Scientific Program

Please note that the Scientific Program is subject to change.



To get a taste of the scientific program, read introductions by some speakers to their lectures below:

Plenary Sessions
For all the Plenary Sessions, click here

Lupus in 2017: from molecular targets to new therapies 

Stem cells and the treatment of SLE
Lingyun Sun (China)
Stem cells especially mesenchymal stem cell therapy in SLE possess much promise.
I will look at stem cell abnormality and its therapeutic potential in SLE model; as well as the clinical application and existing problems of stem cell treatment in SLE.

Lupus nephritis: from bench to bedside 

Mechanisms of renal damage in lupus nephritis
Anne Davidson (USA)
Lupus nephritis is often still refractory to current therapies. A better understanding of mechanisms of damage could lead to more individualized therapies. Participants will:
1. Understand the components of the inflammatory process that damages the kidneys in lupus nephritis.
2. Learn how molecular profiling of kidneys and kidney cells can help to elucidate stages of progression of lupus nephritis.
- Relevant Article - click here

Challenges in drug development and clinical trial design in SLE

The ideal trial design: a focus on patient selection and appropriate outcome measures
Richard Furie (USA)
The obstacles to drug development are many and relate to the effectiveness of the drug, selection of the correct dose, inclusion of the proper patient population, and the incorporation of appropriate outcome measures, to name just a few. Despite these hurdles, there is currently unprecedented activity in the area of drug development in patients with Lupus. The Lupus community will overcome these barriers, and no doubt physicians will have more drugs in their armamentarium in the near future. In this presentation issues revolving around clinical trial design will be discussed.

Outcome measures and treatment targets in SLE

Measuring disease activity and damage in SLE
Dafna Gladman (Canada)
It is important to measure disease activity and damage as these are important outcomes that direct treatment. Tools to measure disease activity and damage in SLE will be described during this lecture.

Parallel Sessions

CNS Lupus

Neuropsychiatric Lupus: Clinical heterogeneity, attribution and outcome
John Hanly (Canada)
Nervous system lupus is a challenge for both clinicians and researchers -- new insights will inform diagnosis and treatment. By the end, participants will be able to appreciate the variability of clinical manifestations of nervous system lupus, the importance of determining the correct causal attribution and the outcome with current standard of care.

Antibody-mediated neuropsychiatric lupus
Betty Diamond (USA)
NPSLE is a hot topic as there are no targeted interventions at present. This talk is designed to introduce the audience to the idea that NPSLE may progress in two distinct stages, immediate neuronal loss mediated by antibody, late neuronal damage mediated by activated microglia. This model present distinct therapeutic opportunities.

Cell targeting in SLE 

Life and death of dendritic cells: a potential target for lupus pathogenesis
Andrew Lew (Australia)
Dendritic cell subsets are associated with certain diseases including lupus. Controlling their life and death may be a way of treatment.

Lupus nephritis

Cross-talk between clinical and translational research in lupus nephritis
Daniel TM Chan (China/ Hong Kong)
A deeper understanding of the basis, and shortcomings, of current and emerging therapies should improve the choice of therapies according to distinct patient characteristics and the decision making on the combination of treatments to optimize clinical outcomes. My goarls are to:
1. Appreciate the scientific basis of therapies adopted in the clinic for the treatment of lupus nephritis.
2. Highlight clinical knowledge gaps that can be investigated with animal and basic studies.


Pregnancy in SLE: more than just anti-phospholipid antibodies
Pier Luigi Meroni (Italy)
SLE mainly affects women in the childbearing age but does not reduce fertility, so pregnancy is becoming a common problem in treating lupus women. I will cover:
- How to plan pregnancy in SLE, taking into account different risk factors for miscarriages, for disease flares and the possible effects of maternal therapy on babies.
- Since anti-phospholipid antibodies are playing a major role in lupus pregnancy complications, their pathogenic role will be also addressed.
Relevant Articles:

1: (link) Moroni G, et al. Fetal outcome and recommendations of pregnancies in lupus nephritis in the 21st century. A prospective multicenter study. J Autoimmun. 2016;74:6-12.
2: (link) Moroni G, et al. Maternal outcome in pregnant women with lupus nephritis. A prospective multicenter study. J Autoimmun. 2016 ;74:194-200. 
3: (link) Meroni PL. Prevention & treatment of obstetrical complications in APS: Is hydroxychloroquine the Holy Grail we are looking for? J Autoimmun. 2016;75:1-5. 
4: (link) Andreoli L, et al. EULAR recommendations for women's health and the management of family planning, assisted reproduction, pregnancy and menopause in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and/or antiphospholipid syndrome. Ann Rheum Dis. 2016 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209770.

