International Psoriasis and Arthritis Research Team (IPART)
IPART Annual Symposium (2019)
IPART is an international network of dermatologists and rheumatologists that focus on psoriasis and PsA, as well as other multi-disciplinary collaborators, including geneticists, epidemiologists and biostatisticians. The program focuses on the biological basis of psoriatic disease with an emphasis on predicting onset and severity of PsA using clinical and genetic variables, and identification of disease biomarkers.
IPART consists of several psoriatic disease cohorts across Canada, USA and Israel. These cohorts are followed over time and consist of detailed clinical, laboratory, imaging and genetic data. There are currently over 5000 patients with psoriasis and PsA patients enrolled in IPART, making it one of the richest sources of research data in the world for studying various aspects of psoriatic disease. Our collaboration with IPART led to discoveries in the fields of genetic, imaging and co-morbidities in PsA.
The PsA Program studies the application of musculoskeletal ultrasound as point of care for the management of PsA. The program has been involved in dissemination of musculoskeletal ultrasound among rheumatologists by offering one of the only fellowship programs in point-of-care MSK ultrasound in Canada. We extensively used ultrasound to investigate clinical outcomes in PsA and developed sonographic outcome measures. Dr. Eder is a recognized expert in musculoskeletal ultrasound, as she serves as Research Director of the Canadian Rheumatology Ultrasound Society (CRUS) and leads an international initiative through GRAPPA (Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis) to develop sonographic scoring systems in PsA. She is extensively involved in teaching musculoskeletal ultrasound to rheumatologists at the local, national and international levels.
The Cardio-Rheumatology Clinic Team (from left to right): Shani Nagler (Clinic Assistant), Dr. Dana Jerome (Rheumatologist), Dr. Lihi Eder (Rheumatologist & Co-Director), Dr. Paula Harvey (Cardiologist & Co-Director), Saima Bhatti (Clinic Assistant), Dr. Shadi Akhtari (Cardiologist), Keith Colaco (PhD Student)
Cardiovascular diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with established rheumatic diseases including PsA. Cardiovascular risk factors are often undertreated in psoriatic patients and there is uncertainty regarding the appropriate approach for cardiovascular risk stratification in these patients. Our work aims to address these gaps in knowledge and care by investigating the contributing factors for cardiovascular diseases and identifying new modalities to improve cardiovascular risk stratification in psoriatic patients.
In 2017, Dr. Eder co-founded the Cardio-Rheumatology Program (in collaboration with the Division of Cardiology led by Dr. Paula Harvey). The global aim of the program is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular diseases in patients with rheumatic conditions through improved clinical care, research and education. The program includes a primary prevention clinic (Cardio-Rheum Clinic), the first of its kind in Canada, which uses advanced imaging and laboratory markers to improve the detection of high-risk patients and improve the control of their cardiovascular risk factors.
The Program holds an annual symposium for health care providers and researchers that helps to disseminate the results of our research in the general medical community.