- Burnett School
The UCF College of Medicine is bringing together the world’s leading inflammation experts October 15-17 to discuss better ways to understand, control and treat inflammation — a condition that is the basis of a number of important diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and obesity.
World-renowned experts Drs. Salvador Moncada and Peter Libby will headline the conference at the medical school in Orlando’s emerging Medical City.
Dr. Libby is an internationally recognized heart researcher, clinician and educator. He holds the Mallinckrodt Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and served as chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. His current research focus is on the role of inflammation in vascular diseases. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the Gold Medal of the European Society of Cardiology and the Basic Research Prize of the American Heart Association.
Dr. Moncada is a knighted physician scientist known for his discovery of the structure of prostacyclin, which acts as a vasodilator and prevents blood platelets from clumping. His research has been foundational in understanding inflammation and cell stress and in creating compounds that can be used to treat cardiovascular and rheumatic diseases. Dr. Moncada is director of the Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research at University College and has won numerous awards from the international scientific community.
The conference will include presentations and posters by 21 worldwide experts. Sessions will address topics including the dramatic increase in inflammatory bowel disease, the environmental and stress factors associated with inflammation, and inflammation’s role in conditions from vascular disease in diabetics to wound healing.
Dr. Sampath Parthasarathy, the UCF College of Medicine’s associate dean for research and an event organizer, said a major goal of the conference is to address the issue of whether preventing inflammation could delay or prevent the onset of chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, diabetes and obesity. He said the medical school specifically sought out world renowned researchers and clinicians who study and treat inflammatory disease to encourage both groups to form partnerships and work together to identify medical trends and develop translational research. Dr. Parthasarathy, who holds the college’s Florida Hospital Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Sciences, is co-discoverer of the major cardiovascular concept that oxidized LDL blocks arterial vessels in the heart. The work is considered a landmark discovery in medical sciences.
As part of the conference’s focus on health, it will feature experts in Ayurvedic medicine. This holistic, ancient Indian approach to wellness is based on a balance between body, mind and spirit. Ayurvedic practitioners focus on the promotion and rejuvenation of health and prevention of disease through a variety of practices including diet, exercise, psychological interventions and detoxification. Many of Ayurvedic medicine’s dietary recommendations are based on anti-inflammatory foods and herbs.
“We know the key role inflammation plays in chronic disease. Now we must work together to understand how inflammation begins and how to prevent it and treat it,” said Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine. A rheumatologist by training, Dr. German said she understands first-hand the suffering inflammatory disease causes patients. “By bringing together world class experts in the field, we want to inspire scientists and clinicians to work together to find a cure,” she said.
For more information and to sign up for the conference, please visit https://med.ucf.edu/inflammation-conference/.