Rohit Aggarwal

Professor of Medicine Medical Director, Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dr. Aggarwal is a professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh and medical director of Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He is the co-director of UPMC Myositis Center. His research and clinical areas of interest are clinical and translational research in inflammatory muscle diseases (myositis) and associated interstitial lung disease. He is the chair of the medical advisory board of The Myositis Association (TMA) as well as past-chair of the scientific committee of IMACS, which are the largest patient and physician groups working in the field of myositis, respectively.

Dr. Aggarwal is an established independent clinical investigator with significant funding from the NIH, foundations and industry, and currently leading several collaborations internationally with other key leaders in the world. He has maintained an extremely high publication record and received national and international recognition of his work. He continues to be a leader in disease criteria and outcomes measures in myositis as well as in clinical trials of novel therapeutic agents for myositis. He is currently the principal investigator or member of the steering committee for several international phase 2/3 clinical trials in the area of myositis and associated ILD. Dr. Aggarwal is also mentoring the future generation of rheumatologists with great success and attracting younger rheumatologists towards myositis research for the advancement of the field. Dr. Aggarwal lectures at various international conferences and promotes patient education through his YouTube channel.

Olivier Benveniste, M.D., Ph.D.

Head of Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology Department, Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital

Professor Olivier Benveniste, M.D., Ph.D., currently serves as Head of Internal Medicine at the Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital in Paris, France, where he oversees the translational medicine process for myositis patients. He also serves as University Professor – Hospital Practitioner (PU-PH) in Internal Medicine and Clinical Immunology at Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital and Reference Center for Neurovascular Diseases where he is responsible for inflammatory myopathies. He also serves as Director of the Sorbonne Université/INSERM Laboratory: Inflammatory Muscle and Targeted Innovative Therapies.

Dr. Benveniste has published extensively on his research of myositis and other idiopathic inflammatory myopathies and provides research support to both academia and the biopharma industry. He received both his M.D. and PhD from the form the University of Paris and completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Oxford in the U.K.

Mazen Dimachkie, M.D.

Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Vice Chair for Research Programs, Neuromuscular Division Chief, Neuromuscular Medicine Fellowship Director; The University of Kansas School of Medicine

Mazen M. Dimachkie, M.D., FAAN, FANA, is a professor, executive vice chairman, vice chairman for research programs and director of the neuromuscular division in the Department of Neurology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Committed to excellence in neuromuscular care, research and education, Dr. Dimachkie provides exceptional and personalized diagnostic evaluation and clinical care services, and strongly believes in empowering patients with reliable educational materials. He also offers to neuromuscular patients direct access to cutting-edge research and clinical trials. 

After receiving his medical degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and two years of internal medicine residency at Saint Agnes Hospital in Baltimore, Dr. Dimachkie completed his residency in neurology and fellowship training in electromyography and neuromuscular disease at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, where he also served on the neurology faculty before joining KU Medical Center in 2007. In addition to being certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (ABPN) in neurology, clinical neurophysiology and neuromuscular medicine, Dr. Dimachkie holds a certificate in clinical neuromuscular pathology from the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS). He is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Neurological Association.

A prolific researcher, Dr. Dimachkie leads one of the largest neuromuscular clinical trial units in North America. He leads and contributes to a variety of federally funded neuromuscular research studies and actively participates in national and international industry-sponsored studies. Dr. Dimachkie is the author or co-author of more than 500 abstracts, articles and book chapters. He is a frequently invited lecturer on inflammatory muscle disorders, Pompe disease, myasthenia gravis, LEMS, ALS, neuropathies and other neuromuscular disorders. Dr. Dimachkie is a member of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America Medical Scientific Advisory Board (MSAB) and has served on The Myositis Association MSAB. He serves as a coordinator for the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group (IMACS).

Ingrid Lundberg

Professor of Rheumatology, Karolinska Institutet

Dr. Ingrid Lundberg is professor in rheumatology at Karolinska Institutet combined with a position as senior consultant at Karolinska University hospital. She completed her MD and PhD at Karolinska Institutet as well. 

