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The members of this group have been very active as can be seen from the reports listed below, which were presented in detail during the last meeting of the European Workshop of Experimental Rheumatology and the EULAR Congress in Stockholm. The work is primarily carried out by the study groups, of which there are four currently active—Laboratory Investigations, Genomics, Gene Therapy, and Genetics. A new approach will be carried out in the Cytokine Study Group, which will examine—among other topics—the role of cytokine biology in treatment with biological agents. A proposal has also been put forward to form a new study group on “Mesenchymal stem cells”, which appears to be very interesting and timely. All EULAR members active in the fields of investigative rheumatology, especially in the areas of the study groups, are asked to participate in the work of the respective groups. The contacts of the study group leaders are given below.
The EULAR Standing Committee of Investigative Rheumatology will organise a “hands on” workshop on laboratory techniques dealing with issues including ANA diagnostic, ELISA techniques, molecular biology approaches, standardisation and quality control. Like other successful EULAR workshops, such as the one on arthrosonography, it will rotate between the institutions of the member countries and will enable small groups of rheumatologists to learn standard and cutting edge technology in laboratory determinations, including the theoretical background. There will be an organising faculty from various member states. The first workshop will be held in Copenhagen, and the programme will be prepared by Allan Wiik.
There was also a workshop on genomics in Stockholm in October 2003. Owing to limited funding and the special nature of this meeting, which dealt with cutting edge topics in genomics and proteomics, participation in this workshop was primarily confined to experimentally active researchers in this field.
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