Current Opinion in Rheumatology was launched in 1989. It is one of a successful series of review journals whose unique format is designed to provide a systematic and critical assessment of the literature as presented in the many primary journals. The field of Rheumatology is divided into 15 sections that are reviewed once a year. Each section is assigned a Section Editor, a leading authority in the area, who identifies the most important topics at that time. Here we are pleased to introduce the Journal's Section Editors for this issue.
Anna Ghirardello, DSc, PhD, graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Padova, Italy where she also qualified in Clinical Pathology. She received her PhD degree and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Padova. She is Biologist at the University Hospital of Padova. Her main fields of interest include the pathogenesis and laboratory diagnostics of connective tissue diseases, focused primarily on systemic lupus erythematosus and idiopathic inflammatory myopathies. Dr Ghirardello is a member of the Italian Society of Rheumatology (SIR), Council member of the Italian Interdisciplinary Forum for the Research in Autoimmune Diseases (FIRMA), and member of the EuroMyositis Registry. She has authored over 120 ISI publications.
Andrea Doria is Professor of Rheumatology and Head of the Unit of Connective Tissue Disease and Rare Rheumatic Diseases, Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, University of Padua, Italy. He is Head of the Rheumatology Unit, University of Padua and Director of Rheumatology postgraduate medical school.
Professor Doria received his medical degree and qualification in Rheumatology from the University of Padua. He was Council member of the Italian College of Rheumatology (CRO) between 1999 and 2005 and a Council member of the Italian Society of Rheumatology (SIR) from 2007 to 2010 and from 2013 until now. He is also a member of American College of Rheumatology (ACR).
Professor Doria has organised over ten international conferences on autoimmunity and was involved as “expert” in the EUropean League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Standing Committee for the development of clinical and therapeutic recommendations: (1) EULAR recommendations for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—Assessment of the SLE patient (2008–2009); (2) EULAR recommendations for the management of SLE Part II—Neuropsychiatric disease (2008–2009); (3) Joint EULAR and European Renal Association- European Dialysis and Transplant Association (EULAR/ERA-EDTA) recommendations for the management of adult and paediatric lupus nephritis (2012). Professor Doria is a member of the Lupus Academy Steering Committee and co-Chaired the 4th Annual Meeting held in Rome 27th February to 1st March 2015. He was the chair of the 10th European Lupus Meeting, held in Venice (Italy) 5–8th October 2016.
Professor Doria is on the Editorial Boards of several rheumatology and immunology journals, including Lupus, Autoimmunity, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, Autoimmunity Reviews, Journal of Autoimmunity, Experimental Biology and Medicine, Rheumatology Reports, Journal Autoimmunity Highlights and Reumatismo (the official journal of Italian Society of Rheumatology).
He has authored over 250 ISI publications on SLE and other connective tissue diseases. These include clinical studies describing new manifestations or subgroups of autoimmune disorders, prognostic risk factors, diagnostic tests and therapeutic interventions, as well as immunochemical studies that evaluate autoantibodies, epitopes and complementary epitopes of autoantigens. In addition, he has authored and co-authored three books, over 90 book chapters and conference proceedings, and over 500 abstracts for national and international conferences.
Professor Doria has long-standing experience of the clinical management of patients with connective tissue diseases. The Unit in which he works is a tertiary referral rheumatology centre, within Italy, for the diagnosis and management of patients affected with systemic connective diseases. In addition, he has expertise in the management and follow-up of pregnant patients with systemic rheumatic diseases. Professor Doria has also trained over 30 students in Rheumatology.
Dr Mariele Gatto, MD, is Rheumatologist and currently attending her last year of PhD course in Clinical and Experimental Sciences at Padova University, Italy. Dr Gatto performs both clinical activity and laboratory research at Padova University, with a major focus on development and treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other connective tissue diseases. So far, her Cursus Studiorum was carried out between Padova University and other foreign institutions where Dr Gatto could acquire and improve research skills, particularly at Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases in Tel Aviv, Israel and at Charité Hospital in Berlin, Germany, with a major focus on B cells in lupus.
Dr Gatto is actively involved in patient recruitment and follow-up within randomized controlled trials, investigating novel therapeutics in SLE, inflammatory myositis and Sjogren syndrome, as well as in training of younger fellows and students at Padova Medical School.
Dr Gatto has attended several national and international meetings and symposia as speaker and was awarded so far with four prizes (CORA young researcher award 2015; prize of the Italian Society of Rheumatology 2016; CORA award 2019; DIMAR 2019 award at Medicine Department of Padova university) for best abstract presentation.
She is author or co-author of 58 publications available in PubMed.
Shervin Assassi, MD, MS, is Professor of Medicine and Director of Division of Rheumatology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He holds the Noranna Warner Endowed Chair in Rheumatology and co-directs the UTHealth Scleroderma Program. After graduating from Albert Ludwig Medical School in Freiburg/Germany, he completed his internal medicine and rheumatology post-graduate training at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). He also has a Master's degree in Clinical Research and holds adjunct appointments School of Biomedical Informatics and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.
Dr Assassi's research focuses on the correlation of clinical features of systemic sclerosis with genetic and gene expression data to identify novel therapeutic targets and to develop clinically useful biomarkers. His laboratory works with mouse fibrosis models, as well as primary human samples to elucidate the molecular basis of systemic sclerosis. He is the principal investigator of several National Institute of Health and foundation funded research projects.
Dr Assassi has co-authored over 185 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has received multiple awards including a Clinical Investigator Fellowship Award from the American College of Rheumatology and University of Texas System STARs Award. He is a member of Medical Scientific Advisory Board of National Scleroderma Foundation and the president of Scleroderma Clinical Trial Consortium.