endorsed by:

Swiss Association of the Study of the Liver
Rheuma Schweiz
Center of Human Immunology Lausanne (CHIL)

Promote Interdisciplinarity and Learn from Each Other

The meeting this year was a great success! Thank you very much for joining the 2nd Common Ground Meeting on January 28, 2021! As a registered participant you have the chance to watch all lecures online on this web page. If you have not received the password please contact sina.reis@comeed.ch.

 Please see the welcome speech of the Course Directors here: 

We would be delighted to welcome you next year again!

Thomas Hügle
Prof. Thomas Hügle
Division of Rheumatology
Michel Gilliet
Prof. Michel Gilliet
Division of Dermatology
Darius Moradpour
Prof. Darius Moradpour
Division of Gastroenterology


(Jan 15, 2021)


Thomas Hügle, Darius Moradpour and Michel Gilliet

Session 1: What’s new on chronic inflammatory conditions in your specialty?

Chairs: Hervé Bachelez I  Darius Moradpour I Jacob M. van Laar

09:30 – 10:00


Markus Neurath, Erlangen

10:00 – 10:30


Oliver Distler, Zurich

10:30 – 11:00

Christophe von Garnier, Lausanne

Coffee Break
11:10 – 11:40

Alexander Navarini, Basel

11:40 – 12:10

Fadi Fakhouri, Lausanne

Lunch Break

Session 2: Hot topics

COVID-19: Basics and impact on patients with immune-mediated diseases

Chairs: Camillo Ribi I Michel Gilliet

12:50 – 13:20

Evolution and dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic

Jan Dexler, Berlin

13:20 – 13:50

Controlling cytokine storms at the example of COVID-19

Peter Villiger, Bern

Understanding autoinflammatory diseases

13:50 – 14:20
Inflammasome, Interferopathies & Co

Michaël Hofer, Lausanne

The microbiome and its role in chronic inflammation

 14:20 – 14:50
Mechanisms of host-microbial mutualism

Andrew J. Macpherson, Bern

Coffee Break

Session 3: Interdisciplinary cases

 Chairs:  Alain Schöpfer I Jonathan Kay I Thomas Hügle I Patrick Omoumi I Curdin Conrad


15:00 – 15:30

Case 1: Ulcerative colitis, Sweet Syndrome & Arthralgia 

Alain Schöpfer, Lausanne

15:30 – 16:00
Case 2: New onset
Psoriasis-Arthritis & Crohn

Sarah Kozycki, Lausanne


Invited Faculty

Meet our speakers & chairs

Prof. Oliver Distler
Prof. Oliver Distler

University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland


Oliver Distler is Professor of Rheumatology and Chairman of the Department of Rheumatology at the University of Zurich. He is also heading the Center of Experimental Rheumatology of the University of  Zurich. The Department of Rheumatology has been awarded a EULAR Center of Excellence due to its scientific achievements. With over 300 primary research papers, over 21`000 citations and an HFactor of 73, he is among the top 3 cited researchers worldwide in the field of systemic sclerosis. His
research activities span from a preclinical program focusing on the characterization of key molecules and intracellular signaling cascades driving the disease process to a translational and clinical program with emphasis on precision medicine and phase 2/3 clinical trial design.

Prof. Peter Villiger
Prof. Peter Villiger

University Hospital Bern, Switzerland

Prof. Christophe von Garnier
Prof. Christophe von Garnier

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland


Prof von Garnier is a pulmonologist and expert in severe obstructive pulmonary diseases, lung cancer and interventional bronchoscopy.

Prof von Garnier is the chairman of the Division of Respiratory Medicine and full professor at the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV).

As president of the Swiss Society for Pulmonology, he has been involved in coordinating its response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and is involved in the care of individuals suffering from long-term complications of COVID-19. He has recently published on the management of asthma, COPD, and lung cancer during COVID-19, as well as on pulmonary embolism and respiratory sequelae in COVID-19 patients.