Manifestations, comorbidities and complications 

Lupus & Skin: Update 2017: Evaluation and management of cutaneous lupus erythematosus
Annegret Kuhn (Germany)
Cutaneous manifestations occur in about 75% of patients with SLE in the course of the disease, and are the first sign in a quarter of cases. Early diagnosis according to the current guidelines prevents adverse consequences and clearly improves the prognosis.
The skin manifestations of SLE show a broad heterogeneity and require a detailed and comprehensive clinical score to evaluate activity and damage of the disease. The RCLASI includes all morphological aspects of specific skin manifestations and may not only be applied to evaluate the severity of the lesions and the efficacy of treatment in daily practice, but also in clinical trials.
- Relevant Article Links: Article 1, Article 2

ACA Sessions

B cells in SLE pathogenesis and therapeutics

Secreted autoantibody repertoires in lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome studied by proteomics
Tom Gordon (Australia)
Serum autoantibodies remain the most clinically important biomarkers in lupus and other systemic autoimmune diseases.  Analysis of their molecular fingerprints is likely to guide more sophisticated diagnostics and novel approaches for removal of pathogenic clones.
- I will cover how proteomic workflows combining high-resolution electrophoresis with de novo mass spectrometric sequencing have been used for the first time to profile systemic autoantibodies in lupus.  Bioinformatics reveals restricted sets of public clonotypes across unrelated patients that can be exploited for novel diagnostic biomarkers.

The Mosaic of Autoimmunity

Clinical significance of autoantibodies in myositis with interstitial lung disease
Tsuneyo Mimori (Japan)
The lecture contains advanced knowledges about clinical significance of autoantibodies including novel myositis-specific autoantibodies. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the most frequent organ involvement in myositis patients, but it reveals various clinical course and therapeutic responsiveness according to the clinical and serological subsets. Anti-synthetase and anti-MDA5 are the most important autoantibodies associated with ILD in myositis.

Effector T cells in SLE

Immunometabolism defects in systemic lupus erythematosus: mechanisms and therapeutic opportunities
Laurence Morel (USA)
This lecture describes how cellular metabolism is involved in lupus pathogenesis. This novel regulatory checkpoint of the immune system provides alternative venues for treatment and disease monitoring. The lecture will describe the metabolism defects in the T cells from lupus-prone mice and lupus patients and show how these defects can be used to specifically target disease inducing T cells.
- Relevant Article - click here 
- From the Press - click here

Pearls in Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity associated lymphomas
Jorge Martins (Portugal)
It's a reflexion about the possible causes of degeneration in lymphoma, namely the use of "large spectrum" imunossupresors, in patients with autoimmune diseases by autoimmune diseases.

Harnessing autoimmunity (disease-specific autoantibody and its variant) in theranostics of disease
Eiji Matsuura (Japan)
The term “theranostic”, an innovative concept of medical modality featuring a portmanteau of therapeutic and diagnostic systems, was coined in 2002 and has since undergone progressive development into current preclinical stages.
We have proposed the combination of our novel theranostic system with alternative therapeutic candidates, such domain I and proteolytic resistant domain V of β2-GPI, in combination with both PET imaging and metabonomics, as another feasible theranostic approach for management of angiogenesis-mediated cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer developments.
- Relevant Article - click here

Autoimmunity and the Environment

The HPV vaccine and SLE: a possible connection?
Carlo Perricone (Italy)
To try to evaluate the possible risks connected to HPV vaccination and the possibly of adding another mechanism to SLE pathogenesis.

Meet the Professor Sessions
For the Meet the Professor Sessions, click here

East meets West: CNS lupus

Yoshiya Tanaka and John Hanly
1. Introduction of clinical features on NPSLE (Hanly, 10 min) - focus on the clinical aspects; utilize data from the SLICC international cohort which includes a large number of patients from a single Asian site (Seoul)
2. A case study. (Tanaka, 10 min)
3. A case study (Hanly, 10 min)
4. Perspectives of treatments of NPSLE (Tanaka, 10 min)

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