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Meet our Experts
Peter C Taylor

Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Peter C Taylor holds the Norman Collison chair of musculoskeletal sciences at the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of St. Peter’s College. He is Head of Clinical Sciences at the Botnar Research Centre within the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences. He studied pre-clinical medical sciences at Gonville and Caius College at the University of Cambridge and his first degree was in Physiology. He subsequently studied clinical medicine at the University of Oxford and was awarded a PhD degree from the University of London for research on pathogenesis of arthritis. Professor Taylor has specialist clinical interests in inflammatory arthritis. He has over 25 years’ experience in clinical trial design in studies of biologic and small molecular therapies in rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. In experimental medicine studies, Professor Taylor employs targeted therapies as probes of pathogenesis to investigate the in vivo biology of the target in the pathobiology of the disease phenotype under investigation.

Expert Faculty - Rheumatology
Elena Nikiphorou

Centre for Rheumatic Diseases, School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences, King's College London, London, UK

Dr Elena Nikiphorou is a Consultant Rheumatologist and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at Kings College London. She completed her MBBS at University College London, also obtaining a first-class honours for her Intercalated BSc in physiology, a British Pharmacological Society Award and a Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship for her BSc Research. She has been the recipient of multiple awards, bursaries and competitive roles, including the Richard Kovacs prize by the Royal Society of Medicine in 2014, which supported a fellowship in Chicago and the Doris Hillier Award by the British Medical Association in 2018, to support her work on multimorbidity in rheumatoid arthritis and the development of management algorithms according to individual need. with a clinical/academic interest in inflammatory arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis. She has expertise in all aspects of general rheumatology, including connective tissue and metabolic bone disease; crystal (e.g., gout) and reactive arthritis.

Expert Faculty - Rheumatology
Jérôme Avouac

Université de Paris, Hôpital Cochin, Service de Rhumatologie, Paris, France

Jérôme Avouac is a senior rheumatologist at Cochin Hospital and Professor at the University of Paris. He is responsible for a sector of day hospitalisation in the Rheumatology department, whose recruitment is mainly composed of patients with chronic inflammatory rheumatic disorders. He established a standardized systematic follow-up of joint involvement and systemic complications of rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Based on this standardized follow-up and clinical studies, he is developing medical approaches of personalized medicine for rheumatoid arthritis. Within the “Pathogenesis And Innovative Therapies In Chronic Fibro-Inflammatory Diseases” team at the Cochin Institute (INSERM U1016 UMR8104), Prof. Avouac leads innovative projects regarding the vascular aspects of inflammatory rheumatic disorders, especially rheumatoid arthritis. He also participates in the preclinical evaluation of anti-fibrotic treatments thanks to a platform of complementary animal models with dermal, pulmonary and vascular fibrosis.

Expert Faculty - Dermatology
Christopher Griffiths

Dermatology Centre, Barnes Building, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK

Chris Griffiths qualified in Medicine from St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School, London, and trained in Dermatology at St Mary’s Hospital, London and the University of Michigan, USA. He was appointed to the Foundation Chair in Dermatology at the University of Manchester in 1994, and founded the Manchester Dermatopharmacology Unit and the Manchester Psoriasis Service in 1994. In 2015 he received the Sir Archibald Gray Medal, for outstanding service to British Dermatology, and in 2019, the British Society for Investigative Dermatology (BSID) Medal for contributions to research. In 2018 Chris was awarded Pro Meritis of the European Dermatology Forum and was appointed OBE for services to dermatology. He is an NIHR Emeritus Senior Investigator and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Professor Griffiths has 680 PubMed cited articles, and is Editor-in-Chief of Rook’s Textbook of Dermatology. He has a career-long interest in all aspects of psoriasis and is credited with helping to develop the concept that psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease.

Expert Faculty - Dermatology
Su Lwin

Genetic Skin Disease Group, St John's Institute of Dermatology, King's College London, London, UK

Dr Su Lwin is a dermatology registrar and an honorary research fellow at St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and King’s College London. Dr Lwin graduated from Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine in 2008 with an MBBS and a BSc (Hons) in neuroscience and basic medical sciences. In 2013, she joined St John’s Institute of Dermatology, initially as a clinical fellow, and subsequently in 2014 as a clinical research fellow in Professor John McGrath’s Genetic Skin Disease Group. For her PhD, Dr Lwin pioneered the first human trial of fibroblast gene therapy for recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). Dr Lwin’s research focus includes the development and clinical application of somatic gene and cell therapy for individuals with EB and other genetic skin diseases, both at pre-clinical and clinical trial stages.

