You are here

OARSI Weekly Briefing - August 13, 2021

Welcome to the OARSI Weekly Briefing - the single resource you need to stay up to date with OARSI & World Congress news, membership announcements, and happenings within the OARSI & OA community.

Bookmark this page for weekly updates.

Join the conversation online by following OARSI on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.


August 13, 2021 Briefing-at-a-Glance
Board of Directors Nominations | Member Spotlight: Peter van der Kraan OARSI JEI Discussion Groups | OARSI Live Call for Presenters | OARSI Connect '21 Recordings | Important Dates | Weekly Briefing Archive


Board of Directors Call for Nominations

The deadline to submit a nomination application for the OARSI Board of Directors is Tuesday, August 31st. The position is for a 4-year term beginning in May 2022. The Board requires members whose backgrounds, skills, and experience match the OARSI mission and its current and future needs. Service on the OARSI board demands a considerable commitment of time and talent to advance the goals and objectives of the organization. To learn more about the process and submit an application, please click HERE.


Member Spotlight: Peter van der Kraan

Over the course of the next few weeks we will spotlight the past Basic Research Award winners. This week’s Member Spotlight is 2020 winner, Peter van der Kraan.

How long have you been a member of OARSI and why did you join?
After some years of research on children’s leukemia, I moved to the lab of Wim van den Berg, starting my research on joint diseases. During my Ph.D. research, I switched to OA research, around 1985, so joining OARSI was a logical step. I joined OARSI in 1992 and Paris was my first congress. Thereafter I have attended nearly all OARSI meetings, missing only those in Singapore and Sydney.

What do you enjoy most about OARSI?
The interaction with other young and experienced scientists throughout the world, meeting people in person that you formerly only knew from their publications is still very stimulating. In many cases, the image in your mind of these scientists is completely different from the actual person. OARSI is a great platform to share ideas and to start new collaborations. Especially for new people in the field, it is a way to quickly get an overview of the important topics in the field. It is very encouraging to meet people from all over the world with similar interests and the ambition to make OA in the future a curable disease. On a more social level, I really enjoyed the mentoring opportunities with young investigators and the informal meeting with young scientists on Friday night. Furthermore, the cultural activities and parties on Saturday night were a very good opportunity to get people known on a non-scientific basis, watching their dance moves and especially enjoying the marching band in Philadelphia. 

Tell us a little bit about your research?
Around 1985 I started working on OA, in those days an underdeveloped research area, and I was intrigued by a molecule that was called Cartilage-inducing Factor-A (CIF-A), that later appeared to be the same molecule as TGF-beta1. It appeared to be a challenging research topic and I continued research on the role of TGF-beta in healthy and OA joints until now. We were the first to demonstrate that TGF-beta drives the formation of osteophytes and synovial fibrosis in OA joints. Further, we found that TGF-beta acts as a protective, load-stimulated factor in a healthy, young joint, but as a potentially harmful factor in an OA joint. Also, we were able to demonstrate that the protective function of TGF-beta decreases in old cartilage compared to young cartilage. Besides our continuing work on TGF-beta, developing tools to classify OA patients in different phenotypes/endotypes is a major research goal nowadays.

What does winning the Basic Science Award mean to you?
I am very pleased and honored by winning the Basic Science Award and it is an encouragement for further research. Of course, winning this prize is not a merit of only myself, but an achievement of the entire Experimental Rheumatology laboratory. I hope that with our deepening of the understanding of OA we can contribute to a better life for OA patients in the future.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
As being a biologist by training and even an ecologist in nature in general, birding is one of my great hobbies and inspirations. I like to take long walks with my binoculars to enjoy the wildlife in the Netherlands, yes there are still some, and other countries. But at the moment visiting other countries is a challenge so I stay close at home. Related to my interest in nature I am involved in local conservation projects and also busy founding a local durable farm.

Joint Effort Initiative Discussion Group

The ‘Joint Effort’ Initiative (JEI) Discussion Group is an international collaboration of 100+ researchers (22 countries, 6 continents), clinicians, consumers, and consumer organizations who are concerned with the implementation of evidence-based, cost-effective, osteoarthritis care for all, particularly through coordinated osteoarthritis management programs (OAMPs). Our mission is to investigate the best osteoarthritis management program models to use, develop long-term strategies for effective implementation of these programs in different socioeconomic and cultural environments, and identify research priorities to facilitate best evidence care internationally. Priorities for the work of the JEI were established in 2018 through an international survey and consensus study (

Our current projects fall under the themes of:

  • Implementation of OAMPs
  • Measuring Clinical Outcomes
  • Education and Training for Healthcare Professionals

JEI members are invited to participate in working groups or special projects undertaken by the Initiative.

To join this or any other Discussion Group follow the below steps. 

  • Log in to
  • Click on the menu button in the top left of the screen
  • Select ‘My Profile’
  • Select ‘Edit'
  • Select the ‘My Account’ tab
  • Scroll to Discussion Groups and select your group(s)


OARSI Live Call for Presenters

The OARSI Live webinar series is currently on hiatus and will resume this fall. We are looking to schedule our fall program and are seeking webinar presenters. If you would like to present on an OARSI Live webinar, please contact Vincenzo Nelli with a brief summary of your proposed presentation.


OARSI Connect '21 Recordings

Did you know that all of the recorded sessions from OARSI Connect ‘21 are available to registered attendees through April 2022!? If you missed a session because you attended another session or it occurred at a time that was inconvenient for you, you can view it by logging into the virtual meeting website. Just navigate to the Agenda page and select the session(s) you want to view.

If you missed OARSI Connect ‘21, you can still register and have access to the recordings. It simple, just register HERE.


Important Dates & Upcoming Deadlines

  • 2021 Membership Dues: Be sure to renew your OARSI dues. Renew Now.
  • August 31, 2021 - Call for Board of Director Nominations Deadline
  • April 6 - 10, 2022 - OARSI World Congress in Berlin, Germany


Past OARSI Weekly Briefings

Featured Resources

OARSI White Paper- OA as a Serious Disease

By Various

Patient Summary- Non Surgical Treatment of Knee Osteoarthritis

By Multiple Authors