American College of Rheumatology Convergence 2020: What to Expect

A first look at the sessions and events scheduled at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2020, to be held online from November 5 to 9, 2020.

The following article is a part of conference coverage from the American College of Rheumatology Convergence 2020, being held virtually from November 5 to 9, 2020. The team at Rheumatology Advisor will be reporting on the latest news and research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for more from the ACR Convergence 2020.

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Convergence 2020 is scheduled to be held from November 5 to 9, 2020. This first fully virtual annual meeting will feature hundreds of exciting sessions on the latest news and information in rheumatology, as well as an online platform for professionals to learn, educate, and collaborate, with the goal of improving patient care.

This year, for the first time, the ACR Convergence will include a reformatted Opening Session followed by the popular and informative Year in Review, scheduled to be held on Thursday, November 5, from 2 pm to 4:45 pm EST.

Eric Rubin, MD, editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine and chair of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, will provide the keynote lecture and offer his perspective on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Jinoos Yazdany, MD, MPH, and Richard J. Bucala, MD, PhD, will present the 60-minute Year in Review.

The 83rd ACR president, Ellen M. Gravallese, MD, chief of the Division of Rheumatology, Inflammation and Immunity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston, will deliver the annual president’s address and recognize the recipient of the ACR Gold Medal Award 2020 and the Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP) Lifetime Achievement Award. In the August issue of The Rheumatologist, Dr Gravellese noted that “…the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC), dedicated ACR leaders, and talented ACR staff have collaborated to reimagine all aspects of the meeting, with the goal of creating an all-virtual, interactive environment for the global rheumatology community.”

What else is new for the virtual meeting? The daily educational sessions have been divided into 2 time blocks (10 am to 1 pm and 3 pm to 6 pm), each of which will include oral abstracts and speaker presentations followed by an interactive session for participants watching live to connect with experts and colleagues. The premeeting courses have been “reimagined” and will begin on November 10th.

The ACR Convergence 2020 is expected to have more than 1700 posters on display; attendees will also have access to a short recording by the presenters. In addition, all presenters will be available during Poster Hall virtual sessions from Friday, November 6 to Monday, November 9, between 9 am and 11 am EST.

Don’t Miss: ACR Convergence 2020 Agenda Highlights

  • The Great Debate, this year, being held on November 6 from 10 am to 11 am ET, will focus on whether Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors should/should not be used before biologics after methotrexate failure in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Vibeke Strand, MD, will argue for the topic and Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, will speak against and discuss his perspective on the use of JAK inhibitors before biologics.
  • One of the highlights of the ACR Convergence 2020 will be the special lecture from Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), on the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr Fauci will present live on Saturday, November 7 at 4 pm EST.
  • There will be 3 plenary sessions at the virtual meeting, 1 each from November 6 to 8, between 11:30 am and 1 pm. Some of the abstracts to be presented are the effect of avacopan on renal function in vasculitis; outcomes of COVID-19 infection in rheumatic diseases; remission maintenance after withdrawal of methotrexate or etanercept in RA; late cardiovascular outcomes in children with Kawasaki disease; long-term use of denosumab vs oral bisphosphonates in osteoporosis; and pregnancy outcomes in patients with interstitial lung disease.
  • Knowledge Bowl, a fun and competitive session based on the game show Jeopardy, is scheduled to take place over a period of 2 days (November 8 and 9), and will feature a wide range of topics in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.
  • The ACR Convergence 2020 will conduct 2 sessions of Thieves Market, 1 for adult cases and 1 for pediatric cases. Participants will have the opportunity to share rare or interesting case images, along with a brief introduction and summary.

Swamy Venuturupalli, MD, chair of the ACR Education Committee, called the ACR Convergence 2020 “…a new world —“the mother of all pilots.” This premier, all-virtual rheumatology meeting promises to be a unique and valuable experience for all participants and attendees.

Visit Rheumatology Advisor’s conference section for complete coverage of ACR Convergence 2020.


  1. American College of Rheumatology. Annual Meeting. Accessed October 30, 2020.
  2. ACR Convergence Today. Accessed October 30, 2020.