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Our Annual Conference is back in April next year in Glasgow for a three-day hybrid event. We have some outstanding keynote speakers lined up, so we spoke with Dr Ruth Richmond, chair of the Heberden Committee, on what you should look forward to.

An exceptional event

Annual Conference is a unique event and a wonderful opportunity to come together after so long. Being a hybrid conference, if you can’t get away you can still enjoy all the content on offer from your desk. This hybrid model means it’s more accessible and flexible to a wider number of people, but I do hope that those who can will come in person. We can’t wait to see everyone. Our keynote speakers are always a real highlight at conference; they're leaders in their field, showcasing engaging topics and making us think.

Challenging ableism in medicine

Dr Grace Spence Green’s keynote address is unmissable. In 2018, as a fourth-year medical student, Grace experienced a life-changing spinal injury and became a wheelchair user. Now a junior doctor, she's a passionate advocate for the disabled community and in challenging the stigma around disabled people in medicine.

Most young disabled people who want to work in healthcare are discouraged very early on. We can do better than that. Grace will bring an incredibly powerful and engaging talk which we can all learn from. She’s paving the way for change in medicine, and we’re thrilled to have her with us at conference.

Genetics for the future

Prof Anne Barton heads up musculoskeletal research at the University of Manchester and is delivering the Heberden Oration. Her area of research focusses on precision medicine, specifically investigating the factors that influence treatment response to drugs in patients with rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis.

It’s a fascinating area of research. If we could predict disease development and response to treatment, we could transform management of these conditions for our patients. We’re not there yet, but she’s going to talk to us about how close we are.

Transforming care for vasculitis patients

Prof Raashid Luqmani, Professor of Rheumatology at Oxford, gives the Heberden Round. Raashid's career-long interest is vasculitis and this lecture is a clinical presentation using patient cases. Much has changed over the years, with better outcomes and less toxicity for vasculitis patients. We’ll look forward to hearing how management of these diseases has changed and about the contribution of Raashid and colleagues in improving treatment.

Paediatric and adolescent rheumatology care

Dr Clarissa Pilkington is a consultant in paediatric and adolescent rheumatology at University College and Great Ormond Street Hospitals. Clarissa, who has a wide range of interest including juvenile dermatomyositis and lupus, delivers the Barbara Ansell Address.

This keynote presentation, dedicated to attendees working in paediatric and adolescent rheumatology, tops off the paediatric and adolescent stream Heberden Committee member Dr Jo Walsh is curating. It's an area I have no expertise in and I look forward to being thoroughly educated!

Designing research studies to improve outcomes

Dr Mwidimi Ndosi’s area of interest is in designing research studies that answer questions that matter to patients and then applying those findings in practice. This talk should be of interest to anyone involved in research design and applying research to improve outcomes for patients.

Find out more