Prof. Jan Felix Drexler
Prof. Jan Felix Drexler

Charité University Hospital Berlin, Germany


Jan Felix Drexler is Head of the Virus Epidemiology group and an Associate Professor at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Following medical education in Germany and Brazil, he worked as a staff scientist and professor in Brazil, Germany and the Netherlands. His group focuses on the evolution and epidemiology of emerging viruses at the animal-human interface. Since 2006, he has published 185 peer-reviewed papers, accumulating >6000 citations, an h-index of 41 (Web of Science) and about 10.5 million € extramural funding.


Prof. Alain Schöpfer
Prof. Alain Schöpfer

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland


Prof. Alain Schoepfer is heading the outpatient clinics of Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in CHUV He performed his GI fellowship in Lucerne and Inselspital Ben and did a post-doc fellowship at the Farncombe Family Digestive health research Institute at McMaster University in Canada.  His clinical and research interests are focused on inflammatory bowel diseases  and eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases. He serves as principal investigator of the Swiss EoE cohort.


Prof. Michaël Hofer
Prof. Michaël Hofer

University Hospital Lausanne , Switzerland


Prof. Michaël Hofer is a Pediatric Immunologist and Rheumatologist, working at the University of
Lausanne, Switzerland; he is leading the Pediatric Immuno-rheumatology Service of Western Switzerland that offers decentralized consultations in 5 different sites, among them the University
Pediatric departments of Lausanne and of Geneva.
Pediatric inflammatory rheumatisms, including auto-inflammatory syndromes, are at the heart of Michaël Hofer’s clinical and research activity. He has established an international cohort for
Juvenile Inflammatory Rheumatisms (JIRcohort) to determine patients’ long-term outcome and the
tolerance of the treatments. He has been actively involved in numerous clinical studies, both
nationally and internationally, and he was recently co-chairing the consensus conference to propose
evidence-based classification criteria for monogenic autoinflammatory diseases PFAPA. He
focused his research activities mainly on the study of auto-inflammatory diseases and in particular
PFAPA (Periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis syndrome) and systemic
juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Since 2016, he is organizing an international Winterschool on Juvenile Inflammatory rheumatisms
in the Swiss mountains; this year the event is dedicated to pediatric vasculitis and will be virtual.
Michaël Hofer is a member of several scholarly societies, including the International Society of
Systemic Auto-Inflammatory Diseases, and the Swiss Pediatric Society, where he served as
President; currently, he is the President of the French Society of Pediatric Rheumatology
(SOFREMIP) and was Secretary of the Pediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS)

Prof. Hervé Bachelez
Prof. Hervé Bachelez

Saint-Louis University Hospital Paris, France


Professor Bachelez is professor at the Department of Dermatology of the Saint-Louis University Hospital in Paris, France. Since 2004, Professor Bachelez has been full professor of clinical dermatology at the Université Paris-Diderot/Université de Paris, where he received his Ph.D. in immunology in 1999. Professor Bachelez’s clinical and scientific research focuses on immunogenetics of inflammatory skin diseases at the Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) at the Imagine Institute in Necker Hospital. His areas of scientific interest include molecular mechanisms of psoriasis and psoriasis-related diseases, and other immune-mediated and inflammatory skin diseases. Professor Bachelez has received several scientific awards, including the Robert Degos award. He is a member of several national and international scientific societies, including the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology and the European Dermatology Forum (EDF). He is a board member of the International Psoriasis Council, and general secretary-Treasurer-elect of the European Society for Dermatological Research (ESDR).

Professor Bachelez has published more than 230 manuscripts in peer-reviews journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Arthritis and Rheumatism as leading author.


Prof. Fadi Fakhouri
Prof. Fadi Fakhouri

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland


Fadi Fakhouri is an adult nephrologist and a clinical researcher. He has a long-standing interest in autoimmune renal diseases, particularly complement-mediated nephropathies. He has conducted several clinical and experimental studies in the field of thrombotic microangiopathies, C3 glomerulopathy and other membrano-proliferative glomerulonephritis.


