I receive many emails asking questions about our research and clinical care, and patients in my clinic have many of the same questions. That’s one of the reasons I began writing this blog, to answer as many questions as I can for as many people as I can, because answering everyone individually is impossible (outside of a clinic visit, of course).
Well, we are now organizing a meeting specifically designed for vitiligo patients! Dermatologists and scientists who have particular expertise in vitiligo will be speaking about a multitude of topics, from explaining the importance of their research, to how to treat vitiligo and work with your health insurance company to get important treatments covered. We will dedicate approximately 3 hours of relatively short lectures from leading vitiligo experts, and then provide an opportunity in the afternoon for questions from patients.
The meeting is called Advances in Vitiligo Research and Care, and will be held on Sunday, September 27th, 2015. It will be at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange, California, which is about 1 hour south of Los Angeles, near Anaheim. The meeting will take place the day before the annual meeting of the Pan American Society for Pigment Cell Research, where experts from all over the world will be discussing their research to better understand how melanocytes work to create pigment in your skin. We have room for about 200 attendees, including patients, their friends and family, and the speakers.
I am helping to organize the meeting, along with I. Caroline LePoole, PhD (Loyola University, Maywood, IL), Pearl Grimes, MD (The Vitiligo and Pigmentation Institute of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA), Anand Ganesan, MD (University of California, Irvine, CA), and Jackie Gardner (Vitiligo Support International, Lynchburg, VA - http://vitiligosupport.org/organization/organization.cfm). We have not solidified the schedule yet, but I imagine Dr. Le Poole will discuss her research on HSP70, I may talk about our work on IFN-g and CXCL10, and leading clinical experts in vitiligo will cover current treatments and other key topics. All of the talks will be targeted to patients, so we’ll spend less time on scientific details and more on what it means for how to take care of yourself and future treatments.
If you plan to be near Orange, CA on September 27th this year, or if you’re willing to travel just for the meeting, here is a PDF file of the announcement, and here is a PDF file of a description of the meeting and how to get there. You can register for the meeting here. We expect registration to fill up quickly, so if you’re sure you want to attend the meeting, please sign up as soon as possible!