Friday, May 22, 2015

It's Happening in Bergen: 13th International Symposium on Sjogren's Syndrome

Sometimes when I'm having a day that's less than stellar autoimmune-wise, it's easy for me to descend into a seriously grumpy mood. This is due to lots of reasons: frustration with my body; frustration with my disease; and always frustration that there is not a cure for Sjogren's Syndrome and autoimmune diseases. Inevitably I fixate on the latter cause, since it's much easier to put blame and anger on a faceless scientific community that I assume must be sitting on their duffs not doing much of anything about our disease.

Which is not accurate. Seriously. While it is true that other diseases garner more attention and research dollars, many knowledgeable and dedicated scientists and physicians from all around the globe are working toward better treatment and hopefully a cure for Sjogren's syndrome.

Case in point: This week in Bergen, Norway, physicians, researchers, and Sjogren's patients are participating in an international gathering to share information, research, and experiences. This truly is an international event. Check out the advisory board and committee members:
International Advisory Board
Stefano Bombardieri, Italy
Philip Fox, USA
Haralampos M. Moutsopoulos, Greece
Ann L. Parke, USA
Susumu Sugai, Japan
Takayuki Sumida, Japan
Athanasios G. Tzoufas, Greece
Pierre Youinou, France
International Scientific Committee
Juan-Manuel Anaya, Colombia
Fransesca Barone, UK
Michele Bombardieri, UK
Hendrika Bootsma, The Netherlands
Simon Bowman, UK
Shunle Chen, China
Philip L. Cohen, USA
Troy E. Daniels, USA
Salvatore De Vita, Italy
Ayhan Dinç, Turkey
Thomas Dörner, Germany
Robert Fox, USA
Eric Gershwin, USA
Yoshio Hayashi, Japan
Gabriela Hernandez-Molina, Mexico
Falk Hiepe, Germany
Gabor G. Illei, USA
David A. Isenberg, UK
Cees G. M. Kallenberg, The Netherlands
Yrjö Konttinen, Finland
Zhanguo Li, China
Fabienne Mackay, Australia
Xavier Mariette, France
James E. Melvin, USA
Ulf Müller-Ladner, Germany
Gunnel Nordmark, Sweden
Jacques-Olivier Pers, France
Constantino Pitzalis, UK
Paul Plotz , USA
Manuel Ramos-Casals, Spain
Andreas Radbruch, Germany
Shigemasa Sawada, Japan
Juan Jose Scali, Argentina
Yehuda Shoenfeld, Israel
Kathy Sivils, USA
John Stone, USA
Elke Theander, Sweden
Kazuo Tsubota, Japan
Guido Valesini, Italy
Vladimir I. Vassiliev, Russia
Claudio Vitali, Italy
Cristina Vollenweider, Argentina
Marie Wahren-Herlenius, Sweden
Abstract topics sought during this conference include:

1. Classification criteria and new diagnostic tools
2. Preclinical disease and Sjögren’s syndrome in younger patients
3. Extraglandular manifestations
4. Classical sicca symptoms
5. Personalized and cell-based treatment
6. Patient panel (representatives for patient organizations)
7. Autoantibodies and autoantigens
8. Immune cells in Sjögren’s syndrome
9. Type I Interferons in Sjögren’s syndrome
10. Cytokine networks in Sjögren’s syndrome
11. Genetic aspects of Sjögren’s syndrome
12. Animal models for Sjögren’s syndrome
13. Systems Biology and bioinformatic approaches
14. New Biomarkers for Sjögren’s syndrome
15. Biobanks, registries and international networking

I am assuming that some kind of summary of conference presentations and abstracts will be made public, hopefully in an upcoming Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation publication such as their Sjogren's Quarterly. I'd love to learn more about personalized and cell-based treatment in particular.

Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Nicole said...

Yes, it is exciting! I am particularly glad that they are covering "Preclinical disease and Sjögren’s syndrome in younger patients." I think that as more effective treatments are developed, it will be equally important to identify patients MUCH earlier so they can have their maximum effect. It must be a thrill to be involved in research at this point... It feels like progress is gaining momentum.