Speakers & chairs

Speakers & chairs

Mihai Netea

Mihai Netea was born and studied medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious diseases specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center. He is mainly interested in understanding the factors influencing variability of human immune responses, the biology of sepsis and immunoparalysis, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity.

Ivona Aksentijevich

Ivona Aksentijevich M.D. is an Associate Investigator in the National Human Research Genome Institute, Bethesda, USA. Dr. Aksentijevich is Board certified in Clinical Molecular Genetics and she runs the molecular diagnostic laboratory for patients with autoinflammatory diseases. She is an expert on the genetics of autoinflammation and serves as one of the editors for the registry of mutations associated with various autoinflammatory diseases, known as Infevers. In addition to her work in molecular diagnostics, Dr. Aksentijevich is accomplished research scientist and has been a major participant in a number of studies related to genetics and pathophysiology of autoinflammatory diseases including FMF, TRAPS, NOMID, DIRA, APLAID, DADA2, CANDLE, HA20, otulipenia. She serves as an advisory editor for the Arthritis & Rheumatology journal and was the president of the International Society of Systemic Autoinflammatory Diseases (ISSAID).

James Stacey Taylor

James Stacey Taylor is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey. Branded a heretic by the London Times for his arguments in favor of legalizing markets in human organs in his book Stakes and Kidneys: Why markets in human organs are morally imperative (Ashgate, 2005) he is also the author of Practical Autonomy and Bioethics (Routledge, 2009), and Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (Routledge, 2012). He is the editor of Personal Autonomy: New essays (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and Death: Metaphysics and Ethics (Oxford University Press, 2013). He is currently working on a book on the ethics of using compensated donation to procure blood and blood products.

In addition to his academic writing he has authored numerous Op-Eds on bioethical issues which have appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Daily News, and USA Today. (One of his award-winning Op-Eds for the Los Angeles Times was credited with influencing the ruling of the 6th District Court circuit that led to the legalization of payment for bone marrow.) He is an occasional contributor to National Public Radio and has been quoted in The New York Times.

Graham Wallace

Graham qualified with a BSc Immunology from the University of London in 1985. He went on to study for a PhD in Immunology at University College London which was awarded in 1988. Following a postdoctoral position at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Graham started a postdoctoral position at St Thomas' Hospital London in ocular immunology. One of the diseases that was of interest to the group was Behcet's Disease (BD). That initiated his interest in the condition, and it has been part of his laboratory's work ever since. BD is an immunological enigma and therefore provides many interesting avenues for research. Graham has a particular interest is the genetic basis of the disease as the geographical spread suggests an aetiology that matches the name the Silk Road disease. He group have been involved in validating several genome-wide analysis studies in addition to describing genetic polymorphisms in Il-10 and PTPN22 which may impact on BD. Graham collaborates widely with colleagues in Turkey, Qatar, Chongqing and Rotterdam to further BD research. Graham is secretary if the International Society for Behcet's Disease, and President of the International Association of Inflammation Societies.

Eldad Ben-Chetrit

Professor of Medicine, formerly, Head Department of Medicine (1998-2001), and formerly Director of the Rheumatology Unit (2009- 2017) and the FMF Clinic at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem.. He is a visiting Professor at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (1996), Stanford University (2004) and McGill Universities (2010). After training in Internal Medicine, Dr Ben-Chetrit was trained in Rheumatology and Immunology at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, California (Lab of Eng Tan MD), In 1990 he gained his Diplome in Rheumatology. His main research interests and publications include: Pathophysiology of Auto-Immune diseases i.e; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren's Syndrome (SS) and immune related Complete Congenital Heart Block (JCI 1989). He identified the SSA/Ro 52KD protein (JEM 1988) and isolated the gene encoding the SSA/Ro 60KD protein (JCI 1989). His main current interest is in the genetic, pathophysiology and therapeutic response of autoinflammatory diseases mainly, Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and Behcet's disease (BD). He also studied extensively the mechanism of action of Colchicine and its pharmacokinetics. He participated in one of the two groups which identified the MEFV gene associated with FMF (Nat Genet 1997). He also participated in the NIH group which found IL-10 SNP association with Behcet's disease (Nat Genet 2012). He also participated in the group which revised the classification criteria for BD. Recently he was in the steering committee of the large trial of canakinumab (anti IL-1 ab) in autoinflammatory diseases (NEJM 2018) and headed the committee for renaming the autoinflammatory diseases and revising their definition. He has published more than 240 original papers, case reports letters and reviews and received many national and international awards.

