2019 Speakers

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Innovative Strategies for Imaging in Childhood Vasculitis

Dr. Grosse-Wortmann received his medical degree from the University of Würzburg in Germany. Following training in pediatric cardiology in Aachen (Germany) and at the Hospital for Sick Children, he completed a two year clinical and research fellowship in cardiovascular MR, also in Toronto. He accepted a staff cardiologist position at Sickkids in 2008, and has been the Section Head of the Cardiovascular MR service since 2012. His clinical areas of expertise include echocardiography, the cardiology inpatient service, and his outpatient clinic. Dr. Grosse-Wortmann leads the connective tissue disorder clinic at SickKids. He is a Professor of Paediatrics with the University of Toronto. His research focuses on myocardial tissue characterization using imaging, heart muscle disorders as well as the pulmonary circulation in congenital heart disease.

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Fine-tuning long term management and possibilities for the future

David Jayne is a Professor of Clinical Autoimmunity at the School of Clinical Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK. After training at Cambridge University and St Thomas Hospital, London, he received postgraduate training at several London hospitals and was a research fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and Harvard University. He is a fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh, and the Academy of Medical Sciences. He is a certified nephrologist and an Honorary Consultant Physician at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge UK. His research group conducts clinical trials and biomarker studies in vasculitis and lupus. He is the Director of the Vasculitis and Lupus Clinic and President of the European Vasculitis Society.

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Kidney Pathology and its Contributions to the Diagnosis of Vasculitis

Dr. Benediktson is a Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Calgary, Consultant Pathologist for Alberta Public Laboratories and Alberta Health Services, Calgary Zone. A medical graduate of the University of Iceland, he completed his training in Anatomical Pathology at the Universities of Manitoba and Minnesota, acquiring certification of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American Board of Pathology in 1978. He served as Professor and Head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Calgary 1991-2004, and Regional Clinical Department Head, Calgary Health Region 1995-2004, and Assistant Dean, Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 2011-15. He is also the Section Leader for Renal Pathology, Calgary Laboratory Services.




Biomarkers: Unravelling the Secrets of Vasculitis

Dr. Christoph Kessel graduated in Biosciences and obtained a PhD from Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany. In 2009 he joined Rikard Holmdahl and Medical Inflammation Research at Karolinska Institute (Stockholm, Sweden) for postdoctoral training. Following his interest in studying particularly innate immune functions in inflammation in a translational research setting, he joined Dirk Foell's team at Muenster University Medical Center in 2012. Since 2013 he has been leading the clinical-translational research group for alarmins and innate immunity within the newly established Department of Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology. Here, the research focus is on identifying new immunological mechanisms and biomarkers relevant in (auto)inflammation. Since 2018 Dr Kessel has been the lead for science and research within the Macrophage Activation Syndrome working group of the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS).

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Interesting Vasculitis Case

Dr. Asa Laestadius received her medical degree from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden in 1998. Simultaneously with her internship, she completed her medical studies and defended her doctoral thesis in 2002 regarding innate immunity in the developing kidney and urinary tract. After completing her pediatric residency at Astrid Lindgren’s Children’s Hospital, she worked as a fellow in the pediatric infectious disease department in the same hospital. She was the Section Head of General Pediatrics/Infectious Disease inpatient service from 2013-2015. During this time, she joined Assistant Professor Anna Nilsson’s translational research group at the Karolinska Institute/Pediatric Oncology department. Dr. Laestadius was involved in the clinical research regarding adaptive immune functions in children on immunomodulatory therapy. She then accepted a position in the Pediatric Nephrology department at the Karolinska University Hospital in 2016. In 2019, she started a one year fellowship at the Alberta Children’s Hospital through the Dawson Jarock Vasculitis Fellowship with Paediatric Nephrology and Rheumatology.




Vasculitis and the Eye: Manifestations and Complications

Dr. Amin Kherani completed most of his education including his Medical Degree and Residency in Ophthalmology at the University of Alberta.  In 2000, he completed a medical and surgical Retinal Fellowship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Calgary, and Partner and Co-founder of Calgary Retina Consultants and the Southern Alberta Eye Center.  He is the Co-Director of the Retina Fellowship Program and acts as the Director for the Office of Surgical Fellowship Program in Calgary and is heavily involved in clinical research.  In 2016, Dr. Kherani became the President of the Canadian Retina Society, where he is continuing to develop this young society and their progress in innovation.