Expert Faculty - Dermatology
Tiago Torres

Centro Hospitalar, Universitário do Porto, Portugal

Tiago Torres is Professor of Dermatology at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences Abel Salazar, University of Porto, Portugal. He received his medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, completed a residency program in Dermatology and Venereology at Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto (CHUP), and finished his PhD thesis in 2014 studying the role of psoriasis-associated systemic inflammation in atherosclerosis. Currently, he is the Head of the Immuno-dermatology Unit (psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and auto-immune diseases) and Clinical Trials Unit of the Department of Dermatology of CHUP. Tiago Torres is an Associate Editor for several journal publications and has published many articles on psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. His main research topics in dermatology are immune-dermatology, immunology and immunopharmacology of psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Expert Faculty - Dermatology
Adam Reich

University of Rzeszow, Rzeszów, Poland

Adam Reich is Head and a full-time Professor at the Department of Dermatology, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszów, Poland. He is also a Secretary General of the Polish Dermatological Society and Chair of the Youth Forum of the Polish Dermatological Society. Dr Reich studied his PhD from 2003–2006 at the University of Medicine, Wroclaw, Poland. He is a member of the European Society for Dermatology and Psychiatry, European Society of Dermatological Research, European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, International Forum for the Study of Itch, and the International Society of Dermatology. His is the author and co-author of 94 original research articles, 67 reviews and 47 case reports. He also awarded with Prof. Zdzisław Ruszczak Award for the scientific activity in psoriasis. Dr Reich’s research interests include psoriasis, psycho dermatology, itch, autoimmune connective tissue diseases and dermato-oncology.

Expert Faculty - Neurology
Sarosh Irani

Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK

Dr Sarosh R Irani is the head of the Oxford Autoimmune Neurology Group, and a consultant neurologist and clinician-scientist with experience in the field of autoantibody-mediated diseases of the nervous system, in particular the central nervous system. He runs a dedicated clinic for patients with these disorders, with a neuropsychiatrist and an encephalitis nurse. In parallel, he runs a research group of clinicians and scientists to learn more about the origins and treatments of these diseases. So far, their work has discovered new autoantibodies, such as those which target LGI1 and CASPR2; shown that autoantibody specificities can have a remarkably close relationship with the patient phenotype; and they have studied the cellular and humoral human immunology to understand the basis of these diseases. They are using these foundations to understand the breaks in immune tolerance and developing methods to rapidly generate patient-derived monoclonal antibodies to precisely explore the neuroscience mechanisms by which the antibodies cause disease.


Expert Faculty - Oncology/ Immunotherapy
Eva Monoz Couselo

Vall d’Hebron Hospital, Barcelona, Spain

Dr Muñoz obtained her degree in medicine and surgery from the University of Barcelona in 2005, and completed her residency in medical oncology at the Vall d’Hebrón Hospital in 2006–10. She was awarded the title of Doctor in Medical Oncology by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (2011). Dr Muñoz is a specialist in melanoma and other skin tumours, and part of the team of breast cancer and skin tumours is at the Medical Oncology Service of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital in Barcelona. In this centre, she is a principal investigator and co-investigator of multiple clinical trials. Dr Muñoz has authored/co-authored several publications, most notably in the fields of breast and melanoma tumours. She is a member of the Spanish Society of Medical Oncology and the Cooperative Groups EORTC, ESMO, SOLTI and GEM.

Expert Faculty - Diabetes/ Immunology
Kevan Herold

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, US

Kevan Herold, M.D., is Professor of Immunology and Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Professor of Human and Translational Immunology at Yale University. Dr Herold graduated from Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College. He completed his residency at Temple University. His extensive career includes a Fellowship at the University of Chicago, Staff Scientist at Hagedeforn Laboratory in Denmark, and Scientific Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Dr Herold has experience in conducting clinical trials with mechanistic studies to test new therapies and hypotheses to understand the basis for success or failures of responses. In addition, Dr Herold is interested in integrating approaches that would improve beta cell function or even regenerate beta cells that have been destroyed by the immune mechanisms that lead to the disease.

