Invited Speakers


Emeritus Professor Peter Croft (UK)

Peter Croft is Emeritus Professor of Primary Care Epidemiology and former Director of the Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University, UK. He studied social anthropology and medicine, was a principal in general practice, and trained as a clinical epidemiologist before developing long and happy collaborations with rheumatologists on research into common musculoskeletal syndromes, notably back pain, widespread pain and osteoarthritis. His research has incorporated causal, prognosis and intervention studies, from farming as a cause of osteoarthritis of the hip to risk stratification as an efficient approach to back pain care. He remains concerned about over-medicalisation, believes that improved implementation of research into practice will come from stronger partnerships between health care and research organisations, and is optimistic about the potential of health care data to drive better outcomes for patients.      


Professor Martin Englund (Sweden)

Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Orthopedics
Department of Clinical Sciences Lund
Lund University, Sweden

Martin Englund is an epidemiologist and clinical investigator. He completed his MD in 1998, and received his PhD in Orthopedics in 2004. He did a two-year postdoctoral training at Boston University, United States, where he also earned his MSc degree in Epidemiology. Professor Englund heads the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Orthopedics, which is a cross-disciplinary research group at Lund University, Sweden,

Professor Englund currently focuses on translational osteoarthritis research, including proteomics, imaging as well as epidemiologic research. His main research focus is the role of meniscus in early knee osteoarthritis development as well as the societal burden of musculoskeletal disease using population-based register data. In 2011 he received the OARSI Clinical Investigator Award for his groundbreaking research on the role of meniscus in osteoarthritis, followed by the Young Investigator Award by EULAR in 2012.


John O'Shea (USA)



Professor Désirée van der Heijde (The Netherlands)

Professor of Rheumatology Leiden University Medical Center Leiden
The Netherlands

Désirée van der Heijde obtained her medical degree in 1986 from the Catholic University in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. She completed her PhD in 1991 and became a Board-Certified Rheumatologist in 1993. Following a 1-year appointment in Sweden in 1993, she joined the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital Maastricht until 2007, when she took up her current position as Professor of Rheumatology at the Leiden University Medical Center. Since 2007, she has also been affiliated to the Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Norway.

Her major research interest is in the methodology of outcomes assessment and its application in clinical research. Specific areas of interest are radiographic scoring methods in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis, as well as scoring of magnetic resonance imaging in spondyloarthritis. She is involved as principal investigator or steering committee member in many clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and spondyloarthritis.

Professor van der Heijde was the Chairperson of the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) from 1995 to 2012. She was the Chair of the EULAR Standing Committee for Clinical Affairs and is currently the ACR-EULAR liaison officer. She received the prestigious Carol Nachman Award for her scientific contributions to rheumatology in 2011, a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Ghent in Belgium in 2012, and the Jan van Breemen medal in 2017.

Professor van der Heijde has published more than 775 papers in the international literature, as well as chapters in leading rheumatology textbooks. She is a regular reviewer for all the major rheumatology journals and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology and RMD Open. She is also associate editor of the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases.


Dr Stuart Warden (USA)

Stuart Warden BPhysio (Hons), PhD, FACSM, is Associate Dean for Research within the Indiana University (IU) School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Professor within the Departments of Physical Therapy (IU School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences), Anatomy & Cell Biology (IU School of Medicine), and Biomedical Engineering (Purdue University School of Engineering). Dr. Warden completed his physiotherapy and PhD degrees at the University of Melbourne (Australia) before embarking on clinical and research post-doctorates at the Australian Institute of Sport and IU Department of Orthopedic Surgery, respectively. His research interests focus on the form and function of the musculoskeletal system and, in particular, the lifelong contribution of physical activity to skeletal health. He has contributed over 125 peer-reviewed publications, including papers in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and received funding from numerous federal agencies, including the National Health and Medical Research Council, National Institutes of Health, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Department of Defence. Dr. Warden currently serves as a Section Editor for Current Osteoporosis Reports, Senior Associate Editor for the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and Associate Editor for the Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. He is also an Editorial Board member for Bone, Bone Reports, Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, JBMR Plus, and Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport