For over a decade the ACR has been a leader in the effort to facilitate the bidirectional exchange of cutting edge scientific information between scientists and investigators in rheumatic diseases through its annual Basic Research Conference, a scientific symposium that occurs immediately prior to the ACR Annual Meeting at the site of the meeting. The Annual Meeting, which typically attracts more than 10,000 attendees, is the principal mechanism for providing a forum for the exchange of ideas about research, education, patient care and socioeconomic issues. It is also the primary format for disseminating the current basic research findings relevant to rheumatic disorders. In order to emphasize the principles of basic science that underlie the pathogenesis of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, the ACR has built specific programs emphasizing basic science into the Annual Meeting. The topic for the first of the five proposed conferences, to be held in conjunction with the 2010 ACR Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, will be B Cells in Autoimmunity: From Antibodies to Immunoregulation. This will be a state-of-the-art conference featuring a prestigious panel of outstanding scientists from the US and abroad to discuss the biology of B-lymphocytes (B-cells) with a focus on their role in inflammation and autoimmunity. The meeting has been organized by Dr. Ann Marshak-Rothstein (Professor of Medicine), a world-renowned B-cell biologist who was recently recruited to the Section of Rheumatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and Dr. E. William St. Clair (Professor of Medicine), Chief of Rheumatology at Duke University who is also the principal investigator for the Autoimmunity Center of Excellence at Duke and is the Deputy Director of Clinical Affairs for the Immune Tolerance Network and is an expert on B-cells and autoimmune disease. Topics have been chosen for the four subsequent conferences: 2011 will focus on regulation of bone remodeling, bone pathology is a common facet of many rheumatic diseases and occurs as a consequence of many treatments. A list of tentative topics has been chosen for 2012-2014, (1) mesenchymal cells and matrix biology: migration, invasion and fibrosis in rheumatic diseases. (2) the interface between innate and adaptive immunity in rheumatic disease. (3) non-coding RNA in immunoregulation disease pathogenesis, (4) lipid mediators in rheumatic disease, (5) the cellular stress response in immune-mediated inflammatory disease, and (6) dendritic cells in the regulation of tolerance and autoimmunity.

Public Health Relevance

To foster understanding of disease and development of new therapies for patients with rheumatic diseases, this conference seeks to (1) assemble rheumatology clinicians and researchers in a scientific forum to discuss advances in the disease (2) strategize on research related to new treatments of rheumatic diseases and (3) foster mentoring of young investigators and fellows-in-training.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
Conference (R13)
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Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases Special Grants Review Committee (AMS)
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Mancini, Marie
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American College of Rheumatology
United States
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