(Kansas City, MO):

Newswise — Five of the world's most prominent and respected medical experts in the fields of vasculitis research, education and treatment will lead presentations at the 2017 International Vasculitis Symposium, scheduled for June 23-25 at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare in Chicago, Illinois.

They are: 

  • Peter Grayson, MD, MSC, founder and principal investigator of the Translational Program in Vasculitis at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, MD
  • Peter Merkel, MD, MPH, chief of the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Sharon Chung, MD, MS, rheumatologist and director of the Vasculitis Clinic at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center
  • Paul Monach, M.D., PhD., Boston University
  • Ulrich Specks, M.D., Mayo Clinic

 "This is truly a world-class group of elite physicians who have dedicated their lives to helping patients with vasculitis, both as clinicians and scientists. We are honored and grateful that they're taking time out of their busy schedules to speak at the Symposium," says Joyce A. Kullman, executive director of the Vasculitis Foundation, which developed and presented the first Symposium in1994. "By sharing their insights and deep expertise with Symposium attendees, they will help patients, their families and other health and medical professionals in innumerable ways."

 "Because of the ongoing research that's taking place, it's important that patients stay up-to-date on research and new treatment options that might help them," adds Alexandra Villa-Forte, MD, MPH, a rheumatologist and immunologist at the Cleveland Clinic who treats vasculitis patients as part of her own practice and will be speaking at the meeting.

 “The Symposium, offers the opportunity for attendees to learn firsthand the most up-to-date news and information about vasculitis research, treatment and management,” says Villa-Forte.  “Moreover, this event promotes interaction and building friendships with others whose lives have been affected by one of the nearly two dozen rare diseases that exist under the vasculitis umbrella.”

 This year's Symposium follows on the heels of the Vasculitis Foundation's first International webinar, scheduled for late May and developed to bring together patients with vasculitis, their family members and friends, and healthcare and medical professionals worldwide. 

More information about the 2017 Vasculitis Symposium, including sessions, social activities, costs, and lodging, can be found at http://www.vasculitisfoundation.org/2017symposium/


About Vasculitis

According to the Cleveland Clinic, which has long been active in vasculitis research, the prevalence of specific types of vasculitis in the United States is about 3/100,000 population for granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's granulomatosis), 3/100,000 for polyarteritis nodosa, 26/100,000 for giant cell arteritis, and 1/100,000 for Takayasu arteritis. For just this small sample of selected vasculitides, the combined prevalence is over 30/100,000 population. About 100,000 Americans per year are hospitalized for care of vasculitis, and while its impact is most significant among patients and their families, it also impacts society through its effect on the U.S. workforce and health care system.


About the Vasculitis Foundation

The Vasculitis Foundation is the international advocacy organization for people with vasculitis. The VF empowers patients through disease education, raises awareness of vasculitis in the general public and medical community, and funds research to determine the cause, develop more effective treatments, and discover a cure.  The VF is committed to improving the lives of current and future patients and is positioned as the definitive resource for patients, family members, medical professionals and researchers seeking information about vasculitis. For information about vasculitis and the Vasculitis Foundation, please visit www.vasculitisfoundation.org.