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Symposium 2013: Wegener’s and Microscopic Polyangiitis in the Spotlight

The Vasculitis Foundation invites people with Wegener’s and Microscopic Polyangiitis (MPA) and their family friends and caregivers to join us for the 2013 Vasculitis Symposium in Philadelphia July 12-14th.

Wegener’s granulomatosis has a new name! Granulomatosis with polyangiitis – most of us are still learning to spell and pronounce it. We also have a new drug – Rituxan (rituximab) for the treatment of GPA/Wegener’s and MPA! This is the first drug ever approved by the FDA for the treatment of vasculitis.

Come learn what ELSE IS NEW in the world of GPA/Wegener’s and MPA and meet other attendees sharing your concerns and experiences. On Friday afternoon, Drs. Peter A. Merkel (rheumatologist), Robert Lebovics (Ear/nose/throat) and Duvuru Geetha (nephrology) will co-chair a two-hour session on GPA/Wegener’s and MPA. The three specialists are recognized worldwide for their work in the field of vasculitis. The session will include discussion on treatments, symptoms, ongoing issues, outcomes, current and future research studies focused on small vessel vasculitis. The special session on GPA/Wegener’s and MPA patients will continue on Saturday during the “Lunch with the Doctors” session. (Please note, if we have enough MPA patients/families in attendance, we will add their own session.)

On Friday evening, Celeste Lee, a vasculitis patient diagnosed in 1982 will be the opening keynote speaker at the Dessert Reception. Her talk “Bridge Over Troubled Waters: A Survivor’s Guide” will explore her experience of navigating the health care system and life. Her secret? A four-letter word: HOPE – Humor, Optimism, Partnership and Education”.

Dr. Geetha has served on the Johns Hopkins faculty since 1998 and is a member of Royal College of Physicians (U.K.), American Society of Nephrology, International Society of Nephrology and American Society of Transplantation. Dr. Geetha provides patient care through the Johns Hopkins Vasculitis Center. Her research interests include renal disease in systemic vasculitis and BK virus nephropathy in renal transplant patients.

Dr. Robert S. Lebovics, Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York City, New York has expertise in infectious and inflammatory disorders for adults and children, nasal and sinus surgery, and disorders of the special senses. He is a longtime VF Medical Consultant. Dr. Lebovics was Chief of the Clinical Otolaryngology Service at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland and oversaw a clinical program that was on the cutting edge of medical innovation and research. In 1997, Dr. Lebovics joined the Head and Neck Surgical Group, affiliated with the St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Center with an interest in the medical/surgical treatment of allergy, asthma and immunology.

Dr. Peter A. Merkel is Chief, Division of Rheumatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dr. Merkel directs clinical, teaching, and research activities at HUP, Penn Presbyterian Hospital, and the Philadelphia VA Hospital. He is the principal investigator for the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium (VCRC), an integrated group of academic medical centers, patient advocacy organizations and clinical research resources dedicated to conducting clinical research in different forms of vasculitis. Clinical research interests include vasculitis and scleroderma, including clinical trial design and implementation, outcome measures development, biomarker discovery, and genetic epidemiology.

The 2013 Vasculitis Symposium will be held at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 12-14. Click here to learn more.