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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 470397 matches for " Frank A Wollheim "
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The 5th annual European League Against Rheumatism congress in Berlin: a personal perspective
Frank A Wollheim
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2004, DOI: 10.1186/ar1474
Abstract: This European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) congress started like its forerunners with an opening ceremony at the end of the first day of the congress. It had been preceded by 12 parallel scientific and educational sessions followed by several drug industry satellite symposia. Hall 1 of the conference center boasts that it is Europe's largest venue of its kind, seating 5008. It was well filled but there was plenty of space for the latecomers. The ceremony started 15 minutes late; the reason given was that the musicians were out smoking (!). But then all went to schedule, and the Dvo?ák melodies were pleasant and not too long interludes between talks. The president talked in a relaxed and statesmanlike way about the burden of disease and the Alliance Against Arthritis, which was launched by him with active support of the Bone and Joint Decade in Brussels in March of this year. One aim is to convince the European Union that research money should be earmarked for rheumatic diseases in analogy to what is done with cancer and diabetes. The German minister of education and research responded favorably to this and said her government did realize the importance of this initiative. The awards were duly presented, and it was gratifying to see Kimmo Aho from Finland receive the Meritorious Rheumatologist award for his lifetime achievements in research (Fig. 1). The recipient was particularly pleased that his wife finally could appreciate why he had always been late home during the past 50 years. The ceremony ended with a surprise. The stage wall disappeared and behind it a mini Brandenburger Tor opened the way to the buffet reception in the adjacent hall. The president and the minister were the first to walk through the Tor. There were unlimited supplies of food and drink, and mingling conditions could not have been better.The cost for the venue in Berlin is substantial. Hall 1, where the opening took place, can be rented for the handsome sum of €17,880 per 12 hours. Fortu
Morgenr?the or business as usual: a personal account of the 2nd Annual EULAR Congress, Prague
Frank A Wollheim
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2001, DOI: 10.1186/ar333
Abstract: This is not a meeting report. Any attempt to summarize a 4-day meeting with a multitude of parallel sessions, posters and other activities is doomed to be either biased or superficial, or both. Rather, the aim is to give a personal account of some reflections in the mind of an old European after attending what turned out to be the largest congress in the history of our specialty. It should be known that I made no secret of my disappointment with some arrangements in last year's 1st Annual EULAR Congress in Nice. The editors' invitation to write about Prague gives me the opportunity to air some views and hopes.The 8300 registered delegates made this the largest EULAR, and probably rheumatology, congress ever. The turnout does not become less impressive considering that registration was not cheap: 800 Euro on site. The income for the EULAR should make the outgoing treasurer, Josef Smolen (Vienna), and the incoming Ferdinand Breedveld (Leiden) happy. Even the 10% of the surplus that goes to the hosting Czech society will be good news to Karel Pavelka, the president of the meeting, and his countrymen. In addition to all the money from registration fees, the organization received revenue from no less than 17 satellite industrial symposia, industrial exhibitors, and so on. This commercial success makes the EULAR economically sound, which is certainly not a negative thing. The concern is, however, related to the fact that at least 80% of the delegates were sponsored by industry. Some companies were flying in over 1000 delegates from all continents. The individual who pays his own way is an endangered species at the EULAR congresses. Availability of grant money to attend congresses is limited, and in some countries is extremely limited. The generous travel sponsorship of industry eliminates motivation for the organizers to reduce registration fees. It should be added, however, that the fee includes an annual subscription to Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, the EULAR journa
Advances in Targeted Therapies III, Nassau, Bahamas, 27 April-1 May 2001
Frank A Wollheim
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2001, DOI: 10.1186/ar323