Haner Direskeneli

Haner Direskeneli, MD is a Professor of Rheumatology and is currently the Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Department of Internal Medicine in Marmara University, School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey.
He graduated from Istanbul University, had residency trainings in Internal Medicine/ Rheumatology in Marmara University and fellowships in Lupus Research Unit (1992) and Department of Oral Immunology in UMDS, London UK (1992-1993). He is a member of Turkish Rheumatology Society, American College of Rheumatology (ACR), Turkish Immunology Society and International Society for Behcet's disease (ISBD). His current main research interests are infectious etiology, oral health, immune response/genetics and assessment in 'Behcet's Disease' and immune response/genetics, assessment (imaging, outcome tools) and management of 'Takayasu's arteritis". He also have studies on rheumatoid arthritis, SLE and systemic sclerosis. He is a member of OMERACT large-vessel vasculitis and Behcet's Study Interest Groups, and is part of a EULAR taskforce for Imaging in large-vessel vasculitis. He has collaborations with Michigan University and Mayo Clinic in USA, Leeds University in UK, Paris and Ottawa Universities.
He has >200 peer-reviewed articles with > 5000 citations.

Prof. P.M. van Hagen is vice-president of the ICBD2018. Currently head of Clinical Immunology at the Department of Internal Medicine of the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands and staff member of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital.
He completed a Bachelor's degree in Clinical Chemistry in 1979, followed by a course on Radioisotopes in Biochemistry in 1980 at the Interuniversitary Reactor Institute, Delft, and then he completed his medical degree in 1987 at the Erasmus Medical Center. His current academic responsibilities include running an annual course on immunology for dermatologists and rheumatologists and supervision of pre-doctoral research students. Prof. van Hagen has organized many (inter)national symposia and workshops and has presented many international lectures. He has authored or co-authored 125 articles published in international journals, and many more published at the national level as well as book chapters.


Dr van Royen-Kerkhof

Dr van Royen-Kerkhof is paediatrician-immunologist/rheumatologist, and Head of the Department of Pediatric Immunology, Rheumatology, Infectiology, Hematology and StemCell Transplantation of the Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Centre Utrecht (UMCU). Her clinical work, focussing on pediatric systemic autoimmune disease, mainly juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM), is closely interrelated with fundamental research from the Laboratory of Translational Immunology of the UMCU, and the Child Development & Exercise Center of the UMCU. Her fields of interest are development of biomarkers (e.g. galactine-9) to assess disease activity in JDM, and development of training programs to increase physical activity in children with musculoskeletal inflammation. Dr van Royen and co-workers actively contribute to research projects of centers for JDM worldwide. In addition, Dr van Royen-Kerkhof is Program Director of the Medical Research Master SUMMA, a program to train clinician-scientists.

Ilknur Tugal-Tutkun

Dr. Ilknur Tugal-Tutkun is a Professor of Ophthalmology at Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine and Director of the Uveitis Service at the Department of Ophthalmology. Dr. Tugal-Tutkun received an MD from Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine in 1984 and completed a residency in ophthalmology at the same institution in 1991. She completed fellowship training at the Ocular Immunology and Uveitis Service, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary in 1994-1995. She is a member of the International Ocular Inflammation Society, International Uveitis Study Group, American Uveitis Society, the Society for Ophthalmo-Immunoinfectiology in Europe, and the International Society for Behcet's Disease.

Dr. Van Velthoven started her carrier in ophthalmology in 2002 as a PhD student at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam. In 2006 she received her PhD degree, based on her thesis: "En-face Optical Coherence Tomography of the Retina", which includes scientific publications in Retina, American Journal of Ophthalmology and Progress in Retina and Eye Research. In 2008 she received the "F.C. Donders" award for her thesis.
She continued her education as a resident in Ophthalmology at the Academic Medical Center, from which she graduated in march 2011. Following her residency, she was a fellow for one year at the Uveitis and Medical Retina Service of the Rotterdam Eye Hospital. Per September 2012 she works as a consultant at that department. She is actively involved in clinical research related to Optical Coherence Tomography and Uveitis.