Expert Faculty - Rheumatology
Richard Furie

Division of Rheumatology, Northwell Health, and Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, NY, USA

Dr Richard Furie is a rheumatologist whose activities for the last several decades have focused on patient care, physician education, and clinical research in the area of anti-rheumatic drug development. He directs The Program in Novel Therapeutics, the Health System’s clinical research program in musculoskeletal disease. He also directs the Hospital’s systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Autoimmune Disease Treatment Center, which has become internationally recognized for its role in the development of new therapies for SLE. Regarded as one of the senior rheumatologists in the New York metropolitan area, he has served as a volunteer for the local chapters of the Arthritis Foundation and the Lupus Alliance, the Lupus Foundation of America, the SLE Foundation, the Lupus Research Alliance, and Lupus Therapeutics. He has served on many committees of the American College of Rheumatology and was named a Master of the College in 2018.

Expert Faculty - Gastroenterology
Gil Y Melmed

Inflammatory Bowel and Immunobiology Research Institute, and Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Gil Y Melmed, MD, MS, is the Co-Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA, USA. He earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and master of science in clinical research from the University of California, School of Medicine (UCLA), Los Angeles. He completed his gastroenterology fellowship at UCLA also.

Dr Melmed has authored or co-authored more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals and several book chapters. Dr Melmed has served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Gastroenterology, and clinical research editor for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. His interests include clinical outcomes and quality of care in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as well as translational prognostic and therapeutic strategies to improve inflammation and clinical outcomes. He has led or participated in the development of quality indicators for IBD with the American Gastroenterology Association, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the National Quality Forum, and the Canadian Crohn’s and Colitis organizations.

Expert Faculty - Paediatric Gastroenterology
Maria Oliva-Hemker

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

Dr Maria Oliva-Hemker is Director of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the inaugural Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She received her medical degree, and then completed a residency in paediatrics and a fellowship in paediatric gastroenterology also at Hopkins. She is the founding director of the Hopkins Pediatric IBD Center. Dr Oliva-Hemker is a highly recognized clinician, an educator and clinical researcher with hundreds of peer-reviewed publications and invited talks. She has held multiple leadership positions in the North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN), the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation. She has been a section editor for the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Expert Faculty - Dermatology
William Damsky

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA

William Damsky, MD, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Yale School of Medicine and board-certified dermatologist and dematopathologist. In clinical practice, he specializes in evaluation and treatment of patients with inflammatory skin disorders, especially cutaneous granulomatous diseases such as sarcoidosis and granuloma annulare. Dr. Damsky is interested in the identification and evaluation of new treatment approaches for inflammatory skin disease and conducts clinical trials in this area. As a physician-scientist with training in basic immunology, Dr. Damsky’s laboratory leverages the latest immunologic approaches to understand mechanisms of inflammatory skin disease and how they are affected by novel therapies. Dr. Damsky’s research has been supported by Career Development Awards from the Dermatology Foundation and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). He was awarded the 2020 Young Investigator Award by the American Academy of Dermatology for his research in novel therapeutics for sarcoidosis.

Professor of Dermatology and Allergy
Marcus Maurer

Head of Dermatological Allergology at the Department of Dermatology and Allergy and Allergie-Centrum-Charité, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Prof. Marcus Maurer is a dermatologist and allergologist, and he also trained in experimental pathology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA (1995–1998. He received board certification for dermatology in 2000 and allergology in 2003. He was assistant professor at the Allergie-Centrum-Charité at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (2004–2005). In 2005 he became full professor at Charité. Prof. Maurer is a coordinator of two Global Allergy and Asthma European networks: Urticaria Centers of Reference and Excellence (UCARE) and Angioedema Centers of Reference and Excellence (ACARE). His areas of clinical interest include angioedema, urticaria, mastocytosis, pruritus, skin infections and allergic diseases. His research is focused on the biology of mast cells, neuroimmunology, inflammation, innate immunity and tolerance. He has supervised more than 60 clinical trials from phase I through phase IV. Prof. Maurer has contributed to more than 600 publications in peer-reviewed journals (with >25.000 citations and a H-index of 79) and 40 books and book chapters.