Abstract: We are all excited over the continued and strengthened evidence of success for the inhibition of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, much remains to be learnt about mechanisms and potential risks of this approach. George Kollias (Athens, Greece) started the meeting by reporting on his new data pertaining to control of TNF synthesis. As he and his colleagues showed in 1999 [1], the AU-rich element in the TNF gene controls mRNA stability for TNF, and deletion of this element leads to prolonged persistence of TNF after, for example, stimulation with lipopolysaccharide. Tristetraprolin, a product of an immediate-early response gene, binds to the AU-rich element on the TNF gene and helps to destabilize mRNA. Consequently, mutations of the genes for either tristetraprolin or the AU-rich elements leads to impaired abrogation of the TNF formation after, for example, lipopolysaccharide stimulation, resulting in disease such as arthritis or colitis. IL-10 is protective in these models, and the protection is mediated through influence on the AU-rich element via the p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway. These results are interesting also because they point to potential new therapeutic targets.Matthew Fenton (Boston, MA, USA) then talked on the newly identified Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which we inherited from Drosophila and which share intracellular sequences with the IL-1 and IL-18 receptors. Dimerization is needed for receptor signaling, and stress or tissue damage leads to dimerization. Lipopolysaccharide also probably targets TLRs. NF-κB is involved downstream. Knockout experiments have shown that tubercle bacilli (Tbc) signal through TLR2 and TLR4. TLR4-deficient mice are highly susceptible to tuberculosis, showing the protective importance of this receptor. The intracellular events lead to an inhibition of NF-κB like that of lipopolysaccharide, but cellular responses are different. TLR proteins mediate the produ
The 4th annual European League Against Rheumatism congress in Lisbon: a personal perspective
Frank A Wollheim
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2004, DOI: 10.1186/ar1023
Abstract: The editors of this successful journal, Peter Lipsky and Sir Ravinder Maini, have again asked me to write a personal report, not a summary, of my views of the 4th annual European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Congress of Rheumatology, and indeed, to be as acid and provocative as I wish. The annual EULAR congresses are now firmly established as the European meeting of the year, combining education with science and politics. It is attended not only by Europeans, but also by delegates from North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia, and is therefore truly international. The new respectability is a consequence of the election of outstanding officers to the leading posts in the organization of EULAR.This time I was not an invited speaker or chairman, and I arranged my own trip and paid the registration fee out of my own pocket. I stayed in a modern four-star, air-conditioned hotel close to a metro station and used the free pass that came with the registration. This caused some expenses in time and convenience but provided for ample contacts with the locals. It was unfortunate that I did not speak their language. The registration fee of €800 (onsite registration was €1000) included a year's subscription to The Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, a good journal that now has an impact factor of 3.6. Even taking this into account, the surplus money made by the organization must be handsome. This helps keep EULAR strong, which is a good thing, although I would rather have seen the money coming from other sources than my pension.When the decision was made to hold this congress in Lisbon, someone said that it was 6 years ago, nobody had anticipated the attendance of more than 8600 delegates. The largest hall had a capacity of a little over 2000 seats. Most sessions were well or very well attended. It was fortunate for the organizers that some registered delegates spent time in cooler environments outside the center. The architecture of this conference center does not des
To keep the catch – that is the question: a personal account of the 3rd Annual EULAR Congress, Stockholm
Frank A Wollheim
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2002, DOI: 10.1186/ar424
Abstract: A year ago I wrote a personal critique of the 2nd Annual EULAR Congress in Prague for this journal [1]. This year, I was asked for a similar article on the 3rd EULAR Congress in Stockholm, and although playing a small part in the local organizing committee I felt unbiased enough to accept the challenge. This will not be a normal meeting report; I will not even attempt to summarize the sessions and activities I was obliged or allowed to attend. Realizing that this is the most important rheumatologic meeting outside the USA, I will attempt to convey positive and negative experiences, fully aware of the constraints under which EULAR strives to achieve a number of goals, political, economic, educational, scientific and social. All are important but difficult to achieve simultaneously.The number of delegates registered (8,300 – almost the same number that attended the Congress in Prague in 2001) was no match for the EULAR congress organizer CMI in Geneva and its local partner in Stockholm. Hotel rooms were found for all the delegates, although those arriving without previous reservations had to accept less than classy accommodation. Volvo provided limousine transport for some VIPs, the invited speakers had a shuttle bus service from hotel to congress center, and the ordinary delegates were provided with a pass for public transport, which took them to the central station in 11 minutes. The venue was excellent, not least the big central exhibition hall which housed nonprofit exhibitors, industry exhibitions and scientific posters. It was easy to get oriented by reading the program book, which compensated for the almost complete absence of signs. One would have wished for signs at the meeting room entrances, at least, indicating which session was in progress.It was nice to encounter a large number of non-European attendees, although some voices said that this made ACR observers nervous. My belief is that attendance of most non-European delegates not invited by the Congress
