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Top Researchers Identify Areas for Autoimmune Disease Research at AARDA-Hosted Colloquium

On Saturday, May 1st, 2021, the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA) hosted the 15th Noel Rose Scientific Colloquium, bringing together high-level researchers from different areas and different specialties to address and focus on areas and topics that would benefit from information exchange and to help identify areas of opportunity for future autoimmune disease research. Participants heard directly from leading autoimmune experts, who shared how their past work on autoimmune diseases helped them pivot to study, understand, and generate hypotheses on how to combat the COVID-19 virus.

Panelists included:

  • Judith A. James, M.D., Ph.D., Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Vice President of Clinical Affairs
    • Presentation Title: Viral Induced Autoimmunity: Lessons from EBV/SLE for COVID-19
  • David Alan Hanauer, M.D., Director of Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research Informatics Program, Associate Professor of Learning Health Science, Associate Professor of Informatics, School of Information and Clinical and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Michigan
    • Presentation Title: How Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) Can Unlock Unexpected Connections
  • Sharon Fox, M.D., Associate Director of Research and Development in the Department of Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, and Anatomic Pathologist as Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health System
    • Presentation Title: The Damage Wrought By Severe COVID-19: Autopsy Studies From New Orleans
  • Puja Mehta, M.D., University College London, Center for Inflammation Ryan Institute
    • Presentation Title: Hyperinflammation And Cytokine Storms in COVID-19
  • Carlo Selmi, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Residency School of Emergency Medicine, Humanitas University
    • Presentation Title: Features Of COVID-19 That Mimic Rheumatic Diseases
  • Ignacio Sanz, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Chief, Division of Rheumatology at Emory University School of Medicine, Director of the Lowance Center of Human Immunology at Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
    • Presentation Title: B Cell Effector Pathways In Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Infection
  • Jean-Laurent Casanova, M.D., Ph.D., Levy Family Professor, Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Head of the St. Giles Lab of Human Genetics of Infectious Diseases
    • Presentation Title: Genetic and Immunological Causes Of Life-Threatening COVID-19
  • Jason Knight, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, and Associate Director of the Lupus Program at the University of Michigan
    • Presentation Title: What Can Queen Anne’s Lupus Teach Us About COVID-19?
  • Yogen Kanthi, M.D., Vascular Medicine Lasker Investigator at the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute
    • Presentation Title: Endotheliopathy And The Role Of Autoimmunity
  • Aaron Ring, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Immunobiology at the Yale School of Medicine
    • Presentation Title: Diverse Functional Autoantibodies In Patients With COVID-19
  • Julia Y. Wang, Founder and CEO of Curandis
    • Presentation Title: Towards A Comprehensive Autoantigen Atlas Of COVID-19
  • Alexis Combs, Ph.D., UCSF Disease to Biology CoLab director
    • Presentation Title: What Can COVID-19 Profiling Teach Us About Therapeutic Targets?
  • Russell P. Tracy, Ph.D., FAHA, University Distinguished Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Biochemistry, Director of the University of Vermont Laboratory for Clinical Biochemistry Research
    • Presentation Title: Do We Need More High-Throughput Screening in Autoimmunity?
  • PJ Utz, M.D., Professor of Medicine at Stanford University
    • Presentation Title: Is PASC An Autoimmune Disease?

Key Outcomes:

  1. Experts generally agreed that there is a high degree of overlap between the study of autoimmune diseases and COVID-19.
  2. Guests affirmed their commitment to both a collaborative and holistic approach to the study of autoimmune diseases and COVID-19.
  3. Autoimmune Association successfully provided a platform for the nation’s top autoimmune disease researchers to share their work and cross-pollinate their ideas.

Read the full report, including presentation synopses here.

DNA Helix


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