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March 15-16 2024

STSM 2024: A Rainy Yet Radiant Success

As the second year of our Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) program has ended, it's time to reflect on another incredible journey of scientific collaboration, discovery, and, quite humorously, more umbrellas than sunglasses. Last year's grantees might have been chased by sunshine, but this year's cohort found themselves frequently accompanied by the rain. Yet, their spirits remained sunny, and their contributions, invaluable.

A Family Affair

This year's STSM had a unique and delightful twist: many grantees brought their families along for the ride. Lausanne was not only a hub of medical research but also a vibrant, family-friendly destination. Children’s laughter echoed through the halls and spousal support added an extra layer of warmth to the program.

Experts and Enlightenment

We were honored to host ten esteemed experts, each contributing their unique perspectives and expertise:

  • Raffaella Carlomagno (CH) - Lupus Nephritis

  • Marco Gattorno (IT) - SURF

  • Charlotte Girard (CH) - AOSD

  • Daiva Gorczyca (DE) - Kawasaki Disease

  • Véronique Hentgen (FR) - FMF and MKD

  • Michael Hofer (CH) - PFAPA

  • Marija Jelusic (HR) - IgA Vasculitis

  • Filipa Ramos (PT) - sJIA

  • Eve Smith (UK) - Lupus Nephritis

  • Helmut Wittkowski (DE) - FMF and MKD

In addition, two insightful online sessions broadened our horizons:

  1. Statinsights of Medical Repositories; Mishaps, Imperatives, and Remedies by Konstantinos Pateras

  2. PFAPA Syndrome in Adults: Diagnosis and Treatment by the renowned Luca Cantarini

Lastly, a visit to Lausanne University Hospital to meet the local team and participate in their clinical case discussions further enriched the experience and knowledge of our participants.

Grantees and Their Groundbreaking Work

The heart of our STSM program lies in the grantees and their data research projects across the five Working Groups:

  • WG1: Lupus Nephritis

  • Esra Esen and Laura Crosby dove deep into lupus nephritis, from diagnosis to maintenance and refractory case treatments.

  • WG2: Vasculitis/Kawasaki

  • Emil Aliyev explored the treatment of refractory and late-presenting Kawasaki Disease (KD), while Nastasia Kifer focused on diagnostic and treatment approaches for IgA vasculitis.

  • WG3: Auto Inflammatory Disease

  • Anna Mamutova looked at biological treatments in FMF, while Nimet Öner followed up on patients with colchicine resistance, extending last year's analysis with more responses.


  • Emine Sönmez explored the use of genetics in understanding PFAPA and SURF.

  • Gulcan Ozomay Baykal focused on the use of steroids in the treatment of PFAPA and SURF.


  • Roberta Naddei extended the work on the different treatment lines depending on the patient’s phenotype.

  • Augusto Silva compared adult vs. pediatric CLIPS in sJIA.

Each grantee will present their findings within their respective Working Groups in the coming weeks, laying the groundwork for our next Face-to-Face meeting in Paris at the end of September.

Looking Ahead

As we wrap up this year's program, we look forward to the next steps. Abstracts are ongoing, our Library V2 is a work in progress, and we are beginning to look at how to integrate registry data. This year’s STSM has again been a milestone achievement and has provided valuable insights that will propel us forward.

Thank you to all the grantees, experts, and families who made this year’s STSM a success despite the weather’s best attempts to dampen our spirits. We wish everyone a delightful summer ahead and look forward to seeing the continued growth and achievements in the coming year.

Stay tuned for updates on the next STSM program and enjoy the sunshine when it finally breaks through the clouds!

Marie Frank

JIR CliPS Grant coordinator

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