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RP Research Scientist Spotlight: Jun Shimizu, MD, PhD

In November of 2019, the Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation in conjunction with Race for RP hosted a meeting of the International Relapsing Polychondritis Research Network (IRPRN) to provide an update on the RP classification criteria project, introduce a new project to modify the RP disease activity index, and discuss ongoing and recently completed RP-related projects.

Working together across the globe is the only way we’ll overcome relapsing polychondritis.

Meet Jun Shimizu, MD, PhD, who specializes in internal medicine and immunology at the St. Marianna University School of Medicine. His research focuses on the epidemiology and immunology of RP. In his research, he and his team found that gut microbes are abnormal in patients with RP. These gut microbes seem to be associated with T-cell abnormalities. This has led to strides in treatments and treatment guidelines.

When asked what still needs to be done as we work to fight this disease, Dr. Shimizu said,

“We need a new understanding for the pathogenesis of RP. From that, we must establish a new treatment method.”

In other words, research still needs to uncover why RP occurs so that we can come up with better strategies to fight it. Dr. Shimizu also highlighted the fact that it’s very important for medical professionals to share and discuss new knowledge and technology.

When we work together to share what we know about RP, we’ll be able to develop a solution much more quickly than any one person could do on their own.

Dr. Jun Shimizu and other experts generously share their insights in “The World of Relapsing Polychondritis” video below: