On September 18th, 2016 the forth workshop on Animal Models in Experimental Arthritis took place in Athens, Greece. The workshop was organized by Prof. George Kollias (Fleming) and was funded by the BTCure workshop support. The three day workshop involved BTCure partners from Academia and Industry in addition to external speakers, leaders in their field of expertise. For the meeting summary, please click here.
10-12th February 2016, Kings College London arranged and hosted, by BTCure PI Andrew Cope, a very interesting and successful workshop on functional genomics (the full program can be downloaded here)
The aims of the workshop were
• To highlight new advances in understanding the functional impact of genetic variation in immune mediated inflammatory and related diseases.
• To provide delegates with an experimental framework for investigating the functional basis of genetic variation.
• To provide opportunities for investigators and their collaborators to network in this field of research.
September 14-16 we held the third BTCure annual meeting in Prague. Around 100 participants contributed and participated actively in the discussions, lectures and break-out sessions. A summary from the meeting can be found here.
May 14-16, the third BTCure workshop on animal models was held. Besides wrapping up BTCure`s SOP work, making decisions on their publication and discussing new animal models, that have not yet been presented, the main focus of the workshop was the presentation and discussion of –omics work performed in selected mouse models.
In addition, there has been an own short session on neutrophils and NETs, which are currently actively discussed. Moreover, imaging and in vivo monitoring techniques were presented to follow up on functional impairment over time. For the full report and final program, please follow this link.
In BTCure we have several patient research partners involved. This is in many ways very fruitful for both the project per se, the indiviual researchers as well as for the patient research partners. Follow the discussion between Heidi Wähämaa, researcher at Karolinska and Eva Johansson, patient research partner, in this nice story (click here for the full report).
Between May 22-25 we organised the first workshop on Tolerance/Tolerizing therapies. The meeting venue was hotel Sigtunahöjden outside Stockholm. During these three days, 120 participants from all over Europe, as well as from different sites in USA and Australia, contributed to very interesting discussions, presentations and a lot of fruitful interactions.
The main objectives of the workshop were:
- to systematically investigate opportunities -) for intervention at various steps of autoimmune disease development and progression and -) re-establishing self tolerance by making use our most current understanding of self-tolerance mechanisms, immune regulation/deregulation and of factors contributing to the break of tolerance
- to up-date on recent research results and clinical outcomes of immune therapies targeting autoimmunity and the break of tolerance
- to learn from development and advances in this area from other related inflammatory disorders and from basic research and to discuss to which extend can we compare, make use of insights form other diseases for RA
- to discuss how to transfer emerging knowledge on precise B and T cells specificity, in particular but not exclusively to citrullinated antigens, into more specific therapies
- to learn from industry experience and leverage industry expertise
- to establish new collaborations and alliances in this context, as with similar US initiatives (NIH, ITN)
- to foster debates and discussions on future research focus, define potentials and opportunities for new innovative approaches of interest
- in particular to initiate strategic discussion with industry partners on potential strategies for drug developments aimed at tolerance induction.
For researchers interested in micro RNA research in Autoimmune Disease, a workshop took place in Zurich from April 8-10, 2014. The workshop was organized by Prof. Steffen and Renate Gay form the University of Zurich, who are BTCure` s leading experts in epigenetic control mechanisms. The workshop was a co-initiative of SIICA, the Società Italiana Immunoliga, and DGfI, the German society for immunology and BTCure and was supported by industrial partners Pfizer, Novartis, and Roche. The workshop received a lot of interest with approximatly120 participants attending the meeting. The meeting was also attended by many BTCure members, among them in particular microRNA experts and speakers as Christian Jorgensen (WP1C leader), Florence Apparailly (Montpellier), George Kollias (WP1B leader, Athens), Stephan Blueml (Vienna), Dimitrios Boumpas (Crete), Caroline Ospelt (Zurich), Andreas Radbruch, Mir‐Farzin Mashrehi (DRFZ), and Panagiotis Verginis (Greece), Mariola Kurowska-Stolarska, Glasgow.
Please read more about the workshop in the extended report from Pia-Maria Blaas here.
Several BTCure members were present at the European Workshop for Rheumatology Research in Lisbon in February.
The major topics of the workshops were:
• New Perspectives on Immunomodulation
• Brain, Psychology and the Immune System
• Looking at the Future (Funding Opportunities)
• Understanding the Sexist Distribution of Auto-Immune Diseases
• Regenerative Medicine
• Innate Immunology
• Rising Stars in the Biology of Inflammatory Rheumatic Disorders
For a full report from the workshop, please follow this link.
Dr. Claudia Kemper has been awarded the prestigious Wellcome Trust New Investigator Award. These awards enable exceptional researchers to address the most important questions about health and disease. Dr. Kemper will use the resources given to address the role of complement in the regulation of adaptive Th1-mediated inflammation and autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and scleroderma. During the course of her Investigator Award she will seek to understand how the autocrine-activated receptor-signalling network regulates Th1-immunity; how dysregulation of these pathways contributes to Th1-driven autoimmunity and how druggable targets in these pathways can be exploited to therapeutically impact arthritis.
The BTCure consortium jointly congratulate Dr Kemper for this prestigious award.
The German Rheumatism Research Center (DRFZ) in Berlin, are starting a new graduate program at the DRFZ and they are now offering 6 PhD and 2 MD positions.
For more information, please find the full announcement here.