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REF NO.: 128

SUBJECT: Public panel discussion on arthritis care and research

DATE: Dec. 5,2005

The Arthritis Society of Canada and Memorial University of Newfoundland will host a public panel discussion on The State of Arthritis Care and Research: Recent Advances and Current Challenges, featuring national and local speakers. The panel discussion takes place Wednesday Dec. 7 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Lecture Theatre A of the Health Sciences Centre. There will be ample opportunity for audience questions and interaction. Admission is free and there is free parking available in Lot 9 off Clinch Crescent. A reception will follow.

The national speakers are Dr. David Hart, chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for The Arthritis Society of Canada and Dr. Arthur Bookman, chair of the Medical Advisory Committee for The Arthritis Society of Canada.

Dr. Hart is currently a member of the Institute Advisory Board for the CIHR Institute for Gender and Health, the Life Sciences Advisory Committee for the Canadian Space Agency, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for The Arthritis Society. He has been associated with The Arthritis Society since 1985, initially as a researcher and grants panel member, and currently as a member of the national board. He is the author or co-author of 300 articles and his research has been focused on sex/gender issues associated with joint injury and repair, arthritis and related conditions, and wound healing from the molecular level to the individual/consumer level for the past two decades.

Dr. Arthur Bookman is a senior staff rheumatologist at the Toronto Western Hospital University Health Network and a former chief of the Division of Rheumatology at Toronto General Hospital. He is currently the past president of the Canadian Rheumatology Association. He has been a medical advisor to The Arthritis Society in Ontariosince 1980, and became chair of the Health Professional Advisory Committee of the Ontario Division from 1997 to 2002.

The local panelists are rheumatologists Dr. Proton Rahman and Dr. Sean Hamilton, both faculty members at Memorial University.

Dr. Rahman has an impressive publication record in the areas of arthritis and lupus, and has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. In 2003, he made a significant discovery relative to the Card 15 gene's role in psoriatic arthritis. He is a co-founder of Newfound Genomics, a genomics research company based in Newfoundland and Labrador that is working to gain a better understanding of the relationship between genes, human health and disease.

Dr. Hamilton is an associate professor of Rheumatology at Memorial and chief of the Division of Rheumatology at St. Clare’s Hospital. He received a 2005 Certificate of Merit from the Canadian Association of Medical Education.

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For further information contact: Beverly Byrd, executive director, Newfoundland and Labrador Division, The Arthritis Society, phone 579-8190or email bbyrd@nf.arthritis.ca or Sharon Gray, communications co-ordinator (health sciences), Memorial University, at 777‑8397 or sgray@mun.ca.

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