Expert Faculty - Rheumatology
Maria-Antonietta D’Agostino

Professor of Rheumatology, Versailles-Saint-Quentin University and University Hospital Ambroise Paré, Boulogne-Billancourt, France

Prof. Maria-Antonietta D’Agostino is a world-leading rheumatology expert and a methodological specialist in imaging application to rheumatic diseases, including translational studies. Her major research interests are the standardization and validation of imaging as a biomarker in the context of precision medicine and as an outcome measurement for the diagnosis, therapeutic follow-up and prognosis of joints and systemic inflammatory diseases, particularly rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis and psoriatic arthritis. Prof. D’Agostino engages in a wide range of research, ranging from methodological and proof-of-concept approaches through to large national and international clinical trials. She has published several major papers in the field. She is an executive committee member of Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT), and leads on OMERACT imaging/biomarker themes. She also served as chair of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Standing Committee on Musculoskeletal Imaging from 2011 to 2015.

Prof. D’Agostino is Director of Rheumatology at the Institute of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and of the Rheumatology Unit of Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCSS in Rome, Italy, an internationally recognized research university hospital dedicated to improving diagnosis, therapy, intervention and outcomes across the spectrum of rheumatic and musculoskeletal medicine. The institute delivers a dynamic portfolio of research and education, including clinical, translational and basic research focusing on clinical musculoskeletal medicine, imaging in musculoskeletal diseases and experimental musculoskeletal medicine.

Expert Faculty - Rheumatology
David A. McLain

Rheumatologist, McLain Medical Associates, P.C., Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Dr David McLain, received his medical degree with honours from Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, LA, USA. At Barnes Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis he was a medical resident, rheumatology fellow, and a trainee in immunogenetics with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He joined the faculty of Washington University School of Medicine before moving to Birmingham, AL, USA. In Birmingham, he became Chief of Rheumatology at Brookwood Medical Center, a position he held for over 25 years. In 1983, he conceived and established a rheumatology symposium which has evolved into a fellows’ forum – the North American Young Rheumatology Investigator Forum – as well as an immunology update, and the Congress of Clinical Rheumatology (CCR). Now in its 37th year, Dr McLain has expanded CCR to both US coasts, which has included physicians throughout North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. It is considered to be one of the premier clinical rheumatology meetings and the second largest rheumatology meeting in the US. In addition to his involvement with CCR, Dr McLain has also published clinical research articles and regularly writes commentaries on clinical research publications for Healio Rheumatology.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Arthur Kavanaugh

Center for Innovative Therapy, University of California, San Diego, CA, USA

Arthur Kavanaugh is Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Innovative Therapy in the UCSD Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology.

Dr Kavanaugh’s main research interest lies in clinical research, particularly translational aspects of rheumatology research. This has included work delineating the pathophysiology of rheumatic diseases as well as defining changes associated with novel immunomodulatory therapies. The focus of many clinical projects has been rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis, but he has also conducted many studies in other autoimmune conditions, including systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease and others. In addition, he has performed studies focusing on novel imaging methods and clinical outcomes. Dr Kavanaugh has been involved in guideline development for the treatment and optimal care of patients with several rheumatic diseases. He is a founding member of Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA) and remains on its executive committee.

Dr Kavanaugh has authored more than 600 publications, is on the editorial board for several journals and has served as a peer reviewer for more than a dozen scientific journals. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and has served as a member and chair of a number of committees in these organizations.

Dr Kavanaugh earned his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, MO, USA. He completed a residency in internal medicine and then a fellowship in clinical immunology/allergy at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. He also completed a rheumatology fellowship at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. In 1990, he joined the faculty at UT Southwestern before joining the Rheumatology, Allergy, Immunology Division at UCSD, where he has been since 1999.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Nicholas Fuggle

MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre, Southampton, UK

Dr Fuggle is an NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer at the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Centre where his current research focuses on the deployment of computer vision within the field of musculoskeletal ageing. He is a former Fellow of the Alan Turing Institute and is one of the co-organisers of the Clinical Artificial Intelligence Interest Group. He is a holder of the British Society of Rheumatology Young Investigator award and the International Osteoporosis Foundation Pierre Meunier prize. He sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of The European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases (ESCEO) and is former Honorary Secretary for the International Society of Digital Health.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Petar Lenert

