Global Approaches To Improved Treatments And Understanding Of Myositis
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Frederick W. Miller, M.D., Ph.D., has announced his retirement as an IMACS Coordinator and Deputy Chief of the Clinical Research Branch of NIEHS, NIH. He will be an Emeritus Coordinator of IMACS and Scientist Emeritus at NIEHS. Miller served as IMACS Coordinator for 20 years and co-founded the IMACS Group. Under his direction, the group focused on the development and validation of core set disease measures, response criteria for adult and juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis, and consensus in the conduct of clinical trial design, leading to international consensus in these areas and facilitating therapeutic trials of targeted biologic therapies in patients with adult and juvenile dermatomyositis and polymyositis. The group has grown to a consortium of nearly 600 clinical and basic researchers, patient support group leaders, and pharma representatives from around the globe, and is tackling a number of research projects and scientific areas. IMACS has achieved recognition for its multidisciplinary and international collaborative efforts and accomplishments in receiving the 2019 Global Genes Rare Champion of Hope Award for Research Collaboration. Miller will be well-remembered for his visionary leadership, insights, warmth, and welcoming of many individuals into the myositis community. A retirement symposium highlighting Miller’s illustrious scientific career and achievements was hosted by NIEHS in early March 2021. Congratulations Fred on your retirement! We wish you all the best and much happiness in pursuing your many other interests!
IMACS has also recently elected two new coordinators, who are highly accomplished myositis researchers, Professor Hector Chinoy and Mazen Dimachkie, M.D.. who will serve with the current coordinators, Lisa Rider, M.D. and Professor David Isenberg. Hector Chinoy Ph.D., FRCP, is Professor of Rheumatology and Neuromuscular Disease at the Centre for Musculoskeletal Research, The University of Manchester, UK. Professor Chinoy is co-chair of UKMYONET, a national consortium that fosters collaborative research in inflammatory myopathy, and chair of the Euromyositis registry, a consortium that collects standardized clinical data in over 30 countries. Upon his election to co-lead IMACS, Chinoy stated: “It is a great honour to be voted in as IMACS coordinator. Dr. Dimachkie and I will work hard to consolidate IMACS and secure the future of the organisation on a global footing. Our collective clinical experience has provided us with important insights about unmet needs of people with myositis. I will also make use of collaborative contacts throughout Europe and globally who share a passion in improving the lives of people with myositis."
Mazen M. Dimachkie, M.D., is Professor of Neurology and Director of Neuromuscular Division and Executive Vice Chairman and Vice Chairman for Research in the Department of Neurology, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A. Dimachkie conducts and oversees international neuromuscular clinical trials. He is the lead principal investigator on the study of arimoclomol in inclusion body myositis (IBM), and he is on the leadership team of the study of sirolimus in IBM. Dimachkie’s statement in being elected to co-lead IMACS: “It is a huge honor to be entrusted by IMACS leaders and its members with the future of IMACS and to be elected to replace Dr. Fred Miller, a luminary and a giant in the field of myositis. It is great that Dr. Miller will stay on as an emeritus coordinator. I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Lisa Rider, Dr. David Isenberg and Dr. Hector Chinoy to advance myositis research and education.”
The International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group (IMACS) is a coalition of health care providers and researchers with experience and interest in the myositis syndromes.
The goals of IMACS are to improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from myositis by discovering better therapies through understanding the causes of these diseases.
IMACS members work to achieve these goals by developing consensus and standards on the conduct and reporting of adult and juvenile myositis studies, performing collaborative therapeutic trials and by planning, facilitating and conducting international collaborative myositis research.
The administrative arm of IMACS is housed in offices of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in the Mark O. Hatfield Clinical Research Center at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA. This facility is the world's largest clinical research complex, serving a dual role: providing humane and healing patient care as well as the environment clinical researchers need to advance clinical science.
The Clinical Center complex is part of the NIH's intramural science research program. NIH is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the medical research agency of the U.S Government.
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