Scientific progress has allowed us to unmask novel pathogenic mechanisms, to perform genome wide studies, and to identify clinical and serological features associated with different disease subsets and, eventually, different disease prognoses. In addition, the increasing knowledge about SS pathogenesis provides the rationale to employ targeted therapies in SS as has already occurred in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
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- Genetics and epigenetics in SS
-Environmental factors in SS development
-SS classification criteria in 2014: shall we improve them?
-Glandular epithelium: innocent bystander or leading actor?
-T cells in SS pathogenesis: more than just Th1 and Th2
-B cells in SS pathogenesis: the good and the evil
-Other immune cells in SS pathogenesis
-Autoantibodies in SS: SSA, SSB and beyond
-The kaleidoscope of clinical picture in SS
-Extra-glandular manifestations in SS
-Outcome measures in SS
-SS associated lymphoma
-Novel therapeutic strategies in SS: B-cell targeting
-Novel therapeutic strategies in SS: T-cell targeting
Alessia Alunno is Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at the Rheumatology Unit of the Department of Medicine, University of Perugia. She received her medical degree in 2007 at the University of Perugia, where she also obtained the Graduate diploma in Rheumatology in 2012. She is now completing her PhD in Medical Biotechnologies at the Department of Medicine of the University of Perugia with a thesis focused on stem cell therapy in Sjögren's syndrome. During her training, she completed a one-year research fellowship at the Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology of the Queen Mary University of London. During the same period, she improved her skills in medical statistics through a series of training courses endorsed by the National Institute for Health Research (NHS) at the Guy's & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust and King's College, London.
She is a member of the Italian Society of Rheumatology and also a member of the Scientific Committee of the Italian Federation for Research on Arthritis. Moreover, she has been a member of the Emerging EULAR Network (EMEUNET) since 2010 and currently leads the subgroup for Newsletters.
Her research activity has mainly focused on the interplay of T and B cells in the pathogenesis of Sjögren's syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, with particular interest in the identification of novel therapeutic targets. She has co-authored over 50 articles in international peer-reviewed journals on these subjects and presented her work at national and international congresses including EULAR Congress, where she was also invited to chair some sessions. She received four young investigator awards at the National Congress of the Italian Society of Rheumatology and three best abstract presentation awards at the International Congress on Controversies in Rheumatology and Autoimmunity. Dr. Alunno is associate editor of BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders journal and serves as a reviewer for several international rheumatology and immunology journals.Bartoloni Elena Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, I-06126 Perugia, Italy.
Elena Bartoloni is Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at the Rheumatology Unit of the Department of Medicine, University of Perugia. She achieved her medical degree in 1999 at University of Perugia and completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine in 2004 and in Rheumatology in 2008, both at the University of Perugia. Currently, she is University Professor of Rheumatology for the Degree Course in Terni, part of the School of Medicine of the University of Perugia.
She is a member of the Italian Society of Rheumatology and she received two young investigator awards for her presentations at the National Congress of the Italian Society of Rheumatology in 2003 and in 2006.
She has been working at the Rheumatology Unit of University of Perugia since soon after her medical degree, thus acquiring a great experience in clinical management of rheumatic diseases, in particular of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. Her research activity has mainly addressed the study of clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of immune-mediated and chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases with particular attention to the investigation of the mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, the cardiovascular involvement in rheumatic disorders and the effects of technobiological therapies. This research activity has led to the publication of over 80 full papers in international journals. Many of these studies focused on Sjögren's syndrome, in particular on clinical and pathogenic aspects of accelerated atherosclerosis and cardiovascular manifestations in this disorder.
She acts as a reviewer for a number of international journals in the field of Rheumatology.
Robert Gerli Professor of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Perugia, Italy.
Roberto Gerli is Full Professor of Rheumatology and Director of the Rheumatology Unit of the Department of Medicine at the University of Perugia. He received his medical degree in 1980 from the same institution, completing postgraduate training in Internal Medicine in 1985 (University of Perugia), Rheumatology in 1988 (University of Pisa), and Experimental Medicine in 1990 (National Research Council).
In 1989 and in 1990 he received a young investigator award for his presentations on Sjögren's syndrome at the European Workshop for Rheumatologic Research in Vienna and Copenhagen, respectively.
In 1994, after an experience at the Rheumatology Unit of the Guy's Hospital, London, directed by Prof. Gabriel Panayi, he started a number of collaborative studies with Prof. C. Pitzalis, in particular on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.
From 2001 to 2006 he was Associate Professor of Rheumatology at the University of Perugia and became Professor of Rheumatology at the same University in 2006.
He is a member of the Italian Society of Rheumatology and the American College of Rheumatology.
Professor Gerli has a long-standing experience in clinical management of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disorders and his Unit is a 3rd referral rheumatological Center covering a vast area of central Italy. Since the '80s, he has been primarily involved in the study of chronic inflammatory and systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases from a point of view of basic and clinical research, with particular attention to the investigation of primary Sjögren's syndrome. In this field, he has published over 270 original papers in international journals, such as Journal of Clinical Investigation, Blood, Circulation, Annals of Internal Medicine, Archives of Internal Medicine, Journal of Immunology, Trends in Immunology, Annals of the Reumatic Diseases, Arthritis & Rheumatism. Many of these papers focused on Sjögren's syndrome, in particular on the immunopathogenesis of this disorder, and several of these have been the result of collaborative studies with prominent international Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Centers. In the last decade, moreover, his research group, in collaboration with Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, produced a number of studies based on the role of inflammation and autoimmune derangement in favouring cardiovascular complications in chronic rheumatic and systemic autoimmune conditions and it described for the first time the impact of accelerated atherosclerosis in primary Sjögren's syndrome.