The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Petar Lenert, MD, PhD is a Clinical Professor of medicine. He completed his medical training at the University of Novi Sad, Yugoslavia in 1979, where he was awarded the best graduated student in 1979 by the State (Republic of Serbia) Medical Society. He attained a Master of Science in Immunology in 1981, and a PhD in immunology in 1991. He practiced medicine in the University of Novi Sad, became director of an immunoregulatory laboratory in Montreal, Canada in 1994 and moved to the University of Iowa in 2000. His research interest is autoimmune diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). He is principal investigator in several ongoing clinical trials, and teaches at the University of Iowa, as well as serving as a board member of the Rheumatology Association of Iowa and DMSB member for vasculitis consortium at NIH-NIAMS. He also served as Director of Rheumatology symposium in Iowa for 10 years. He has published more than 65 peer-reviewed publications and several book chapters.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Alessia Alunno

The University of L’Aquila, L'Aquila, Italy

Dr Alessia Alunno is a Consultant Rheumatologist and Senior Researcher at the University of L’Aquila, Italy. Dr Alunno’s clinical/academic interests are focused on Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. She has extensive experience on the immunopathogenesis of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs), personalized medicine in young people with RMDs and digital healthcare. She has been the recipient of awards, bursaries and competitive roles, including the ACR/EULAR exchange programme in 2016 at the NIAMS in Bethesda, USA and the best oral presentation award at the 10° European Lupus Meeting in 2016. She undertook her medical degree specialty training in Rheumatology and PhD in medical biotechnologies at the University of Perugia, Italy. During her training, she also completed a research fellowship at the Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Rebecca Fischer-Betz

Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany

Prof. Rebecca Fischer-Betz is a Rheumatologist and Senior Physician at Heinrich-Heine University, where she holds the position of Deputy Head of the Department of Rheumatology. Expanding upon her background in rheumatology, Prof. Fischer-Betz is focusing on fertility and pregnancy in relation to inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Dr Fischer-Betz has run a pregnancy clinic at the Department of Rheumatology for more than 15 years and offers pre-pregnancy counselling.

Prof. Fischer-Betz is leading a long-term, grant-funded research project on pregnancy in rheumatic diseases with a focus on course of pregnancies and safety of new anti-rheumatic drugs. Immunotherapy and immunosuppression as well as different aspects of pregnancy in autoimmune diseases are priority research areas within her work and she has contributed to over 100 publications in this field.

She sits on the Board of the German Society of Rheumatology, is Chair of the Pregnancy in Rheumatic Disease Study Group, and is both member of the European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) expert group on medications in pregnancy and of the EULAR expert group on women`s health and family planning. She also serves as a delegate of the EULAR Standing Committee on Clinical Affairs (ESCCA) and as member of the editorial boards of Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, Lupus Science & Medicine and Zeitschrift für Rheumatologie.

Prof. Fischer-Betz graduated with a degree in Medicine from the Westfalian Wilhelms-University in Munster, Germany, before completing an internship in the Department of Gastroenterology, Endocrinology and Rheumatology. In 1994, Prof. Fischer-Betz began a six-year residency in Internal Medicine in the Department of Nephrology and Rheumatology at Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf. In 1999, she attended a program in clinical effectiveness at the Harvard School of Public Health, USA.

Expert Faculty – Dermatology/ Allergy
Emek Kocatürk

Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

Professor Emek Kocatürk is a Professor at the Department of Dermatology, Koç University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey. Prof. Kocatürk is Head of the Outpatient Care Unit for UCARE, ACARE and ADCARE Centers. Prof. Kocatürk had an observership on urticaria and allergic skin disorders in the Department of Dermatology and Allergy, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in 2008. She has been running urticaria specialty clinics since 2007, which became GA²LEN Urticaria Centers of Reference and Excellence in 2017 first in Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital, then Koç University Hospital, in Istanbul.

Prof. Kocatürk’s research focuses on the treatment of urticaria, urticaria in pregnancy and lactation, urticarial vasculitis as well as measurement of quality of life impairment and use of patient reported outcomes in urticaria and angioedema. She has numerous publications on urticaria as well as other dermatological conditions. Her clinical emphasis is on urticaria, angioedema, atopic dermatitis, chronic pruritus and contact dermatitis.

