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.      


Dr Daniel Cua (USA)

Dr Cua completed his Doctorate Degree with the Department of Molecular and Cellular Immunology at University of Southern California. He continued his postdoctoral training under Robert Coffman at DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto California. He is currently Group Leader, Immunology Discovery and Immuno-Oncology Discovery at Merck Research Laboratories. Dr Cua has contributed to medical literature with more than 110 original articles with 36,200 citations and h-index 59 (Google Scholar). In 2003, his work appearing in the journal Nature demonstrated that IL-23 is a critical cytokine that promotes autoimmune inflammatory disorders. This work led to the proposal of the Th17 Immune Axis hypothesis (2005), which formed the basis for the successful clinical testing of anti-IL-17, anti-IL-23 and RORgt inhibitors for treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders. More recently, his group has leveraged their expertise to study novel immune modulatory receptors on T cells and myeloid cells for immunotherapy of autoimmunity and cancer.


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.


Professor Roy M Fleischmann (USA)

Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and co- Medical Director of the Metroplex Clinical Research Center in Dallas.

Dr Fleischmann has authored over 200 peer reviewed manuscripts, focusing on the management of rheumatoid arthritis as well as psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, gout and osteoarthritis and has authored over 350 abstracts which have been presented at rheumatology meetings world-wide.

Prof Fleischmann has been a principal or co-principal investigator in over 1000 clinical studies in the fields of rheumatology (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and gout), pain management, and osteoporosis.

Prof Fleischmann is a Master of the American College of Rheumatology, a former President of the Texas Rheumatism Association, and a former President of the Dallas–Fort Worth Rheumatism Association.

Prof Fleischmann is a reviewer for many peer-reviewed journals including Arthritis Rheumatism, the Annals of Rheumatic Disease, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of Rheumatology. Since 2009 he has been a member of the Executive Committee of TREG, an organization dedicated to furthering knowledge in all aspects of rheumatology to both the pharmaceutical industry and practicing rheumatologists.

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Dr Massimo Gadina (USA)

Dr Massimo Gadina received a Doctoral degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Technology from the Universitá di Milano, Italy and a Diplôme de de Docteur from Université de Bourgogne, Dijon, France.

He currently is the Director of the Office of Science and Technology (OST) at National Institute of Arthritis Musculoskeletal and Skin diseases at the NIH and also serves as Chief of the Translational Immunology Section of the OST. Prior to this appointment, he was Senior Lecturer at the Division of Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK).

Dr. Gadina’s research interests are focused on the biology of cytokines, their relative signaling pathways, and specifically on the role of these molecules in driving immune-mediated diseases. His group has been investigating the effects of the JAK inhibitors on human immune cells as well as the demonstration of in vivo efficacy in animal models of autoimmunity. He is a co-investigator in 7 Clinical research protocols. He has also been involved in several translational studies that have defined the molecular basis of major Mendelian autoinflammatory and immunological diseases.


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


Dr David D Sherry (USA)

David D. Sherry, MD, is Director of the Amplified Pain Program and an Attending Physician in the Division of Rheumatology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. He is a nationally recognized expert in children with musculoskeletal pain amplification syndromes (reflex neurovascular dystrophy) and the treatment of juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic illness. Dr. Sherry has practiced clinical pediatric rheumatology for over two decades and has been awarded teaching and Caring for Children awards and been recognized by his peers as a Top Doctor in Philadelphia and America.

Other Speakers

·      Prof Gustavo Duque
·      A/Prof Frances Milat
·      A/Prof Simon Stebbings
·      Dr Premarani Sinnathurai
·      Dr Chris Pearce
·      Dr Rebecca Grainger
·      A/Prof Peter De Cruz
·      A/Prof Peter Foley
·      A/Prof Lyndell Lim
·      Dr Alberta Hoi
·      A/Prof Mandy Nikpour
·      Dr Vidya Limaye
·      Prof Peter Choong
·      Dr Allan Cyna
·      Prof Adam Elshaug
·      Prof Andrew Wilson
·      Prof Robert Landewe
·      Prof Andrew Oster
·      Dr Joanne Kemp
·      Dr Christian Barton


Professor Gustavo Duque

Professor Gustavo Duque MD, PhD, FRACP is a geriatrician and a clinical and biomedical researcher with special interest in the mechanisms and treatment of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty in older persons.

