Language: English ● Duration: 45 minutes Topic: Pediatric Infectious Diseases, COVID-19


Speaker: LIZ WHITTAKER, Clinical Lecturer and Consultant Paediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology Imperial College London, United Kingdom ● TACO KUIJPERS, Professor of Pediatric Immunology, Department of Pediatric Immunology, Rheumatology and Infectious Diseases, Academic Medical Center (AMC), Amsterdam, the Netherlands ● ROLANDO CIMAZ, Head of the Pediatric Rheumatology Unit at Gaetano Pini Hospital Milan, Full Professor of Rheumatology, University of Milan, Italy

  Learning Objectives: (1) The latest practical advice on Paediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome (PIMS) and SARS-CoV-2 infection in children (2) What you as paediatricians and general practitioners must be aware of in your everyday practice (3) What can we learn from the PIMS cases of children with COVID-19 reported up to the end of June 2020 (4) Exploring how the clinical signs overlap with Kawasaki disease in some children, but also evaluating the other reported signs and manifestations (5) Practical advice on the management, respiratory support and treatment options.  
  • Dr Elizabeth Whittaker graduated from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and following clinical experience in Dublin and Brisbane, Australia, moved to London. Here she trained as a paediatrician and was successfully awarded an academic clinical fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases in 2006. The nine-month research period associated with this fellowship allowed her to develop her interest in paediatric infectious diseases and involved a couple of research projects on tuberculosis biomarkers and interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA). She completed the Gorgas Diploma Course in clinical tropical medicine in Peru and was awarded a DTM&H in 2009. Dr Whittaker completed her Wellcome Trust funded PhD project ‘Immune responses to mycobacteria; the role of age and disease severity in 2014, based between Imperial College London and the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She completed her paediatric training in 2016, combining clinical and research experience as an NIHR-funded academic clinical lecturer. Dr Whittaker is the paediatric specialty co-lead for the North West London Clinical Research Network. In this role, she leads the development of local clinical research network activity in paediatrics, encouraging local clinicians to participate in NIHR clinical research network portfolio studies. She is the secretary of the British Paediatric Allergy, Infection and Immunity Group (BPAIIG) and on the steering committee of the British Association of Paediatric TB (BAPT). She is the co-lead for high consequence infectious diseases (HCID) in children at Imperial and is on the RCPCH expert advisory group for COVID 19. Dr Whittaker has a strong interest in teaching and training and currently is the quality adviser to the paediatric allergy, immunology and infectious diseases CSAC committee at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.

  • The research group of Prof. Taco Kuijpers has a history in research with a special interest in immunodeficiencies focusing on innate immunity and B cell development as well as inflammation. The clinical team at the AMC is Center of Expertise for primary immunodeficiencies (PIDs), primary bone marrow failures and autoinflammatory disease (including pediatric vasculitis, Kawasaki disease,  rheumatic diseases), and linked as such to various patient organizations. Key interests of his group are unravelling the clinical and pathophysiological aspects of different forms of immune disorders. The research is focused on (pre)clinical and translational science, aiming to develop and discover forms of diagnostics and drug targets, understanding the pathophysiology of known and unknown gene defects, and the potential of screening drug efficacy using in vitro models in a high-throughput way, investigating the aetiology of immunological failures and testing new therapeutics for application in-vivo.

  • Prof. Cimaz was Head of the Pediatric Rheumatology Unit at Meyer Children's Hospital in Florence, Italy and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Florence, Italy. He graduated from Milan University in Italy in 1987, is a specialist in Pediatrics (1991) and in Rheumatology (2003) and did his Fellowship in Pediatric Rheumatology in Dallas, Texas, USA, in 1993-1994. He was Maitre de Conferences des Universites at Universite Claude Bernard-Lyon I in Lyon, France from 2005 to 2007. His main interest is pediatric rheumatology and he has special expertise and scientific interest in osteoporosis, antiphospholipid antibodies, Kawasaki disease, synovial T cells and neonatal lupus. Currently, he is involved in many research projects, nationally and internationally. He has been on the Council of the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society from 1999 to 2005 (treasurer) and from 2014-present (Research Chair). He is a member of the American College of Rheumatology, the Italian Society of Pediatrics and the French Society of Pediatric Inflammatory Diseases. He is co-author of more than 320 peer-reviewed articles on PubMed, as well as more than 20 book chapters, all in the field of pediatric rheumatology. He is or has been, on the Editorial Board of several international journals (Pediatric Rheumatology Online Journal, Lupus, Arthritis and Rheumatism).

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