Dr. Lundberg established a myositis clinic with a dedicated multidisciplinary team in 1993 at Karolinska University Hospital. This clinic has formed the basis of a translational research project with the aim to achieve improved understanding of molecular mechanisms that lead to muscle weakness and immune reactivity in patients with myositis.

Through her research her team has demonstrated that physical exercise, in contrast to the recommendations at that time, leads to increased muscle strength and improved performance. Dr Lundberg and her team have detected a new myositis specific autoantibody, anti-FHL1 autoantibodies that are associated with a severe phenotype of myositis, and they have identified antigen specific T cells targeting histidyl-tRNA synthetase.

Dr Lundberg and her team have undertaken therapeutic mechanistic studies using anti-TNF, and anti-IL-1 treatment, high dose IVIg and abatacept as well as physical exercise with studies on clinical outcome and effect on molecular expression in muscles and peripheral blood. 

Dr Lundberg is member of a team that founded and developed an international, multidisciplinary, web-based myositis register, www.euromyositis.eu which now has more than 5 000 patients from 23 centers world-wide enrolled. She is the PI of the International Myositis Classification Criteria Project (IMCCP) published in 2017 “European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for adult and juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathies and their major subgroups” (Lundberg,IE et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 76:1955-1964 2017; Arthritis Rheumatol.69:2271-2282, 2017.)

Samir V Parikh, M.D., FASN

Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Nephrology, Ohio State University Medical Center

Dr. Samir V Parikh is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology at Ohio State University. Dr Parikh received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cincinnati College Of Medicine. He joined the College of Medicine Faculty in 2011 and became an Associate Professor in 2019.  Dr. Parikh served as the Director of Nephrology clinical trials for 7 years from 2013-2020. 

Clinically, Dr. Parikh focuses in caring for patients with glomerular diseases including lupus nephritis.  Dr. Parikh research has focused on uncovering novel biomarkers of disease in LN and optimizing the use of kidney biopsy to inform management decisions in LN. Dr. Parikh is involved in clinical trial development and design for investigator-initiated and industry sponsored trials. He is and has been the Principal Investigator on many trials of novel therapeutics for Lupus nephritis and other glomerular diseases.

Sanjay S. Shukla, M.D., M.S.

President and CEO, Director; aTyr Pharma

Sanjay S. Shukla, M.D., M.S., has served as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a board member of aTyr Pharma since November 2017. Dr. Shukla served as Chief Medical Officer from March 2016 to November 2017. From April 2015 to March 2016, Dr. Shukla worked in an advisory capacity for a number of companies, including as a consultant to aTyr from January 2016 to March 2016. Prior to that, from October 2012 to April 2015, Dr. Shukla served as Vice President and Global Head of Integrated Medical Services for Novartis, a biopharmaceutical company, where he led global medical affairs operations, with oversight for all pharma general medicines therapies, both inline and in development. 

Dr. Shukla served as Chief Executive Officer of RXMD, a clinical development consultancy that assisted in advancing proof of concept for early stage drug candidates, from April 2009 to September 2012. Prior to that, Dr. Shukla served in a variety of clinical development, data analytics and drug safety roles at Vifor Pharma, a biopharmaceutical company, and Aspreva Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Vifor Pharma). Dr. Shukla received his M.D. from Howard University College of Medicine and his Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and Master of Science in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Maryland.

Y.K.O. (Onno) Teng

Head of Nephrology Outpatient Clinic, Leiden University Medical Center

Dr. Y.K.O. (Onno) Teng, M.D., Ph.D., is a Nephrology clinician-scientist at the department of Internal Medicine of the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). He is head of the Nephrology outpatient clinic and coordinator of the Leiden outpatient clinic for Lupus, Vasculitis and Complement-mediated Systemic diseases (LuVaCs) which accommodates top-referral, multidisciplinary, tertiary care on a regional and national level. He also leads and coordinates a clinical, multidisciplinary pathway aimed at counselling and guiding a pregnancy wish of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or antiphosholipid syndrome.

Dr. Teng conducts a translational research program in the area of autoimmune glomerulonephritis related to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). His major goals are to find new therapeutic interventions and innovative approaches for immunological monitoring (‘immunomonitoring’) for patients with SLE and AAV.