Keynote Speakers

Dunlop-Dottridge Lecture: Betty Diamond

Betty Diamond

Betty Diamond received an MD from Harvard Medical School. She performed a residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and then a post-doctoral fellowship in Immunology with Dr. Matthew Scharff at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is currently Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Dr. Diamond’s research has focused on the induction and pathogenicity of anti-DNA antibodies in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. She showed that somatic mutation of immunoglobulin genes can generate autoantibodies in mice and humans, making the germinal center a focus in disease pathogenesis. Her laboratory has also demonstrated that a subset of anti-DNA antibodies crossreacts with the NMDA receptor and showed that autoantibodies can cause aspects of neuropsychiatric lupus, creating a paradigm for antibody-mediated changes in brain function in many conditions. Most recently, she has developed a research program on the immunomodulatory functions of C1q.

She received the Outstanding Investigator Award of the ACR in 2001, the Lee Howley Award from the Arthritis Foundation in 2002, and the Recognition Award from the National Association of MD-PhD Programs in 2004 and the AAI Distinguished Fellow Award in 2019. In 2006, she was elected to the Institute of Medicine and became a fellow of the AAAS. She has served on the Scientific Council of NIAMS and the Board of Directors of the American College of Rheumatology. She is a past President of the American Association of Immunologists.

State of the Art Lecture: Dinesh Khanna

Dinesh Khanna

Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc, is the Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Medicine and Director, University of Michigan Scleroderma Program.  He is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health with grants from NIAMS and NIAID (as part of Clinical Autoimmunity Center of Excellence).

Dr. Khanna has published over 350 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Dr Khanna is the Coordinating PI for ongoing and recently completed NIH and industry-funded trials of abatacept, brentuximab, pirfenidone, riociguat, tofacitinib, and tocilizumab in scleroderma. He is co-PI of the ongoing the Scleroderma Lung Study-III. His current research is focused on validating outcome measures, trial design, and understanding the mechanism of action(s) of novel targets in the context of scleroderma clinical trials.  He led the development of American College of Rheumatology Combined Response Index in Systemic Sclerosis (ACR CRISS).  Dr Khanna is recipient of the Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award from the American College of Rheumatology.

Keynote Lecture: Tim Spector

Tim Spector

Tim Spector, MB MSc MD FRCP FMedSci, is a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of the Twins UK Registry and Head of the Department of Twin Research at Kings College London. He trained originally in rheumatology and epidemiology. In 1992 he moved into genetics and founded the UK Twins Registry of 13,000 twins, which is the richest collection of genotypic and phenotypic information worldwide. He is past President of the International Society of Twin Studies, co-founded the European Twin Registry Consortium and collaborates with over 120 centres worldwide. He has demonstrated the genetic basis of a wide range of common complex traits, many previously thought to be mainly due to ageing and environment. His group have found over 500 novel gene loci in over 50 disease areas. He has published over 900 research articles and is ranked as being in the top 1% of the world’s most cited scientists by Thomson-Reuters. He held a prestigious European Research Council and NIHR (NHS) Senior Investigator award and has been elected Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences. His current work focuses on personalised medicine and the microbiome and directs the crowdfunded British Gut microbiome project. He is a prolific writer having published three popular science books – the last in 2015 was “The Diet Myth” has been published in over ten languages. He is a regular blogger, focusing most recently on the microbiome and diet with over 7 million recent downloads. He features regularly in the media  @timspector.