Nottingham hosts first UK meeting of international conference on eczema

13 May 2014 16:20:52.560
A prestigious international conference for researchers working to improve the treatment and prevention of eczema will meet at The University of Nottingham 

for its first gathering in the UK.

Eczema – also known as atopic dermatitis – affects around one in five children in the UK. It is on the increase worldwide, including in developing countries, for reasons that are unclear.

The International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis will bring together clinicians and scientists from around the world to share the latest research on the causes, prevention and treatment of eczema.

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The conference, which takes place at University Park, Nottingham, on May 21-23 2014, is also known as the Georg Rajka Symposium after its founder Professor Rajka, from Norway, who died last year. It will attract 250 delegates from the UK and Europe as well as China, Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Africa, Japan, Brazil, Ecuador and the US.

The event is hosted by The University of Nottingham’s Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology (CEBD), which has forged an international reputation for skin research, focusing on atopic eczema, for over 20 years. Atopic eczema is a non-contagious skin condition that results in dry, scaly, red and itchy skin. When more severe, weeping, crusting and bleeding can occur. Constant scratching causes the skin to split and bleed and also leaves it open to infection.

Professor Hywel Williams, Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology and Director of the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, said: “We are deeply honoured to host the International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis in Nottingham this year and to honour Georg Rajka’s memory. It will be the biggest and best ISAD meeting to date, but it will still retain the collegiate and collaborative nature of previous meetings.”

Among the key speakers are the CEBD’s Deputy Director and Professor of Applied Dermatology Research, Kim Thomas, and Amanda Roberts, a member of the CEBD Patient Panel, who in collaboration with Professor Roberto Takaoka, of the Department of Dermatology at the University of São Paulo Medical School Hospital Brazil, will be talking about patient education, support groups and prioritising research topics.

Professor Williams added: “The meeting will also highlight new treatments for severe atopic dermatitis that have just completed early clinical trials in the USA, as well as new insights into prevention of eczema and how disease activity can be best measured.”

He said the conference will highlight the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology’s research strengths in eczema and will include new presentations on the role of remission in eczema (getting control and keeping control of the disease) and the CEBD’s systematic review of atopic eczema funded by the National Institute for Health Research (HIHR).  The centre’s role in establishing and maintaining GREAT, an international database of eczema trials and systematic reviews, at will also be highlighted.

Other key speakers include Prof Alan Irvine, of Trinity College, Dublin Ireland, discussing the genetics of eczema and Dr Jonathan Silverberg, an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at Preventive Medicine and Medical Social Sciences, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA, who will examine the relationship between eczema and climate.

New research also being discussed includes:

·      The mechanisms of atopic dermatitis – Lisa Beck (US)

·      Skin barrier defects in eczema – Mike Cork (UK)

·      Eczema prevention – Bob Boyle (UK)

·      How eczema may be best measured in clinical studies – Eric Simpson (US)

·      The best evidence on treatments for severe eczema – Jochen Schmitt (Germany)

·      Disease modification strategies in eczema – Alain Taieb (France)

The meeting – which unusually for a prestigious international event has chosen to have no industry sponsorship – will also see Professor Rajka’s widow, Susanne Rajka, present the Georg Rajka Medal to the most outstanding young researcher in atopic eczema. The newly elected Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Jackie Morris, will present a wooden apple carved from a tree fallen in Sherwood Forest to the best oral and poster presentation. 



Our academics can now be interviewed for broadcast via our Media Hub, which offers a Globelynx fixed camera and ISDN line facilities at University Park campus. For further information please contact a member of the Communications team on +44 (0)115 951 5798, email or see the Globelynx website for how to register for this service.

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with campuses in China and Malaysia modelled on a headquarters that is among the most attractive in Britain’ (Times Good University Guide 2014). It is also the most popular university in the UK among graduate employers, one of the world’s greenest universities, and winner of the Times Higher Education Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’. It is ranked in the World’s Top 75 universities by the QS World University Rankings.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fundraising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news…

Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology

The University of Nottingham’s Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology (CEBD) conducts independent research into the treatment and prevention of skin disease that is of direct relevance to patients, clinicians and NHS managers.

The Centre produces around 25 peer-reviewed publications per year and is one of the highest income generators for non-commercial dermatology research in the world. While most of its research focuses on atopic eczema, the Centre’s areas of expertise also include non-melanoma skin cancer, vitiligo, acne, cellulitis and rare skin disorders.

Eighth Georg Rajka International Symposium on Atopic Dermatitis

In 1979 in Oslo Prof Georg Rajka initiated a series of international meetings on atopic dermatitis to take place every two to three years. These meeting bring together clinicians and scientists interested in atopic dermatitis in an interdisciplinary atmosphere, and provides state-of-the-art updates on clinical and experimental research on the disease. The 2014 symposium takes place on 21 – 23 May at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RJ. Registration is now closed. For more information on the symposium, please contact Dr Carron Layfield, UK Dermatology Clinical Trials Network Manager, Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, on +44 (0)115 846 8625,

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Hywel Williams, Professor of Dermato-Epidemiology and Director of the Centre of Evidence Based Dermatology, on +44 (0)115 823 1048,

Robert Ounsworth - Communications Officer

Email:  Phone: +44 (0)115 748 4412  Location: University Park

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