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Editorial introductions

Section Editor(s): Varga, John; Lundberg, Ingrid E.; Vencovský, Jiří

Current Opinion in Rheumatology: November 2017 - Volume 29 - Issue 6 - p v–vi
doi: 10.1097/BOR.0000000000000445

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.

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John Varga

John Varga, MD, is the John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Dr Varga received his undergraduate education at Columbia University in New York, USA. He completed his medical studies at New York University, and following a rheumatology fellowship in Boston, USA, undertook post-doctoral research training with Professor Sergio Jimenez at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. In 2007, he was named the John and Nancy Hughes Distinguished Professor at the Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, USA, where he founded and directs the Northwestern Scleroderma Program. His research focusing on the pathogenesis and treatment of scleroderma and fibrosis bridges clinical and laboratory-based investigation.

Dr Varga is the author of more than 300 original articles, 40 book chapters and four books. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense and the Scleroderma Research Foundation. In 2007, he was elected to the Association of American Physicians.

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Ingrid E. Lundberg

Doctor Ingrid E. Lundberg completed her medical education at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden in 1977. Her rheumatology residency was completed in 1985. In parallel with clinical rheumatology service, she completed her PhD with the title “Clinical and immunological studies of patients with anti-RNP antibodies” at Karolinska Institutet in 1991. After her PhD she spent one year as a post doc at the neuromuscular laboratory under Dr Andrew Engel at Mayo Clinic to learn more about muscle histopathology and new techniques to study molecular expression in muscle tissue. In 1998 she was appointed associate professor in rheumatology, and since 2003 she is full professor in rheumatology at Karolinska Institutet combined with a position as senior consultant at Karolinska University hospital. Since 2012 she is chair of the Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet.

After her return from Mayo clinic in 1993 she was recruited to Karolinska University hospital, and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, where she established a myositis clinic with a dedicated multidisciplinary team, and an associated translational research project with the aim to achieve improved understanding of molecular mechanisms that lead to muscle weakness in patients with myositis. Through her research she has demonstrated that physical exercise, in contrast to the recommendations at that time, leads to increased muscle strength and improved performance. Moreover, exercise can reduce muscle inflammation. She has also established national (SweMyoNet) and international ( multidisciplinary collaborations on myositis, important for this rare disorder. Through the international MyoNet, and together with Professor Vencovsky and Dr Chinoy, she has established an international web-based myositis register ( which now has more than 4 500 patients from 23 centers world-wide enrolled. This is a longitudinal register to learn more about prognostic markers and outcomes. The register will also be a platform for future clinical trials. Until now the register's data has contributed to genetic studies exploring risk factors of myositis. Dr Lundberg has also been leading a multidisciplinary project to develop new classification criteria for myositis, EULAR-ACR classification criteria for myositis. She has published more than 200 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and more than 15 book chapters.

Dr Lundberg has served as Advisory Editor and Associate Editor of Arthritis & Rheumatology and served as ACR Abstract Category Co-Chair for Muscle Biology, Myositis and Myopathies. She joined the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies (IMACS) from the start in year 2000. She has served the Swedish Society for Rheumatology, the Scandinavian Society for Rheumatology as president and EULAR as chair of Standing Committee of Education and Training (ESCET) and as member of the executive committee.

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Jiří Vencovský

Jiří Vencovský received his MD in 1980 from the Charles University in Prague, Czechoslovakia. He completed specializations in internal medicine (1984), rheumatology (1987) and medical immunology (1994) while working in the Institute of Rheumatology in Prague. In 1988 he defended PhD thesis on “Clinical and Immunological Characterization of Older Age Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis”. In the years 1988, 1991 and 1992–93 he was a visiting scientist at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology in London, UK, where he worked under supervision of Professor R.N. Maini. He was interested in autoantibodies against p70 antigen of nRNP complex in patients with connective tissue diseases and later on he also worked under Professor R. A. Mageed on rheumatoid factor immunoglobulin genes.

Since 1993 he has been the head of the Research and Clinical Laboratory Departments of the Institute of Rheumatology. He has become Associate Professor at Charles University in 1996 and full Professor of Medicine in 2002.

Jiří Vencovský is a current President of the Czech Society of Rheumatology. He was an editor of the journal “Czech Rheumatology” in 1998–2014. Professor Vencovsky is a member of Editorial boards of several scientific journals including Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, RMD Open and Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. In 2002–2005 he was a member of the EULAR Scientific Committee and chairman of the Abstract Committee for European Congress of Rheumatology 2003/2004. Currently he serves as the treasurer for FOREUM Foundation for Research in Rheumatology. His research interests include inflammatory idiopathic myopathies, autoantibodies in rheumatic diseases and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. He started myositis clinic in Prague and was one of the founding members of the European myositis registry. He organized/participated in several important studies in the field of inflammatory myopathies, including therapeutic, genetic and serological collaborations. Recently he was a member of the steering committee for the development of ACR/EULAR response criteria in dermatomyositis and polymyositis. He has published around 200 scientific papers, reviews and book chapters. He is also a busy clinician and enjoys both patient care and teaching.

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