RRC Immunogenetics lab since August 2010. The lab has participated to several national and International projects on Rheumatologic disorders.
  • Since 1985, fifty five Rheumatologists were trained and graduated from RRC, TUMS. They are all affiliated to RRC. RRC had many guest fellows for Rheumatology Subspecialties, coming from other universities for short periods. In 2008 the first Post Doctorate PhD student starred her course at RRC. RRC organizes since 1991, a weekly teaching program for Rheumatology subspecialty fellows and a postgraduate Rheumatologists (CME). Since 2006, the CME is officially recognized by the Ministry of Health, Treatment, and Medical Education. RRC is organizing since 1995 an annual (in February) seminar on one of the leading subjects of Rheumatology. They were 19 up to 2013. In September 2013, the first candidate studying a Ph.D. program with an emphahsis on practical research studies started his program on Behcet’s disease.
  • RRC has collaborated in the publication of 8 International books: Behcet’s Disease 1989 (one article), Behcet’s Disease 1993 (8 articles), Behcet’s Disease 1997 (11 articles), Textbook of Clinical Rheumatology 2000 (one chapter), Behcet’s Disease 2000 (25 articles), Adamanthiades-Behcet’s Disease 2002 (18 articles), Immunology of Behcet’s Disease 2003 (one chapter), Rheumatology Principles and Practice (one chapter). RRC has presented 211 papers in national and 385 papers in International conferences. RRC has published 85 papers in local and 273 papers in International Medical Journals. RRC has published several booklets for the general population on Behcet’s Disease and Osteoporosis.
  • RRC won "Ebnesina Festival" award for published books, TUMS, 1999. It received national Kharazmi award for the study on “the effects of multidisciplinary educational program on quality of life and disability of patients with chronic low back pain” in 2010.  RRC achieved Farabi Festival award for the long life studies on ocular involvement of Behcet’s disease, 2011.


Dean of the Center

Ahmadreza Jamshidi


Tel: (+98 21) 88 02 69 56

Address: Rheumatology Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Kargar Avenue, Tehran, Iran.


Educational Programs Offered by the RRC









Genetics, Epidemiology






*According to department decision, students are required to pass a certain number of coursework credits.


RRC Faculty Members and their Research Interests

Fereydoun Davatchi, Professor emeritus


Behcet’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, COPCORD studies


Mahmoud Akbarian, Professor


Systemic, Lupus Eryhtematosus


Fahrhad Shahram, Professor


Behcet’s Disease


Farhad Gharibdoust, Professor




Abdolhadi Naji, Professor


Ahmadreza Jamshidi, Professor


Ankylosisng Spondilitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, COPCORD studies


Masoumeh Akhlaghi Kalahroudi, Assistant professor


Behce’t’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis


Seyedeh Tahereh Faezi,     Assistant professor


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Behcet’s Disease


Mehdi Mahmoudi, Assistant Professor


Immounogentic of Rheumatic Diseases


RRC’s program coordinator’s contact information

Ahmadreza Jamshidi


Tel: (+98 21) 88 02 69 56


Information of School’s Contact Person


Tel: (+98 21) 88 02 69 56


All interested applicants are welcome to apply to TUMS by completing and submitting TUMS online application form in which they need to specify their program of interest and the center offering the program.


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