New functions for Cox-2 in health and disease: Report of "The Third International Workshop on Cox-2", Ka'upulehu, Kona, Hawaii, USA, 30 August to 2 September 1999
Frank A Wollheim
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 1999, DOI: 10.1186/ar10
Abstract: Although the crystal structure of the Cox enzymes has been known in principle for a few years, several functionally important features still remain to be explored. Ravi Kurumbail, working at Searle in St Louis, MO, reported new crystallographic details from an improved model with a resolution of 2.15?. The Cox-2 enzymatic channel is wider than that of Cox-1, and it has an open side pocket where the sulphonamide group of the selective inhibitors can bind. In the region corresponding to the side pocket the human isoenzymes have four amino acid differences, the most essential being the 523 position, where Cox-1 has a bulky tyrosine and Cox-2 a valine, which requires less space. In Cox-2 Kurumbail could show the formation of five different hydrogen bonds between the selective inhibitors and the pocket, leading to strong binding. This reaction requires some time, however, and explains the time-dependent inhibition observed when testing Cox-2 inhibition with selective inhibitors. He demonstrated that site-directed mutations in the pocket region resulted in weaker binding and fewer hydrogen bonds. He also showed results with a second generation Cox-2 inhibitor now in phase II/III of development, called valecoxib. This compound has a Cox-2 selectivity that is more than 10-20 times that of celecoxib, marketed as Celebrex in the US. After binding the inhibitors are dissociated and the "off" speed determines the degree of selectivity. All these experiments are done in enzyme-substrate systems, and their relevance for in vivo conditions is not proven.William Smith (Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA) reported work on the interaction of arachidonic and related fatty acids with the Cox enzymes. He showed that substitution of Arg120 with glutamine in Cox-1 reduced its potency by a factor of 1000, whereas the same substitution in Cox-2 did not affect enzyme activity. Arg120 anchors arachidonic acid in the Cox-1 channel, but does not have this function in Cox-2. Eighte
Sixth International Workshop on Scleroderma Research, Oxford, UK, 30 July–2 August 2000
Frank A Wollheim, Christopher P Denton, David J Abraham
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2000, DOI: 10.1186/ar137
Abstract: Some 200 scientists and clinicians gathered at Keble College in Oxford, UK from 30th July to 2nd August for this biennial meeting, which has grown immensely both in size and quality of research presentations. The college, built in the holy zebra style (1870), and the adjacent famous university natural history museum formed a most charming environment for the meeting. The conference was organized and co-chaired by Carol M Black (Royal Free Hospital, London, UK) and Joseph H Korn (Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA). Plans are to arrange the next meeting in the Boston area in the summer of 2002.Fiona Brew (Cambridge, UK) presented the Affymetrix Gene Chip technology, which is a powerful method allowing analysis of a large number of gene expressions from single cells. It was presented as versatile, having high sensitivity and low risk for false-positive results. It is best suited for classification of single-cell diseases such as leukemias or other malignancies, and has found clinical application in distinguishing between acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukaemia. The price is high, however, and as Constantin Bona pointed out in the discussion there are several causes for negative results. To this Dr Brew responded that one needed only 3–5 gene copies expressed per cell.Next, David Strehlow (Boston, MA, USA) presented exciting data regarding a new genetic marker relating to scleroderma. This work utilized in parts the cDNA microarray technique above. As demonstrated by in situ hybridisation, the gene encoding the protease nexin 1 (PN1) is expressed only in scleroderma skin. Comparing cultured fibroblasts from normal, lesional, and nonlesional scleroderma skin, it was found that mRNA as well as protein secretion was 3–5 times higher in scleroderma. A search for other overexpressed genes by the microarray chip technique revealed overexpression of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90), a chaperon found in complex with other HSPs. HSP90 is essential for steroid
Von Willebrand factor propeptide as a marker of disease activity in systemic sclerosis (scleroderma)