Prof. Kocatürk is a Board Member of the Urticaria Network e.V. (UNEV), member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, European Society for Contact Dermatitis and Secretary of the Dermatological Allergy Taskforce of the Turkish Dermatology Society. Prof. Kocatürk is also a Steering Committee Member of the UCARE Level Up programme.

Prof. Kocatürk completed her thesis at the Department of Dermatology, Göztepe Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul in 2004. Prof. Kocatürk acquired the degree of Associate Professor in 2012 and became Head of the Dermatology Department in Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital in Istanbul in 2013. She received a professorship degree in 2021 and works as a lecturer, clinician and researcher in Koç University School of Medicine, Department of Dermatology in Istanbul.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Lisa Alexandra Christ

Department of Rheumatology and Immunology Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland

Dr Lisa Christ is a Senior Physician and Clinical Scientist at the Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Switzerland. After obtaining her medical degree at the Eberhard-Karls-University of Tuebingen, Germany in 2011, she became Resident Physician in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital in Bern, then in the Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany. She is the author of 20 publications, and is a member of the European Vasculitis Society and Founding Member of the Vasculitis Association Switzerland.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Patrick Durez

Department of Rheumatology, UCL Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium

Professor Patrick Durez was trained in rheumatology and rehabilitation, and has spent 1 year in immunology, molecular biology research and studying animal models of inflammation. He is involved in the clinical research program at UCL Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and is responsible for the arthritis clinic at this site.

Professor Durez has conducted many trials on biologics in early, established and refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and has published, as an author or co-author, more than 166 research papers in peer-reviewed journals and has an h-index of 47. He is also developing multidisciplinary projects to establish total care in RA and is in demand as a lecturer on RA for general practitioners and specialists. He is also involved in the support of the patient association in Belgium. He is an active EULAR (quality of care committee, Synovitis study group) and SRBR member (executive and past president). He is an expert member of the federal health council. He has received the Liliane and Suzanne Chermanne Prize from the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine. He is responsible of the pole Reuma Research at UCLouvain.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Elena Myasoedova

Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Elena Myasoedova, M.D., Ph.D., is a clinical rheumatologist with specialty interest in inflammatory arthritis. She holds the academic rank of Associate Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. She is a Director of the Inflammatory Arthritis Clinic and a Vice Chair of Research in the Division of Rheumatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. Her primary research focus includes: epidemiology and outcomes research in patients with rheumatoid arthritis; individualized prediction of response to antirheumatic medications in patients with rheumatoid arthritis using clinical and pharmacogenomic data; studies on cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and studies on multimorbidity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Myasoedova has intramural and extramural funding supporting her research and is actively involved in mentoring research trainees, residents and fellows in patient-oriented research.

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Debashish Danda

Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, India

Dr Debashish Danda is currently Senior Professor and Founder of the Department of Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Vellore, India. Dr Danda is President of the Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology (APLAR), Convenor of the APLAR vasculitis special interest group & Indian Rheumatology Association vasculitis special interest group (IRAVAS) and has published 273 articles. Dr Danda is immediate Past Chair of the International League against Rheumatism (ILAR), past Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases (Formerly APLAR journal of Rheumatology) [2012-2018] and the Past President of the Indian Rheumatology Association [2017-2019].

Dr Debashish Danda MBBS (JIPMER, Puducherry, India), MD (General Medicine), DM (Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology), FRCP (London) received advanced training in Rheumatology from the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University of Adelaide, Australia. Dr Danda is an international fellow of the American College of Rheumatology (FACR), a fellow of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, India (FAMS), and a fellow of the Indian College of Physicians (FICP).

Expert Faculty – Allergy
Luis F. C. Ensina

Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, Federal University of São Paulo, Brazil

Prof. Dr. Luis F. C. Ensina is a board-certified allergologist, that received his medical degree from the Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, in Sorocaba, Brazil.  At the Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo, where he was a medical resident, and allergy/immunology fellow, he was introduced to clinical research as a sub-investigator.  He received his Master degree from the University of São Paulo and his PhD from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP).  In 2012 he joined the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, at the Federal University of São Paulo, and is currently the coordinator of the urticaria, angioedema, drug allergy and mast cell diseases outpatient clinic.

