The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research hosted Professor Sir Marc Feldmann as the Institute’s Marsh Lecturer. Sir Feldmann, of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford, presented his work to uncover the biologic mechanisms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The Feinstein Institute’s Marsh Lecture was established as a forum for renowned scientists to share their expertise with Feinstein Institute investigators. Made possible by an endowment from the late Leonard Marsh and his family, the Marsh Lecture honors the memory of Leonard Marsh, co-founder of Snapple Beverage Corporation and a major supporter of the Feinstein Institute. Leonard Marsh’s legendary enthusiasm for new ideas and innovations continue to inspire the Feinstein Institute scientific faculty and staff.
Sir. Feldmann’s lecture, titled “Can We Get Closer to a Cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis?,” covered the history of biological therapies for RA and recent advancements in the field. Sir Feldmann has spent much of his research career examining the mechanisms associated with RA. One of his most celebrated discoveries, with longtime collaborator rheumatologist Sir Ravinder Maini, is that blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) is effective as a therapy for RA.
Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute, noted that the use of monoclonal anti-TNF to treat inflammation and RA has benefited millions of patients. Dr. Tracey and his colleagues are currently developing possible alternatives to anti-TNF in a new field of research called bioelectronic medicine. Bioelectronic medicine is a process for developing electronic devices to control signals in nerves to block TNF using electrons instead of antibodies. A recent clinical trial demonstrated that a bioelectronic medicine device, which stimulated the vagus nerve, is effective in treating symptoms for methotrexate-resistant RA patients.
“Collaboration between scientific fields and other research centers is essential to producing scientific discoveries that may help future patients,” said Dr. Tracey. “As with all important advances in science and medicine, Sir Feldman’s contributions to rheumatoid arthritis enable us now to address new questions that lift our sight to a broader horizon of scientific research.”
For more information on this and upcoming Marsh Lectures, click here.
About the Feinstein Institute
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest healthcare provider in New York. Home to 50 research laboratories and to clinical research throughout dozens of hospitals and outpatient facilities, the Feinstein Institute includes 4,000 researchers and staff who are making breakthroughs in molecular medicine, genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we empower imagination and pioneer discovery, visit FeinsteinInstitute.org.
Heather E. Ball Mayer