Dear OARSI members,
I hope you all are healthy and enjoying summer days in the bright and merry season of July.
As the OARSI president, I would like to congratulate Jerome Guicheux, Felix Eckstein and Haxby Abbott, who will take the role of National Ambassador of OARSI to France, Austria and New Zealand respectively. OARSI is expecting great contributions from Ambassadors in promoting membership and participation from each country to OARSI. We received applications from additional countries, which are currently being reviewed by the Strategic Alliance Committee and Board of Directors. OARSI leadership is encouraging applications for the National Ambassador program, particularly from those countries which have not prominently participated in OARSI activities.
Preparation of the program and social activity for the OARSI 2024 World Congress in Vienna is well underway. The format and content of the meeting will be different from previous congresses. More clinician-friendly topics shall be introduced that can attract physicians who have not been interested in OARSI so far. Also, we are looking at reinstating the congress dinner party to please attendees and enliven the whole congress. With the nice spring weather and superior cultural atmosphere of Vienna, we are anticipating a record attendance that can also help to improve the finances of our society.
I am also excited to report the results of SER-OARSI symposium that was held in A Coruña, Spain on June 22-23. This symposium was planned as one of the regional conferences to promote the presence of OARSI and enhance the collaboration of OARSI with local societies. The Spanish Society of Rheumatology was co-sponsor of this symposium entitled “From Biomarkers to Precision Medicine in Knee Osteoarthritis.” The main idea of this symposium was to show and discuss the way from the identification of molecular, clinical and imaging biomarkers that may be useful for the definition of OA endotypes and phenotypes, to their application into the clinical arena. There were 150 attendees, including 26 invited speakers from all over the world. Thirty-five talks of exceptional quality in this field were presented along with a score of posters in this one-and-half day symposium. The level of science was quite impressive, reaching that of major global conferences. OARSI leadership is grateful to organizers Francisco Blanco and Cristina Ruiz-Romero for their significant effort in organizing this outstanding conference and warm hospitality during our stay in A Coruña. OARSI members are likewise encouraged to organize theme-oriented regional conferences in their country in the future.
Lastly, I would like to remind interested members to participate in OARSI governance by joining the Board of Directors. OARSI needs the energy and devotion of talented members. The application deadline is August 31, 2023.
July 14, 2023
Gun-il Im, OARSI president
Photograph with invited speakers at the Pita square of A Coruña