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2022 Speakers

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Stephen Marks


Advances in the Care of Children and Young Adults with Lupus Nephritis

Scott Wenderfer, M.D., Ph.D., FASN, is a Clinical Professor of Pediatric Nephrology in Vancouver, Canada, and an immunologist with training in molecular biology, clinical and translational research. He has expertise in childhood-onset lupus and autoimmune kidney diseases, such as crescentic glomerulonephritis. The primary goal of Dr. Wenderfer’s research program at the University of British Columbia (UBC) is to improve the diagnosis and outcomes of inflammatory kidney diseases in children. He is a member of the B.C. Children’s Hospital Research Institute, where he maintains the Pediatric Lupus Nephritis Bio-bank for the Pediatric Nephrology Research Consortium (PNRC). Prior to moving to Vancouver in 2022, he managed the Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) lupus cohort, which included 450+ kidney biopsies on 250+ pediatric lupus patients over the past 25 years. The data and biosamples are now maintained in the PNRC Bio-bank. Dr. Wenderfer has designed, participated, and completed clinical and translational research trials in nephrotic syndrome and glomerulonephritis, in collaboration with researchers at UBC, Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), the PNRC, the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA), and worldwide to study lupus nephritis. More recently, he has led a team of researchers in the PNRC to assemble the largest cohort of patients with glomerulonephritis with crescents, pediatric or adult, and has published evidence-based definitions for crescentic glomerulonephritis in general and in lupus nephritis specifically. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Kidney Foundation, and NephCure Kidney International. Dr. Wenderfer would like to thank all the trainees that he has had the honor of mentoring, whose efforts made all his research possible.

Michael Walsh.JPG


Overview of Traditional Vasculitis Pathology

A native of Iceland, Dr. Benediktsson received his undergraduate medical education at the University of Iceland, followed by residency training in anatomic pathology at the University of Manitoba and fellowship training in Surgical Pathology at the University of Minnesota. Specialist in Anatomical Pathology, with certification by the Royal College of Physicians and
Surgeons of Canada, as well as the American Board of Pathology in 1978. Subspecialty expertise and research in renal pathology and transplantation. Multiple roles and activities for the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the Canadian Association of Pathologists. Hon Consul for Iceland in S. Alberta 2001-22. Other community service includes Board Membership and serving as President for Calgary Pro
Musica and the Mountainview International Festival of Music.


KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: Future Treatments of Lupus Nephritis

Professor Stephen Marks, MD MSc MRCP DCH FRCPCH is Professor of Paediatric Nephrology and Transplantation at University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health. He is clinical
lead for renal transplantation and Director of the National Institute for Health Research Great Ormond Street Hospital Clinical Research Facility at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust. He is currently chair of the British Association for Paediatric Nephrology and UK Renal Registry Audit and Informatics committee having previously been the chair of the National Health Service Blood and Transplant Paediatric Kidney Advisory Group. He has extensive clinical and academic interest in vasculitis, juvenile onset systemic lupus erythematosus and lupus nephritis having been expert advisor for ERA-EDTA, EULAR and SHARE recommendations. In addition, his
research continues to date in the field of renal transplantation (including innovative drug trials). He is on the editorial board for “British Journal of Renal Medicine” and is associate editor for “Transplantation”, “Pediatric Nephrology” and “Pediatric Transplantation”, which are the journals of
The Transplantation Society, the International Pediatric Nephrology Association and the International Pediatric Transplant Association (IPTA) respectively. Having been chair of the Publications and Communications Committee, he is now a Councillor of IPTA.

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Vasculitis Treatment: Steroids or Complement Cascade Blockers or What?

Dr. Walsh obtained his MD in 2001, completed internal medicine in 2005, Nephrology training in 2006 and a MSc in Community Health Science in 2008 all at the University of Calgary. He then trained in lupus and vasculitis in Cambridge, UK as KRESCENT fellow until 2009, followed by a PhD in Health Research Methods at McMaster University until 2014 under a RCT Mentorship Award from CIHR. He is now an Associate Professor of Medicine (Nephrology) and Health Research Methods, Evidence & Impact at McMaster University, medical director of the Glomerulonephritis Clinic and the director of the Clinical Nephrology Research Group at St. Joseph’s Healthcare, and Scientist at the Population Health Research Institute where he leads research investigating treatments for patients with kidney diseases.

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Thomas Renson.jpg


Transforming outcomes of systemic vasculitis: Defining the precision health signature of ANCA-associated vasculitis

Dr. Thomas Renson is the current holder of the Dawson Jarock Vasculitis Fellowship in Pediatric Nephrology and Rheumatology in Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary AB. He obtained his medical degree from Ghent University (Belgium) in 2013, where he also did his subsequent residency in Pediatrics. Dr. Renson obtained his PhD in Health Sciences in 2020. He subsequently pursued a fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology and Immunology in the Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital in Utrecht (The Netherlands). Dr. Renson is an early-career clinician-scientist with interest in clinical and translational research in vasculitis, juvenile spondyloarthritis, and chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis.

Speaker 6


Different Endotypes of Chronic Vasculitis Affecting Small-to-Medium Sized Vessels: A New Approach to Classification

Dr. Kelly Brown studied biochemistry (B.Sc) at Simon Fraser University (Burnaby, Canada), immunology (Ph.D.) at the University of British Columbia, and performed postdoctoral studies (in systems biology, functional genomics, and phagocyte biology) at the Child & Family Research Institute in Vancouver, Canada, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, UK and The University of Gothenburg in Gothenburg, Sweden. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Rheumatology at the University of British Columbia. Her laboratory is located on the the campus of the BC Children’s Hospital in the BC Children’s Hospital​ Research Institute. She and her team are interested in understanding immunological drivers and subclinical markers of vasculitis and other rheumatic diseases with the eventual goal of using this knowledge to improve current clinical assessment and scoring tools.

Kelly Brown
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Sharon Dell.jpg


Lung Involvement in Vasculitis

Sharon Dell is a professor of pediatrics and head, division of respiratory medicine, at the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital since June 2020. Previously she was professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto and SickKids Hospital. She is past director (2010-2015) of the Clinical Epidemiology and Health Care Research MSc/PhD graduate program at the University of Toronto. Dr. Dell leads sub-specialty clinics in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), Children’s Interstitial Lung Disease (ChILD) and severe asthma.  Pulmonary vasculitis has been a focus of clinical care and scholarly work in the ChILD population. Dr. Dell’s research program focuses on evaluating health outcomes, risk factors, genotype/phenotype correlations and diagnostic tests in children with chronic lung diseases. She has held continuous federal grant funding (NIH, CIHR, Health Canada, Canadian Thoracic Society) since starting her academic career in 2002.  Dr. Dell is an active member of multiple Canadian and international professional societies and has many international research collaborations in pediatric rare lung disease. She is Deputy Editor for Annals of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) journal since 2017 and is the chair of the ATS Pediatric Assembly.

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