His initial training included Internal Medicine at Javeriana University (Colombia) and Geriatric Medicine, which he completed at McGill University in Montreal (Canada). Subsequently, he obtained his PhD at McGill University in 2003 with a thesis entitled ‘Molecular Changes of the Aging Osteoblast’ under the supervision of Dr. Richard Kremer. He is also Macy Scholar in Medical Education from Harvard University.

Between 2003 and November 2007, he joined the faculty at McGill University Medical School as a member of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and as Researcher at the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research. In November 2007, he moved to Australia to join the Faculty as Associate Professor and Head of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Director of the Musculoskeletal Ageing Research Program at Sydney Medical School Nepean -University of Sydney. In 2012, he was promoted to Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney. In 2015, Professor Duque moved to Melbourne to assume new positions as Chair of Medicine and Director of the Australian Institute for Musculoskeletal Science (AIMSS) at the University of Melbourne, and as Staff Specialist at Western Health. 

With more than 100 peer-reviewed publications, Prof. Duque's major research interests include the elucidation of the mechanisms and potential new treatments for age-related bone loss, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and frailty. He is also looking at the effect of vitamin D, exercise and proteins on bone and muscle mass. He is the Director of the Fracture Care and Prevention Program at Western Health. As part of this Program, Prof. Duque recently implemented a Falls and Fractures clinic at Sunshine Hospital where patients are assessed for falls and fractures risk in a comprehensive manner.   

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A/Professor Frances Milat

Fran is an Endocrinologist, Head of the Metabolic Bone Services at Monash Health, Head of the Metabolic Bone Research Group at the Hudson Institute and Adjunct Clinical A/Professor in the School of Clinical Sciences, Monash University. She graduated from Medicine at Monash University with Honours in 1996 and completed endocrine training at Monash Health and St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. She obtained her doctorate in metabolic bone disorders, examining mechanisms of PTH and Wnt pathway action in bone at St Vincent’s Institute (University of Melbourne).

Fran is committed to improving patient care through clinical research, with interests in osteoporosis and metabolic bone disorders associated with transfusion-dependent haemoglobinopathies, chronic neurological diseases, premature menopause, renal disease and other medical conditions. She is involved in the supervision of research students as well as medical student and postgraduate teaching. She is the current Co-chair of the ESA Annual Scientific Meeting Program Organising Committee (2016-18). 


Associate Professor Simon Stebbings

Associate Professor Simon Stebbings' research has focused on ankylosing spondylitis and spondyloarthritis. Through national collaboration he established the multicentre Spondyloarthritis Genetics and the Environment Study (SAGE), which included a longitudinal study of outcomes in spondyloarthritis in New Zealand.

Through his membership of the International Genetics of Ankylosing Spondylitis study group he has contributed to the study of the genetic background to this common inflammatory arthritis. 

Associate Professor Stebbings is a member of the Assessment in Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS) and has contributed to the development of an ASAS Health Index. He is a member of the working group on management guidelines for axial spondyloarthritis for the Asia Pacific League Against Rheumatism. 

Associate professor Stebbings has strong research links with the Department of Psychology and the School of Physiotherapy. Through collaborations with colleagues his research has investigated the importance of fatigue in rheumatic diseases, and the effectiveness of complementary therapies. He has been involved in research into the effects of smoking on arthritis and ways to encourage smoking cessation.

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Dr Allan Cyna

Dr Allan Cyna is a Senior staff specialist anaesthetist at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide and Nepean Hospital in Sydney, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and President elect of the Australian Society of Hypnosis.  His PhD in Medicine was on the effects of hypnosis on pain. He has both a clinical and research interest on the clinical effects of hypnosis and communication with children – particularly in stressful situations such as induction of anaesthesia, needle phobia and pain management.  His primary paediatric clinical interest for the last two decades has been in paediatric burns anaesthesia including teaching children self-hypnosis for acute and chronic pain.  Dr Cyna has published widely including as Editor in chief of the Handbook of communication in anaesthesia and critical care published by Oxford University Press.


Dr Joanne Kemp

Dr Joanne Kemp is a titled APA Sports Physiotherapist of 25+ years’ experience.  She is a Research Fellow at the Latrobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, Latrobe University, Australia. Her research is focused on hip pain including FAI and early onset hip OA in young and middle aged adults, and its impact on activity, function and quality of life. She has a particular interest in non-surgical interventions that can slow the progression and reduce the symptoms associated with hip pain and hip OA.