Dr. Ensina is also the head of a private clinical research center and allergy clinic (Alergoalpha/CPAlpha), which is a Center of Excellence and Reference in Urticaria (UCARE), Angioedema (ACARE) and Atopic Dermatitis (ADCARE).  At CPAlpha he has supervised and participated in more than 20 phase III and IV clinical trials in asthma, rhinitis, urticaria and atopic dermatitis.

He is an active member of the Brazilian Association of Allergy and Immunology (ASBAI), American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI), European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI), Latin-american Society of Allergy and Immunology (SLAAI) and founder/former president of the Brazilian Urticaria Network (RUBRA).

Dr. Ensina has contributed to more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 15 books and books chapters.

Expert Faculty – Dermatology
Raj Chovatiya

Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL, USA

Raj Chovatiya, M.D., Ph.D. is Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Chovatiya received his M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology from Yale University. He completed his internship at Yale followed by residency and postdoctoral research fellowship at Northwestern, where he also served as Chief Resident. Dr. Chovatiya is the medical director for the Clinical Trials Unit and leads the Center for Eczema and Itch in the Department of Dermatology at Northwestern, and his clinical and research focus includes the intersection of cutaneous immunology and inflammatory disease. He has a particular interest in optimizing patient-centered care, understanding chronic disease burden especially in understudied inflammatory diseases, and improving care across diverse skin types. He has published numerous abstracts and manuscripts and has been recognized for his contributions as a speaker, researcher, and leader at national and international conferences.

Expert Faculty – Immuno-oncology
Alessio Cortellini

Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Campus Bio-Medico, Rome, Italy

Dr Alessio Cortellini is a Consultant in Medical Oncology and a Clinical Scientist with a special interest in immunotherapy of cancer and lung cancer.

He graduated with honors at the University of L’Aquila in Italy, where he also completed his residency in medical oncology (with full remarks and honors, July 2018) and his PhD program in experimental medicine (with full remarks and honors, May 2022).

After leading the immunotherapy program at University of L’Aquila for more than a year he moved to London in 2020, where he worked as Clinical Research Fellow in the Early Phase Clinical Trial Unit at Imperial College London, under the supervision of Dr David J Pinato. In July 2022 he moved to Rome, and he is now working as Consultant Medical Oncologist and Clinical Scientist at the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Campus Bio-Medico. However, given the fruitful collaboration and the number of high-level research goals achieved during his fellowship at Imperial College, he keeps his honorary academic post as Visiting Researcher with Imperial College London.

Since February 2022 Alessio holds the National Scientific Qualification issued by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research as Associate Professor (section of Oncology, Hematology and Rheumatology).

The focus of Dr Cortellini’s research is represented by the study of clinic-pathologic predictors for cancer immunotherapy, with a special interest in lung cancer, host factors and immune-related adverse events.  His clinical and research expertise in this field have been widely recognized; he was named recipient of two Italian national awards in 2019 for research projects on immunotherapy of cancer (best poster at the national AIOM congress and best research article of the year in a high impact journal at the national Grandangolo congress).

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Michael Pillinger

NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Expert Faculty – Rheumatology
Alina Dima

Colentina Clinical Hospital, Bucharest, Romania

Alina Dima is a clinician with dual specialization in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology. She currently works at Colentina Clinical Hospital in Bucharest, Romania. During her residency in Internal Medicine, she gained experience at the Clinical Immunology and Rare Diseases Center of Nouvel Hopital Strasbourg, France. She holds a Master’s degree in medical biology and than completed her PhD in 2017 focusing on biomarkers for defining disease subgroups in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Her doctoral research also included a brief period of study in Aarhus, Denmark, exploring osteonecrosis in SLE patients. Alina Dima attended the EULAR course of capillaroscopy in Genoa, Italy, in 2016. Recently, she completed the EULAR Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (MSUS) advanced 2023 in Milan, Italy, achieving Level 1 of the EULAR Competency Assessment in MSUS. She was granted a scholarship to participate in the IX EULAR Scientifically Endorsed Course on SLE in Pisa, Italy, in 2019. She also received in 2020 a EULAR short-term scholarship for academic guest at the Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland, where her research focused on anti-NOR 90 antibodies in systemic sclerosis.

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