Course Information

40th Carl M. Pearson Memorial Symposium Frontiers of Rheumatology

A Live In-Person and Virtual Conference
Marina del Rey Marriott
Marina del Rey, California

April 28, 2023 to April 30, 2023

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For the past 40 years, The Annual Seminar Frontiers of Rheumatology, has honored the memory of Carl M. Pearson, MD, the founding chief of Rheumatology at UCLA. This event gathers distinguished faculty for three days of interactions, presentations and educational discussions with participants, of current topics, recent advances and impending progress of importance to physicians and other providers of care to patients with autoimmune and musculoskeletal conditions. The course has been well reviewed by participants and by visiting faculty who enjoy the relaxed atmosphere, challenging queries from participants and many opportunities for interactions. Many have repeatedly returned to subsequent seminars. Participants record their opinions about the quality of each presentation and of the overall course each year. In 2022, there were 145 attendees. 96.5% thought the program taught or verified important information and a gratifyingly high 98.85% felt the information would impact their practices. 99% thought the program fulfilled the course objectives and 100% would recommend the course to others. Lastly, 93% felt an annual
update is needed.

Participants also record their suggestions for future topics and speakers. Their suggestions are used by the organizers, along with comments from the faculty and knowledge of current literature and areas of need, to develop each year’s program. The basic purpose of the seminars is to maintain and improve the skills of the participants and to improve the care and outcomes of their patients.

Target Audience
This program is intended to provide rheumatologists, interested physicians, health care professionals, and rheumatology fellows with the most current information and insights on treatment of rheumatic disease. Interaction between participants and faculty members is emphasized.

In-person attendees will be provided breakfast and catering at the meeting site. The UCLA Frontiers of Rheumatology 2023 will also be available through a live virtual meeting web platform. Attendees who choose to attend the live virtual activity will receive a virtual meeting link and password to access the live virtual conference. All registrants (live or virtual) will be provided the opportunity to review recorded sessions up to 3 weeks following the conference.

Attendees will be awarded CME credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the live activity (either in-person or virtual). The recorded sessions are not certified for CME credit.


Online registration will close at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Course Fees

  • $350 MD, PhD – Live In-Person Participant
  • $350 MD, PhD – Live Virtual Participant via zoom
  • $150 RN – Live In-Person Participant
  • $150 RN – Live Virtual Participant via zoom
  • $80 Trainees/Fellows – Live In-Person Participant
  • $80 Trainees/Fellows – Live Virtual Participant via zoom


Enroll Online

We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover credit cards, and ACH/electronic payment.

To register using a credit card or ACH/electronic transfer: click here.

*Credit card and check payments via phone, fax, or mail are no longer accepted.



Cancellations must be received by email to by Friday, March 31, 2023 and will be subject to a $75 processing fee. No refunds will be granted after that date. If, for any reason, the course must be cancelled, discontinued, or rescheduled, a full refund will be provided.


If you have questions about enrollment, please call (310) 794-2620 or email

Course Co-Chairs

Philip J. Clements, MD, MPH
Professor of Rheumatology*

Daniel E. Furst, MD
Professor of Rheumatology*

Maureen McMahon, MD
Professor of Rheumatology*

Distinguished Faculty


Alan Baer, MD
Professor of Medicine
Founder of Sjögren’s Syndrome Clinic
Department of Rheumatology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Johnathan Chen, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor*

Jack Cush, MD
Professor of Internal Medicine
University of Texas
Southwestern Medical School

Kathryn Dao, MD
Associate Professor
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
UT Southwestern Medical Center

Sheetal Desai, MD MSEd
Chief of Rheumatology
Director, Lupus Clinic
Professor of Medicine Division of Rheumatology
University of California, Irvine

Betty Diamond, MD
Director, Institute of Molecular Medicine
The Center for Autoimmune Musculoskeletal and Hematopoietic Diseases
The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research

Gary R. Feldman, MD, FACR
Vice President, Coalition of State
Rheumatology Organizations**
Assistant Clinical Professor*

Marcela Ferrada, MD
Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Critical Care, Infectious Disease, and Rheumatology
University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital
NIH Critical Care Medicine

Diana Girnita, MD, PhD, FACR
CEO& Founder of Rheumatologist OnCall
Board Advisory for Digital Health, Healthcare
Co-Founder Direct Specialty Care Alliance
Co-Leader of California Chapter at FMMA

Suzanne Kafaja, MD
Associate Clinical Professor*
Medical Director
Scleroderma Clinical Trials and Therapeutics

Philip Mease, MD, MACR
Rheumatology Research, Swedish Medical Center/Providence St.
Joseph Health
Clinical Professor
University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Rajan Saggar, MD
Associate Professor*
Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit
Lung Transplant and Pulmonary Hypertension Programs

Orrin M. Troum, M.D., M.A.C.R
Clinical Professor of Medicine
Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California


* David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA
** California Rheumatology Alliance Speaker

