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Tobias Alexander candidate for the position of Autoimmune Diseases Working Party Chair in 2024

EBMT Organization
Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP)

Tobias AlexanderTobias Alexander, MD

Berlin, Germany

"I am a candidate for the position of Chair of the Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP) after many years of active participation. My contribution since 2002 has focused on immunological aspects of autologous HSCT in systemic autoimmune diseases. With the introduction of CAR-T cell therapies, a new era of targeted cellular therapies for autoimmune diseases has begun. The challenge is to integrate CAR-T, HSCT and other novel cellular therapies into the changing landscape of autoimmune diseases alongside the evolving biologic disease-modifying drugs. Continued exchange with all players in this evolving scenario is crucial for future success. The resources of ADWP and EBMT as a whole will be of great importance for this development, which I strongly support."


My Manifesto

I am a consultant rheumatologist, currently heading the outpatient clinic at the Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology at Charité – University Medicine in Berlin. My primary research focus is on translational aspects of plasma cell biology and innovative cellular therapies, which I coordinate as group leader at the German Rheumatism Research Centre (DRFZ), Berlin. My scientific journey began with the analysis of immune reconstitution in autoimmune disease (AD) patients undergoing autologous HSCT in 2002. Since then, my involvement includes:

  • Clinical development of HSCT in autoimmune diseases
  • Leadership in an investigator-initiated clinical trials of HSCT for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  • Mechanistic studies on immune reconstitution in AD patients after HSCT and other cellular therapies
  • Conducting clinical trials of bortezomib and daratumumab in SLE
  • Identification of biomarkers and therapeutic targets in autoimmune diseases

I have been an active member of the Autoimmune Diseases Working Party (ADWP) of the EBMT since 2009, serving as ADWP secretary since 2016. My contributions involve:

  • Participation in recommendations and best practice guidelines for HSCT and other cellular therapies in ADs
  • Investigation of HSCT outcomes for ADs from the EBMT registry (SLE, vasculitis, systemic sclerosis)
  • Supporting EBMT operations, including organizing ADWP sections of the Annual EBMT meeting, local educational meetings, preparation of the EBMT Handbook, and participating in registry development

As a potential ADWP chair, I see an opportunity to contribute significantly to the society's core activities, especially given the current developmental phase of autoimmune diseases. My goals are to:

  1. Strengthen existing networks for collaboration between haematologists, immunologists, and disease experts to enhance scientific excellence and personalised therapeutic cellular procedures.
  2. Expand the role of ADWP in collaborating with other European autoimmune disease specialists and scientific societies to promote and harmonise HSCT across Europe based on consensus guidelines.
  3. Promote novel cellular therapies (e.g., CAR-T cells) in autoimmune diseases through collaborations with other EBMT working parties, International and European Societies of Cell Therapy, and major autoimmune experts.
  4. Conduct retrospective analysis of HSCT outcomes in autoimmune diseases under the EBMT umbrella, comparing with alternative treatments and refining conditioning regimens.
  5. Support mechanistic studies to identify novel therapeutic targets and develop personalised protocols for autoimmune diseases.
  6. Harmonise biobanking infrastructure for future cross-sectional scientific collaborative studies.
  7. Support health-economic studies to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of HSCT or CAR-T over continuous biological treatments.
  8. Extend connections to the EBMT Patient Advocacy Committee and local patient organisations for improved patient guidance.

I am confident that these efforts will contribute to the ongoing success of ADWP and enhance patient care. Your support is greatly appreciated.

NoteVoting for the EBMT Elections opens on 5 April. Principal Investigators (PI's) from active EBMT member centres will be able to cast their vote online for their preferred candidate within the open positions. The elections results will be announced live at the General Assembly Meeting on 16 April, during the 50th Annual Meeting of the EBMT. Instructions on how to vote will be sent out to PI's closer to the voting start date.