Invited Speakers

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Dr Paul Brogan (UK)

Professor of Vasculitis and Honorary Paediatric Rheumatologist, UCL/Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
United Kingdom

Paul Brogan is Professor of vasculitis and honorary Paediatric rheumatologist at UCL/Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS foundation trust. He is section head for infection inflammation and rheumatology at UCL Institute of child health; and specialty lead for paediatric rheumatology at Great Ormond Street Hospital. He has developed a programme of research into rare inflammatory diseases of the young, spanning clinical studies basic science, and gene discovery. The next chapter of his research is exploring gene therapy for some monogenetic forms of autoinflammatory vasculitis. He has published over 150 scientific papers; edited and co-authored 4 textbooks; and has written several international textbook chapters. He has a long standing interest in vasculitis of the young, has conducted several clinical trials in this field, including as chief investigator of the pan-European Kawasaki disease coronary artery aneurysm prevention trial (KD-CAAP).


A/Professor Alexis R. Ogdie-Beatty (USA)

Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Pennsylvania, USA


Professor Peter A. Merkel (USA)

Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA

Dr Merkel is the Chief of Rheumatology and a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr Merkel is an internationally recognized research and clinical expert in vasculitis and scleroderma, two diseases he has studied for over 25 years, and is an author on over 300 scientific publications.  He is the Principal Investigator of the NIH-Sponsored Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC), a leading international research infrastructure for vasculitis clinical investigation.  Dr Merkel’s research focuses on clinical trial design and conduct, outcome measure development, clinical epidemiology, genetic epidemiology, and biomarker discovery. 

Dr Merkel received his MD from Yale University, his MPH from Harvard University, completed his residency training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and his fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School.  Dr Merkel receives the majority of his research support from the National Institutes of Health, the US Food and Drug Administration, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, with additional funding from industry sources and private foundations.


Professor Mikkel Østergaard (Denmark)

Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Copenhagen, Denmark


Professor Daniel H. Solomon (USA)

Associate Physician, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Dr. Solomon is a population scientist focusing on the epidemiology and health services of rheumatic disease. He serves as the Chief of the Section of Clinical Sciences in the Division of Rheumatology at BWH. His research work is primarily funded by the NIH, AHRQ, and foundations. He has served major roles at the American College of Rheumatology and within the osteoporosis community as well. 

His achievements in population science research focuses on three areas. First, he has been a leading investigator on the cardiovascular safety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). He has been the first author on 12 original articles in this area, has several industry-sponsored grants and one AHRQ sponsored grant in this area, and led the American College of Rheumatology Blue Ribbon Panel to set recommendations for NSAIDs. He has given over 15 invited talks on this topic and currently serve on the Executive Committee of the largest randomized controlled trial on the cardiovascular safety of NSAIDs and selective COX-2 inhibitors.

 Second, he has focused much of his research on cardiovascular manifestations of rheumatoid arthritis and its treatment. He completed one NIH grant on this topic and have another current NIH grant to study insulin and glucose metabolism in rheumatoid arthritis. He is the first author on 5 publications describing the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and has given 8 invited lectures in this area.

Finally, he has helped define standards for osteoporosis care improvement. He has received two NIH grants in this area. A current NIH funded study is a large-scale adherence improvement trial for osteoporosis medications. He has first authored 8 original articles in this area and given 10 invited lectures on osteoporosis improvement. He serves on the steering committee of the National Action Plan for Bone Health, focusing on methods to improve dissemination of proven improvement methods, as well as on the American Orthopaedic Association’s Own the Bone Program.

He teaches and mentors primarily in rheumatic disease epidemiology and pharmacoepidemiology.   He has mentored over 25 fellows and trainees and have a K24 award from NIH with 25% effort devoted to research training and mentoring. He developed and directed a course in clinical research for rheumatologists. As well, he teaches residents in the BWH Department of Medicine’s lecture series and journal club.

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Dr Kanta Kumar (UK)

Kanta Kumar qualified from the School of Nursing Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham in 1996. She specialised in rheumatology as a nurse specialist in 2001. In 2003 she took up a post as a researcher and developed a profile of research around the issues related to ethnicity in musculoskeletal practice and behavioural medicine. She has a track record of publications and has been awarded national and Global grants in this area of work. She completed her PhD at the University of Birmingham in 2015. Her PhD work focused on the issues related to medication adherence and the influence of ethnicity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. She has been awarded for national awards for the in patients from South Asian background. She has been appointed as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. She is a member of a number of national committees in rheumatology - the British Health Professionals in Rheumatology Scientific Committee, an advisor on the National Rheumatoid arthritis Society Medical Board and a member of the South Asian Health Foundation (Musculoskeletal). She is a member of the Editorial Board for International Journal of Arthritis.