Prof. Alexander Navarini
Prof. Alexander Navarini

University Hospital Basel, Switzerland



Born in Basel, raised in Kantons GR and AG, medical studies in Basel and Paris. Training as MD PhD experimental immunologist in Zurich. Residency in internal medicine at Bruderholzspital, tropical medicine at Swiss Tropical Institute, and dermatology at University Hospital Zurich. Senior resident research fellowship in modern genomics at King’s College London. Was attending physician and deputy head of outpatient clinic at Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich. Since November 2018 Chair of Dermatology at the University Hospital of Basel.
Dr. Conrad Curdin
Dr. Conrad Curdin

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland


Prof. Conrad is head of policlinic and the centre for psoriasis at Lausanne University Hospital. He participated at the prestigious Postgraduate Course of Experimental Medicine and Biology at the University of Zurich. After his dermatology training in Zurich and postdoctoral research at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, he returned to Switzerland. Prof. Conrad has received several scientific awards for his basic and translational research on innate and adaptive immunity in inflammatory skin diseases, focusing on psoriasis. He has numerous publications in journals such as Nature Medicine, Nature Communications, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and Journal of Immunology, and more than 3500 citations. He has been principal investigator for multiple preclinical and clinical trials in psoriasis and serves as external scientific expert for several international societies and foundations and is an elected councilor of the International Psoriasis Council, IPC.

Prof. Jonathan Kay
Prof. Jonathan Kay

UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, USA


Jonathan Kay, MD

Professor of Medicine and Population & Quantitative Health Sciences

Timothy S. and Elaine L. Peterson Chair in Rheumatology
Director of Clinical Research, Division of Rheumatology

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Worcester, Massachusetts

Biographical Sketch

Jonathan Kay, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Population and Quantitative Health Sciences and holds the Timothy S. and Elaine L. Peterson Chair in Rheumatology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, where he directs Clinical Research in the Division of Rheumatology and is Associate Director of the MD/PhD Program. His clinical appointment is as a Physician at UMass Memorial Medical Center, also in Worcester. He received his medical degree from the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, California. He then completed an internship and residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and fellowships in rheumatology and immunology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Dr. Kay is a Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology and of the American College of Physicians.  In 2018, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the American College of Rheumatology and he was awarded honorary membership in EULAR.  He is an ad hoc reviewer for many journals and a member of the editorial board of RMD Open.

Dr. Kay’s clinical interests span the spectrum of rheumatic diseases, with special interest in rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthropathies, and other forms of inflammatory arthritis.  He was a member of the group that developed the 2010 ACR/EULAR Diagnostic and Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis.  He chaired the Rheumatology Working Group and was a member of the Internal Medicine and Musculoskeletal Topic Advisory Groups for the World Health Organization in its Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-11.

Over the past three decades, his clinical research has focused on nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (formerly known as nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy), b2-microglobulin amyloidosis, and other rheumatologic problems of patients with chronic kidney disease.  He has been a principal investigator on over 60 clinical trials of novel therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, gout, and osteoarthritis.  Over the past decade, he has been involved in the development of biosimilars to treat rheumatic diseases.  Dr. Kay lectures internationally and is the author of more than 240 publications and book chapters.

Prof. Andrew Macpherson
Prof. Andrew Macpherson

University Hospital Bern, Switzerland


Andrew J. Macpherson is Professor of Medicine and Director of Gastroenterology at the University Hospital of Bern, Switzerland. He studied Biochemistry and Medicine at Cambridge University and did his PhD on sugar-proton symport systems in the laboratory of Sir Hans Kornberg and Peter Henderson. His clinical medical studies and clinical speciality training in Gastroenterology were in Cambridge and London. The results (of control experiments) during a project in London on immune-mediated damage to intestinal epithelial cells focused his interest on the way in which the mucosal immune system responds to commensal intestinal microbes. In 1997 he moved to work with Rolf Zinkernagel at the Institute of Experimental Immunology in Zürich. Between 2004 and 2008 he was Farncombe Professor of Medicine and a Canada Research Chair holder at McMaster University in Hamilton.His work has shown that there are different pathways of induction of immunoglobulin (Ig)A in the intestinal mucosa by commensal intestinal microbes, with and without help from T cells. He has also shown a compartmentalisation between the mucosal and systemic Ig responses to commensals, since mucosal immune responses are driven locally in the mucosal compartment by dendritic cells that have sampled commensals at the epithelial surface. More recently his lab has developed methods of reversible colonisation of germ-free mice to allow intestinal colonisation with commensals and mucosal immune priming to be experimentally uncoupled, to address mucosal immune memory and the functional consequences of mucosal immune responses in host-microbial mutualism.

