Invited Speakers


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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.      


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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.


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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, http://www.clinicalepidemiology.se/

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.


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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.


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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.


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Professor 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


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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


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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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Associate 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). 


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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 Premarani Sinnathurai

Rani Sinnathurai is a rheumatologist at Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney. Her clinical and research interest is in psoriatic arthritis. She runs a psoriatic arthritis clinic and is currently working towards a PhD focussing on the impacts of comorbidity and obesity in psoriatic arthritis.


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Associate Professor Christopher Pearce

PhD MFM MBBS, FACHI FRACGP, FACRRM, FAICD

Associate Professor Chris Pearce has been active in health informatics for many years. A practicing clinician, he still works in general practice, anaesthetics and emergency medicine in suburban Melbourne. His interest in Health Informatics developed when working as a rural GP, and observed the difficulties in GPs integrating computers into their workflow in the 1990’s.  

A/Prof Pearce has extensively researched computers in healthcare, with a focus on the interactions and useability. He was awarded a PhD in 2007 with what was then the largest video based study of computer use in primary care consultations. He is an invited speaker both here and overseas, and the author of over 100 academic articles. He was the clinical design lead for the MyHR, Australia’s national shared health record.  As co-sponsor of the POLAR Data Space, his role as director of research with Outcome Health is to work on data quality and use of Australia’s largest repository of general practice data.   

He is a current president of the Australasian College of Health Informatics, chairs the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine’s digital health committee and is on ACRRM’S Quality and Safety Committee, as well as the Victorian Clinical Council


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Dr Rebecca Grainger

MBChB (Distn), BMedSci (Distn), MInstD, FRACP, FACHI, PhD

Rebecca is a consultant rheumatologist at the Wellington Regional Rheumatology Unit (Hutt Valley DHB) and a senior lecturer in the Departments of Medicine and Pathology, University of Otago Wellington.  A University of Otago medical graduate, she undertook rheumatology training in Melbourne and her PhD examined inflammatory mechanisms in gout. 

Rebecca’s clinical work focuses on assessment and management of inflammatory arthritis.  She is passionate about patient-focused care and engaging with colleagues in primary and secondary care to provide the highest quality collaborative care for people with arthritis.  She is a member of the Clinical User Group at Hutt Hospital, working with the Information Technology team to optimise IT solutions for clinicians.  Rebecca’s academic interests include outcome measures, non-pharmacological management of musculoskeletal disease, use of information technology solutions to optimise care for people with chronic rheumatic diseases and for use in medical education.

Rebecca is the Chair of the Board of Health Informatics New Zealand and a Trustee for Health Navigator, a national web-site for New Zealanders to get trusted health information. 


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Dr Alberta Hoi

Dr Alberta Hoi is a rheumatologist and senior research fellow at Monash Health and School of Clinical Sciences Monash University. Her clinical and research interest is in systemic lupus erythematosus, with her PhD on lupus immunopathogenesis before moving onto clinical research, focussing on registry design, impact of high disease activity state and determinants of disease outcome.  She is the chair for the Australian Rheumatology Association SLE Interest Group (SLESIG), and co-chair for the Australian Lupus Registry & Biobank steering committee, and a steering committee member of the Asia-Pacific Lupus Collaboration.  Dr Alberta Hoi is committed to excellence and innovation in patient care and medical education. She spends much of her time still in clinical practice, holding positions as the Head of Monash Lupus Clinic, senior specialist physician at both Monash Medical Centre and Austin Hospital, and the principal rheumatologist at Eastern Rheumatology, a private group rheumatology practice based in Melbourne. 


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Associate Professor Mandana (Mandy) Nikpour

A/Prof Mandana (Mandy) Nikpour MBBS FRACP FRCPA PhD, is a rheumatologist at St. Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, and a NHMRC Career Development Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include risk and prognostic factors for cardiopulmonary and other clinically important outcomes in systemic sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, development of clinical tools for screening and prediction of outcome, measurement of disease activity, and clinical trials of novel therapies in the rheumatic diseases. She has over a hundred peer-reviewed publications and leads several international collaborative working groups and research consortia in systemic autoimmune diseases. 


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Associate Professor Vidya Limaye

Rheumatology Department, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide


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Professor Peter Choong

Professor Peter Choong is the Sir Hugh Devine Chair of Surgery and Head of Department of Surgery University of Melbourne at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.  He is also the Director of Orthopaedics at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and Chair of the Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcoma Service at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Professor Choong is the immediate past President of the Australian Orthopaedic Association.

Professor Choong’s research is supported by recurrent grant funding (NHMRC, ARC, RACS, AOA, Cancer Australia) and focuses on 3 areas that underpin his clinical programmes, namely, improving outcomes of arthritis surgery, studying the treatment of bone tumours and advanced limb reconstruction. He is widely published with over 300 peer-reviewed articles in these areas and has an H Score of 52.

Professor Choong leads the Advanced Limb Reconstruction Research Program and his team is part of a national industry-university consortium recently awarded a multimillion-dollar grant from the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre for studying and translating innovative manufacturing solutions for the development of bespoke prostheses.

Professor Choong has received numerous research and achievement awards for his contribution to the advancement of surgery, or to fundamental scientific research in the field. These include the RACS John Mitchell Crouch award, the Paul Harris Fellowship from Rotary International, the Ivins Visiting Professorship (2003) and the Coventry Visiting Professorship (2014) from the Mayo Clinic. These latter represent the two most prestigious awards in Orthopaedics at the Mayo Clinic. In 2015, Professor Choong was awarded the AOA Research Excellence Award, the St Vincent’s Health Australia Excellence Award and the City of Melbourne Award.


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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.


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Professor Adam Elshaug

Adam Elshaug, M.P.H., Ph.D., is an internationally recognized researcher and policy advisor specializing in reducing waste and optimizing value in health care. He is Professor of Health Policy, HCF Research Foundation Professorial Research Fellow, and Co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) at The University of Sydney. He is a ministerial appointee to the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) Review Taskforce, and sits on the Board of the NSW Bureau of Health Information (BHI), is a member of the Choosing Wisely Australia advisory group, the Choosing Wisely International Planning Committee, and the ACSQHC’s Atlas of Healthcare Variation Advisory Group. Professor Elshaug was a 2010-11 Commonwealth Fund Harkness Fellow based at the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). From mid-2011 to mid-2013, he then served as NHMRC Sidney Sax Fellow in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care Policy. In parallel, he became The Commonwealth Fund's Inaugural Visiting Fellow for 2012-13 in New York City.


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Professor Andrew Wilson

Andrew is the chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney. He leads the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre. His research interests concern the application of epidemiology to informing decision making in clinical medicine, public health, and health service policy and planning especially in chronic disease prevention and management. 


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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.