The Rheumatology Research Center (RRC) at Tehran University of Medical Sciences started its activities with specialized clinics of Rheumatology since 1974. As we provided a database for Behçet’s diseases and Lupus, the RRC becoming more well-structured and officially started its work as a first center of Tehran University of Medical Sciences with “Community Development Council” approval in 1994. The RRC was known as the Rheumatology Center of Excellence in 2001. The launch of RRC has been a milestone in the history of Rheumatology at Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Faculty members of the Center were six in the beginning. Over the years, our community is becoming more and more and many rheumatologist professors, who graduated from Rheumatology Center, joined our center. Some of the faculty members of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and other universities have also actively collaborated with our center.
Through the past few decades, RRC has been involved in international congresses and present research achievements to the top universities all over the world and achieved a good position all over the world. Meantime, our center and center’s members are known internationally and the center would keep activities to maintain and elevate scientific position in the world. RRC mainly works on epidemiological, clinical and basic sciences in the field of rheumatology and musculoskeletal disorders. It has handled various international projects in the mentioned fields and in recent years has started Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) in collaborations with outstanding universities and research centers over the world. The first normal curve of BMD in the Iranian population was prepared by RRC in 1996. This center has done Back and Knee School for the first time in Iran in 1994 and 1995 respectively. In recent years, RRC is working on the pathogenesis and molecular basis of autoimmune rheumatic diseases. RRC has published many valuable articles in prestigious journals in the field of rheumatology.
The web-based disease registry system (http://rheumatry.com) is now being launched in the field of rheumatic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and ankylosing spondylitis). In addition to the Rheumatology Research Center, this program is now being implemented in other universities and centers in the country. Furthermore, this program also has the ability to devolve to foreign subscribers and this is in line with the centers’ mission.
COPCORD, standing for the Community Oriented Program for Control of Rheumatic Diseases, was created in 1983 by the WHO (World Health Organization) with the collaboration of ILAR (International League of Association for Rheumatology). The program was created for the recognition, prevention and control of rheumatic disorders in developing countries. A pilot COPCORD study started in Iran on 3 October 2003. The first real COPCORD study started in Tehran (stage I, urban study) on 27 February 2004. On 27 February 2007, the next study, a rural study (stage I), started in the northwest of Iran, in five villages and done in 2009. The third study was done in the southeast of Iran, in the city of Zahedan (stage I, urban study) in 2009. The fourth study was done in Sanandaj, in the northwest of Iran (stage I, urban study) in 2012. A fifth study was finished in 2016, in the Center of Iran.