PD Dr. med. Camillo Ribi
PD Dr. med. Camillo Ribi

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland

Prof. Markus Neurath
Prof. Markus Neurath

University Hospital Erlangen, Germany


I have the expertise, leadership, training, expertise and motivation necessary to successfully carry out the proposed research project. I have a broad background in gastroenterology, with specific training and
expertise. My research covers many areas of internal medicine. In addition, I successfully administered the projects (e.g. staffing, research protections, budget), collaborated with other researchers, and produced
several peer-reviewed publications from the projects. As a result of these previous experiences, I am aware of the importance of frequent communication among project members and of constructing a realistic research plan, timeline, and budget.

Professional Career
Positions and Employment
1990-1992 Assistant physician, I. Department of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center
1992-1995 Postdoc, NIH/NIAID/MIS, Bethesda, MD, USA
1995-1998 Assistant physician, I. Department of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center
1998-2000 Senior physician, I. Department of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center
2000-2001 Visiting Professor, Havard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
2001-2007 C3/W2 Professor of Medicine, I. Department of Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University
Medical Center Mainz
2007-2009 W3 Professor/Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Co-Director, I. Department of
Medicine, Johannes Gutenberg University Medical Center Mainz
Since 2009 W3 Professor, Head, Department of Internal Medicine 1, Gastroenterology, Pneumology and
Endocrinology, UKER, FAU

Prof. Jacob M. van Laar
Prof. Jacob M. van Laar

University Medical Centre Utrecht, Netherlands


Jacob M. van Laar is Professor at the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands. After obtaining his MD and PhD degrees at Leiden University, he specialised in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology in Leiden University Medical Center and worked at the Department of Rheumatology as clinical academic in various roles from 1997-2007, interrupted by a postdoctoral research fellowship at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, USA. From 2007 until 2013 he held a Chair in Clinical Rheumatology at Newcastle University, and post as honorary consultant rheumatologist at The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK. He has been working as Professor of Rheumatology at UMC Utrecht since 1 November 2013. His main research interests involve clinical and pathogenetic aspects of systemic sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, aimed at improving the outcome of patients with rheumatic diseases by innovative clinical-translational research.

Prof. Patrick Omoumi
Prof. Patrick Omoumi

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland

Dr. Sarah Kozycki
Dr. Sarah Kozycki

University Hospital Lausanne, Switzerland


Sarah Kozycki is a resident in the Department of Rheumatology at the University Hospital of Lausanne. She started her medical course in Université Paris-11, France, and then began in 2017 her specialization in Rheumatology at the University Hospital of Lyon, France. She joined the University Hospital of Lausanne in 2020.



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Sina Reis-Balikcioglu

Comeed – Medical Conferences, Meetings & Education

Sina Reis-Balikcioglu


Impressions 2019

With 145 participants the first edition of the Common Ground Meeting was a great succes! 

I appreciate the initianive of bringing different disciplines together – that definitly enables knowledge & experience sharing!

Prof. Axel Frinckh

University Hospital Geneva, Switzerland

Excellent meeting en ce qui concerne les thèmes abordés et discussions sur potentielles collaborations!

Dr. Valérie Pittet

University Center for Primary Care and Public Health, Lausanne, Switzerland

A very exciting and unique meeting, where experts from different disciplines exchange their newest insights and discuss common pathways of different diseases. Highly inspiring.

Dr. Christoph Schlapbach

Bern University Hospital, Switzerland