Publish Date: 
Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 12:15

Early bird registration open for APLAR-ARA 2019

Are you working in research areas relevant to rheumatology such as pain, autoimmune diseases, bone and joint diseases, inflammation, and immunology?

Do you want to learn about exciting international and local research in these areas, and exchange ideas about cutting-edge scientific research?

Chaired by Queensland University of Technology Professor Matt Brown, with The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute Professor Ranjeny Thomas also on the conference organising committee, the 21st Asia Pacific League of Associations for Rheumatology Congress in conjunction with the Australian Rheumatology Association (APLAR-ARA 2019) will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 8-11 April 2019.

This congress attracts world-renowned researchers, clinicians, scientists, allied health professionals and students involved in research, treatment and care of rheumatology and musculoskeletal diseases and disorders. 

Interested in attending this conference?

  • Early bird registrations are open now, and will close 31 January 2019.
  • Late breaking abstract submissions will open on 26 November 2018, and will close on 7 December 2018.

For more details about conference registration including cost, click here.

There will be a 1 day pre-meeting immunology course on Sunday April 7 2019, targeted at those interested in learning more about the immune system generally as well as its role in autoimmune disease.
More information:

Professor Matt BrownAbout Professor Matt Brown


Director of Genomics at Queensland University of Technology

Professor Matt Brown is a clinician-scientist who trained initially as a rheumatologist before heading into immunogenetics research, initially at the University of Oxford, then between 2005-2016 at The University of Queensland. His particular interest is in the disease ankylosing spondylitis, where he has played a major role dissecting the genetic causes of the disease and developing new treatments for it. He is deeply interested in the translation of genomics into clinical applications, including in common and rare heritable diseases, and cancers. 

Professor Brown was Director of The University of Queensland, Diamantina Institute from 2011 until 2015. He is a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Sciences and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2016, Professor Brown transitioned to Queensland University of Technology as Director of Genomics where he is enhancing the University’s genomics capabilities and continuing his research with many collaborations and opportunities both in Australia and internationally. In 2014, Professor Brown ranked among ‘The world’s most influential scientific minds’ by multinational media body Thomson Reuters, with his research listed in the top 1% for the number of times his work has been cited by other scientists. Professor Brown was awarded the honoured title of ‘Distinguished Professor’ in 2017 by the University for his contributions in his field. 

Research interests

Professor Brown’s areas of research include musculoskeletal disorders, functional genomics, genetic mapping, rheumatology, genetic association, bone disease, genetic screening, sequencing, functional genomics and medical genomics.

In particular, his research focusses on:

  • Genomics and functional genomics of ankylosing spondylitis and other rheumatic diseases.
  • Medical genomics, including the development, application and implementation of modern genomics approaches for clinical genomics and precision medicine, including cancer genomics.

Professor Ranjeny ThomasAbout Professor Ranjeny Thomas 


Group Leader for Dendritic Cell Biology at The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute 

Arthritis Queensland Chair of Rheumatology

Professor Thomas is a graduate of the University of Western Australia. She received her MBBS in 1984, and then trained in Perth as a rheumatologist. She commenced a research fellowship with Peter Lipsky at Southwestern Medical Center, University of Texas in 1990, where she first identified and characterised human circulating dendritic cell precursors. She is now Professor of Rheumatology at University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, consultant rheumatologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital and fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Research Interests

Professor Thomas’s research is focussed on the study of autoimmune disease and restoration of tolerance. Through this work, she developed and tested the first rheumatoid arthritis vaccine. She has also contributed major insights into the pathogenesis of spondyloarthropathy and autoimmune diabetes, leading to the development of disease biomarkers and therapeutic strategies. 

Professor Thomas is founder and a director of the spin-off company, Dendright, which is developing vaccines to suppress autoimmune diseases.