Physicians and Patients From 29 States and Around the World Attending

Newswise —  (Kansas City, MO – June 14, 2017) Elite medical specialists, patients, family members, and others from 29 states and at least three countries are planning to take part in the Vasculitis Foundation's (VF) 2017 International Vasculitis Symposium, set for Friday, June 23 through Sunday, June 25 at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, 8535 West Higgins Road in Chicago, Illinois.

 Vasculitis is a family of rare, potentially life-threatening diseases linked by blood vessel inflammation and a dysregulated immune system that affects people of all ages all over the world. In addition to attendees from across the U.S., several from Australia, Canada and Mexico have registered for the meeting. 

"We're thrilled to welcome both our American and international attendees," explains Joyce Kullman, executive director of the Vasculitis Foundation. “Physicians and patients around the world have been looking to us for education and support for more than 30 years. While we offer that and more on a daily basis at the Vasculitis Foundation, our symposiums provide patients, their families, members of the medical community, and others with the opportunity to meet in person, share information and build supportive relationships,” said Kullman. 

According to Kullman, patients and family members attending the June Symposium will have the opportunity to interact with many of these special guests including:

  • Divi Cornec, a VF-funded researcher training at the Mayo Clinic this year, who will return to the University of Brest in France following the Symposium to set up a vasculitis clinic. His Symposium presentation will provide an update on a VF-funded research project that focuses on the role of B cells (a type of lymphocyte cell) in vasculitis. 
  • Jennifer Rodrigues, who is completing her VF fellowship at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. A nephrologist, Rodriguez will discuss an upcoming study, VERITAS, which is evaluating the effects of remission maintenance therapies on relapse and side effects. 
  • Marinka Twilt, from the University of Calgary, who will lead a sesession on pediatric vasculitis for younger patients and their parents.Dr. Twilt is an expert physician who studies central nervous system (CNS) vasculitis, a newly recognized group of illnesses, in children. She is one of the lead investigators for BRAINWORKS, an international registry for pediatric patients with CNS vasculitis and inflammatory brain disease.  
  • Sessions will focus on the individual vasculitic diseases, caregiving, fertility, nutrition, pain management, disability, and mindfulness. A series of smaller breakout sessions will address the impact of vasculitis on the eyes, ears, sinuses, lungs, kidneys, nerves, and skin. 

Moreoer, attendees will receive updates regarding advances funded by the Vasculitis Foundation, as well as news from the Vasculitis Patient-Powered Research Network (V-PPRN) and a look at what lies ahead for patients with vasculitis. 

 In addition to the symposium, the VF is partnering with the Northwestern University Continuing Medical Education Department to offer the Vasculitis Update 2017 CME Course on Saturday, June 24 at the same hotel. 

The CME course provides a special opportunity for medical professionals to learn from several of the world's leading vasculitis experts:  Peter A. Merkel, University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ulrich Specks, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sharon Chung, University of California-San Francisco, Dr. Peter Grayson, NIAMS, and Dr. Tanaz Kermani, University of California-Los Angeles.  The CME course will provide timely updates on diagnosis, treatments, and research efforts on vasculitis.  Registration is open:


Hotel Accommodations The Chicago Marriott O’Hare is conveniently located just three miles from O’Hare International Airport.

To learn more about the symposium visit:


For media attendance please email: Joyce Kullman at [email protected]


About the Vasculitis Foundation The Vasculitis Foundation (VF) is the international organization for people with vasculitis. The VF empowers patients through disease education, raises awareness of vasculitis in the public and medical community, and funds research to determine the cause, develop more effective treatments, and discover a cure.  The Vasculitis Foundation 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