Agneta Scheja, Anita ?kesson, Pierre Geborek, Marie Wildt, Claes B Wollheim, Frank A Wollheim, Ulrich M Vischer
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2001, DOI: 10.1186/ar295
Abstract: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is characterized by autoimmunity, microangiopathy, and fibrosis in skin and internal organs. Endothelial activation is reflected by increased amounts of circulating endothelial proteins such as von Willebrand factor (vWf) [1], thrombomodulin [2], and endothelin [3]. Increased plasma concentrations of vWf, released from activated endothelial cells, have also been described in other vasculopathies such as hypertension [4] and diabetes [5] and are reported to predict diabetic nephropathy [6], myocardial infarction, and mortality [7,8].However, the use of vWf as a marker of endothelial activation has several limitations. The variability is substantial even among normal subjects [9]. Concentrations of vWf can be influenced by the adhesive properties of the molecule and by changes in its clearance. For example, plasma concentrations of vWf are influenced by ABO blood groups [10,11]. Furthermore, plasma concentrations are reported to increase after exercise in normal individuals, a phenomenon which can be considered an adrenergic-type stress response [12]. Similar findings are reported in patients with rheumatoid arthritis [13] and in patients with intermittent claudication [14], possibly in both conditions an effect of a hypoxic reperfusion injury.vWf is synthesized as a large, 360-kDa precursor, pro-vWf, which is cleaved into mature vWf and a 97-kDa propeptide [15]. Stimulation of exocytosis results in equimolar amounts of vWf and propeptide. The propeptide, which has a circulating half-time of 2-3 h, compared with >12 h [16] for vWf itself, was recently reported to be a more reliable marker of acute endothelial activation [17]. Propeptide concentrations are less influenced by factors such as blood groups, adhesive properties, and catabolism and thus show less variability among controls [11]. In a study of patients with type 1 diabetes [11], we found both vWf and propeptide to be increased in patients with overt nephropathy and in patients with m
Serum IL-15 in patients with early systemic sclerosis: a potential novel marker of lung disease
Dirk M Wuttge, Marie Wildt, Pierre Geborek, Frank A Wollheim, Agneta Scheja, Anita ?kesson
Arthritis Research & Therapy , 2007, DOI: 10.1186/ar2284
Abstract: IL-15 is a cytokine of 14 to 15 kDa that belongs to the 4-a-helix bundle cytokine family, which also includes cytokines such as IL-2, IL-4 and IL-21. IL-15 signals through its specific IL-15 receptor α-chain that binds IL-15 with high affinity, and through the common IL-2 receptor γ-chain [1]. Recent studies have clarified that IL-15 is a survival and growth factor for T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes, for natural killer cells, for eosinophils and for mast cells [1-4]. IL-15 has emerged as an important molecule involved in autoimmunity and transplantation [5,6], and is considered a possible target for therapy in rheumatoid arthritis [7].IL-15 mRNA is expressed in many tissues throughout the body, suggesting additional biologic functions outside the immune system. We have previously shown that IL-15 is expressed both by endothelial cells and by vascular smooth muscle cells in normal vessels [8]. IL-15 is also expressed in heart and skeletal muscle cells, in fibroblasts, in adipocytes, in epithelial cells as well as in keratinocytes [1,8]. IL-15 is expressed in the skin of TSK mice [9].Several IL-15 signalling pathways are also implied in the putative pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). IL-15 may contribute to autoimmunity via its effects on the activation and survival of T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes [2,3]. IL-15 may enhance perivascular infiltrates [10] and may induce CD44-mediated endothelial transmigration of lymphocytes [11]. IL-15 has also been shown to induce A1 and A2 arteriole contraction in a rat model [12]. A similar mechanism could lead to Raynaud's phenomena and other features of vasculopathy in SSc. In addition, IL-15 could contribute to the development of fibrosis by preventing apoptosis of collagen-producing myofibroblasts. Such a mechanism is supported by the observation that IL-15 can prevent TNFα-induced apoptosis of synovial fibroblasts in rheumatoid arthritis [13]. IL-15 has been shown to aggravate graft versus host disease [6], a disease w
Arch Reconstruction in Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: Handling the Diminutive Aorta  [PDF]
Francisco J. Boye, Frank A. Pigula
World Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery (WJCS) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/wjcs.2013.36039
Abstract: The diminutive aorta presents technical challenges in the palliation of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Furthermore, aortic arch caliber changes and variable great vessel relationships can add complexity to an already difficult arch repair. We describe a technical approach that simplifies the aortic reconstruction and makes the procedure more generalizable and reproducible.
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