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OARSI Weekly Briefing - September 17, 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.

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September 17, 2021 Briefing-at-a-Glance
Abstract Submissions Now OpenSave the Date: OARSI CTS| Member Spotlight: Francisco J. Blanco Engagement Committee SurveyOARSI Discussion Group OARSI Live Call for Presenters | OARSI Connect '21 Recordings | Important Dates | Weekly Briefing Archive

Abstract Submissions Now Open!

The Osteoarthritis Research Society International invites you to submit your research for an in person or virtual oral or poster presentation at the 2022 World Congress to be held in Berlin, Germany. The submission period will close on November 12, 2021. Click HERE to read additional information on the submission process and to ensure your abstract is submitted to the appropriate category.


SAVE THE DATE: OARSI Clinical Trials Symposium - Wednesday, October 20th

The OARSI Clinical Trials Symposium is scheduled for Wednesday, October 20th at 9 am EDT. This symposium is envisioned as a debate continuing the discussions held with OARSI, the FDA, and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) in June of 2021. The debate “How can we design clinical trials for regulatory approval in OA” will feature OARSI members and individuals from the FDA. More information and registration to follow.

Sponsored By

Engagement Committee - OARSI Live Survey

The OARSI Engagement Committee is planning the next iteration of the OARSI Live webinar series. The committee would like to hear from you to help plan the series. 

Please take 3 minutes to complete the following survey to let us know your preferences in regards to the frequency, cost, and length of the webinars. Your feedback will be very helpful in planning the future of the OARSI Live series. 

This survey will remain open until 12 pm EST on Monday, September 27th.

Member Spotlight: Francisco J. Blanco

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will spotlight the past Basic Research Award Winners. This week's Member Spotlight is 2017 winner, Francisco J. Blanco. 

How long have you been a member of OARSI and why did you join?

After completing the specialty of Rheumatology in Madrid, I spent two years in Martin Lotz's lab at UCSD and in 1997 Martin recommended me to be a member of the OARSI. The first OARSI congress I attended was in Vienna in 1999 and in the year 2000, Sergio Jimenez proposed Dr. Josep Verges and I collaborate as local members in the organization of the fifth OARSI Congress in Barcelona. Later I participated in the management since 2002, first as a member of the OARSI Board of Directors (2002-2008) and later as Secretary General (2009-2015). I also collaborated as Chair of the Research & Training Committee (2003-2009), where we launched the collaborative Scholarships Awards. I tried to promote and disseminate OARSI’s goals in Spain and in Latin America, and I think that something was achieved because the participation of these groups in the OARSI has increased.

What do you enjoy most about OARSI?

The time I spent collaborating with the OARSI was a very enriching time for me both from the scientific point of view and from the point of view of management, organization, and also of social relations. I really enjoyed doing the many activities that I have described above. The scientific quality of the congresses is very high. In this scientific society are the most relevant professionals and researchers of QA, it is a unique opportunity to meet them and even collaborate with them.  The AORSI also allows you to stay up-to-date on all the most important aspects of OA, both from the point of view of basic research and clinical research. The OARSI also gives you the opportunity to participate in strategic and relevant projects for the OA.

Tell us a little bit about your research?

My research work OA began in Martin Lotz's laboratory studying the role of nitric oxide and chondrocyte apoptosis in the breakdown of articular cartilage. When I return to A Coruña, continue with this line of research focusing on the role of mitochondria in chondrocyte biology and OA pathogenesis. Results from more than 20 years demonstrate that the Mitochondrial dysfunction of chondrocytes contributes to cartilage degradation via several processes such as 1) increased apoptosis; 2) enhanced inflammatory response; 3) decreased mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy; 4) increased cartilage catabolism; 4) increased mitochondrial fusion leading to further ROS production and 5) impaired metabolic flexibility. Simultaneously we have accumulated clinical evidence for there being an association between mtDNA haplogroups J/T, and the prevalence, progression, and incidence of the radiographic Knee OA. In addition, using an animal model of surgical OA, we have demonstrated that mtDNA replacement improved joint degradation. We have worked in the application of proteomics technologies to OA research and we have developed a global map of the proteins of OA joint cells, tissues, and biologic fluids (serum and synovial fluid). All this data led us to define several proteomic Biomarkers with potential application in the diagnosis and prognosis of radiographic knee OA as well in its therapeutic response. Two new innovative research lines are the influence of. Two recent innovative lines of research are the study of the influence of the Mediterranean / Atlantic diet on the epigenetics of cartilage and the search for senolytic drugs. All these results are now allowing us to develop tools for personalized medicine.

What does winning the Basic Research Award mean to you?

It is an enormous honor and pleasure to receive this award, it is the recognition of the fruit of the hard work of many years and of many GIR researchers. The OARSI Basic Research Award, means that the lines of research that we have developed in the field of OA have been recognized by the most important scientific society that investigates OA, it means that we have done well so far and that we have to continue in the same trajectory or improve it, this puts a little pressure on you.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I don't have much free time, that's why when I have it I try to enjoy the company of my family and friends. Whenever I can I go to the village where I was born, (Cee on the Coast of Death) where I have good friends and it helps me to relax and disconnect from the stress of the job. A couple of hours a week I collaborate in an altruistic way with associations of patients with rheumatic diseases with a solidarity clinic

OARSI Discussion Groups

OARSI's Discussion Groups bring together individuals with a focus on specific OA-related specialty areas. To make the Discussion Groups easier to join we have updated our database. Now OARSI members can log in to their profile and select the Discussion Group(s) that they would like to join. By updating your profile with your Discussion Group preferences, we will be able to send targeted emails to each Discussion Group and maintain an official roster for each group. To update your profile, follow these 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

  • October 20, 2021 - OARSI Clinical Trials Symposium
  • November 12, 2021 - Abstract Submission Deadline
  • 2021 Membership Dues: Be sure to renew your OARSI dues. Renew.
  • April 7 - 10, 2022 - OARSI World Congress in Berlin, Germany

2021 Industry Partners

2022 Industry Partners

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