Friday, April 28, 2023

7:00 am Registration/Breakfast
8:00 am Welcome
Daniel E. Furst, MD
8:15 am Imaging Quiz – Slides to be Shown and Discussed on Sunday
Daniel E. Furst, MD
8:20 am Year in Review Highlights: Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gout
Orrin Troum, MD
9:05 am The Effect of Drugs on Pregnancy in the Rheumatic Diseases:
Data from the OTIS Registry

Kathryn Dao, MD
9:50 am The Effects of the Dodds Decision on the Use of Anti-Rheumatic Medications
10:35 am BREAK
10:50 am Unconscious Bias: We All Have Them
Sheetal Desai, MD
11:30 am VEXAS: An Emerging Syndrome
Marcela Ferrada, MD
12:15 pm Psoriatic Arthritis
Phil Meese, MD
1:00 pm LUNCH
2:30 pm Meet the Experts

Orrin Troum, MD

The Present & Future Environment of Rheumatology
Gary R. Feldman, MD, FACR
3:15 pm Adjourn

Saturday, April 29, 2023

8:00 am Registration/Breakfast
8:45 am Introduction
Maureen McMahon, MD
8:50 am The Complexities of Lung Disease in Rheumatology
Rajan Saggar, MD
9:35 am The Rheumatologist On Call
Diana Girnita, MD, PhD, FACR
10:20 am Diagnosing and Treating Adult Onset Stills Disease
Jack Cush, MD
11:05 am BREAK
11:30 am Sjogrens Syndrome and Dysautonomia
Alan Baer, MD
12:15 pm ACR/EULAR: Hot Topics
Daniel E. Furst, MD
Jack Cush, MD
1:00 pm LUNCH
2:30 pm Meet the Experts

Difficult to Treat Lupus
Maureen McMahon, MD

Scleroderma GI
Suzanne Kafaja, MD
3:15 pm Adjourn

Sunday, April 30, 2023

8:00 am Breakfast and Exhibits
9:00 am Thieves Market
Phil Clements, MD, MPH
10:30 am Neuropsychiatric Lupus: Mechanistic Insights and Patient Perspective
Betty Diamond, MD
11:15 am Imaging Reveal - Imaging Lecture/Poll Everywhere
Johnathan Chen, MD
12:15 pm Adjourn

Frontiers of Rheumatology’s objective is to update the learner’s current knowledge in rheumatology, focusing on the practical clinical perspective.
In addition to lectures and extensive question-and-answer periods, casual exchanges will provide many opportunities for faculty and participants to interact and discuss clinically important topics. Upon completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Learn about the newest updates in the understanding of and treating of rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
  • Increase their understanding of the effects of the drugs used in rheumatology during pregnancy.
  • Obtain a deeper understanding of the effects of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding abortion on their practice.
  • Gain insights about the neurological manifestations that are a part of Sjogren’s syndrome and how to treat it.
  • Examine the newest developments in the diagnosis and treatment of central nervous system SLE
  • Improve their understanding on what is new in VEXAS.
  • Describe the rapidly changing understanding of psoriatic arthritis and its treatment.
  • Understand the complexities of lung disease in rheumatology.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, designates this live activity for a maximum of 13.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The California State Board of Registered Nursing accepts courses approved for the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ as meeting the continuing education requirements for license renewal. Nurses from states other than California should inquire with their local State Board for specific continuing education policies.

The FDA has issued a concept paper that classifies commercial support of scientific and educational programs as promotional unless it can be affirmed that the program is “truly independent” and free of commercial influence. In addition to independence, the FDA requires that non-promotional, commercially supported education be objective, balanced and scientifically rigorous. The policy further states that all potential conflicts of interest of the CME staff and faculty be fully disclosed to the program’s participants. In addition, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education policy mandates that the provider adequately manage all identified potential conflicts of interest prior to the program. UCLA fully endorses the letter and spirit of these concepts.


Marina del Rey Marriott
4100 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 301-3000

The Marina del Rey Marriott is located three blocks from the beach in the heart of Marina del Rey, across from the world’s largest man-made harbor. It is six miles from LAX airport, with access to all area freeways and major surface routes. Within walking distance of the hotel are a variety of restaurants, clubs, and shops as well as biking paths, jogging trails and the Marina Beach. Close to Marina del Rey are art galleries, popular restaurants, architectural showpieces, and the distinctive cultural scene of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Shopping in Beverly Hills and Century City is also close by. The Los Angeles area offers a variety of vacation entertainment for both adults and children. Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, Magic Mountain and Universal Studios are just a sample of attractions that help to make a visit to Southern California a memorable experience.


Conference Parking

There will be special valet day parking rate of $25 per day for attendees of the conference. Overnight parking is $49 per night.


A limited block of rooms has been reserved at the Marina del Rey Marriott for seminar participants at a special conference rate starting at $249 per night for single/double occupancy. Confirmation of reservations received after Friday, April 7, 2023 is subject to availability. To reserve a room call (800) 228-9290 or (310) 301-3000. Make sure to mention the UCLA Rheumatology Course when calling in your reservations.