By Ronald J. Sokol, MD, FAASLD, AASLD President
The event that has defined AASLD for many years is The Liver Meeting®. AASLD’s premier program has expanded tremendously in recent decades, to accommodate the needs of our growing membership – we currently have 6,700 members. However, given the rapid pace of advances in hepatology and care of patients with liver disease, AASLD’s goal is to have as many touchpoints throughout the year with our members as possible. Although The Liver Meeting® will continue to be the best gathering of liver scientists and caregivers in the world, AASLD will further expand our contacts and offerings to our membership and the liver community at large. We have podcasts, webinars, four journals, emerging topic conferences, endpoint conferences, the Clinical Hepatology Update, and a re-engineered Liver Learning® website.
Planning for The Liver Meeting® (November 9-13, 2018 in San Francisco) starts early – reviewing abstracts, soliciting ideas for programming from the AASLD Special Interest Groups (SIGs), coordinating sessions, inviting speakers, and marketing the meeting – and continues right up until the event itself. Because The Liver Meeting® remains the most important event in the liver year, I would like to take this opportunity to walk you through some of the meeting highlights.
The meeting starts on Friday with programming designed by the AASLD SIGs. There are eight SIG sessions on Friday, continuing the outstanding programming our SIGs have introduced to the meeting in recent years. These state-of-the art symposia on critical topics allow all attendees can take a deep dive into a variety of topics: cholestatic and autoimmune liver diseases, pediatric liver diseases, hepatitis C, portal hypertension, hepatotoxicity, NAFLD, acute on chronic liver failure and liver cell biology. The SIG membership has grown substantially as hepatologists undergo sub-specialization. Membership in the 16 different SIG groups vary between 100-700. I strongly encourage you to find the one or two SIGs that best match your area of specialty and join. Click here for a complete list of AASLD SIGs.
As those of you who have attended the meeting in the past are aware, Saturday starts our very popular all-day courses. This year’s AASLD Postgraduate Course is entitled “A Hectic Day for a Hepatology Consultant” and will be chaired by Michael W. Fried, MD, FAASLD, President-Elect of AASLD, Cynthia Levy, MD, FAASLD, and Tse-Ling Fong, MD, FAASLD. This is an essential course for those treating patients with liver disorders and transplantation; as in past years it will be case-based and emphasize new developments, discoveries and evidence that are transforming clinical care.
Our second all-day course on Saturday is our Basic Science Symposium entitled “Matrix Biology and the Liver: Beyond Collagen and Fibrosis,” chaired by Gavin E. Arteel, PhD, FAASLD, and Rebecca G. Wells, MD. This deep dive into the extracellular matrix will illustrate new developments and implications of the ECM in the biology and pathology of the liver.
SIG programming continues on Sunday, which is also Hepatology Associates Day. The Associates are one of the most rapidly growing groups within our membership and we are proud of the quality of programming offered on Sunday to our Associate Members. Friday is trainee day featuring a day of programming for our Emerging Liver Scholars, residents from around the nation who have an interest in hepatology, and the ever-popular Fellows’ Debate.
Sunday marks the first of our five State-of-the-Art Lectures, which are the highlight of the meeting for many attendees. Those lectures continue through Tuesday:
Thomas E. Starzl Transplant Surgery State-of-the-Art Lecture
9:30 am – 10:00 am
“Liver Transplant for Hepatobiliary Neoplasia – Current Challenges and Opportunities”
Julie Heimbach, MD, FAASLD
Hyman J. Zimmerman Hepatotoxicity State-of-the-Art Lecture
10:00 AM – 10:30 AM
‘DILI in Chronic Liver Disease – The Next Major Hurdle”
Naga P Chalasani, MD, FAASLD
Hans Popper Basic Science State-of-the-Art Lecture
2:00 PM – 2:30 PM
“Hepatocyte and Bile Duct Organoids as Models for Liver Research”
Hans Clevers, MD, FAASLD
Leon Schiff State-of-the-Art Lecture
10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
“NASH – The Race for a Cure”
Arun J Sanyal, MD, FAASLD
This year we have a record number of Oral Parallel Abstract Sessions (45 in all) and Poster Presentations, as well as two Late Breaking Abstract Sessions, illustrating the depth and excitement in the field of liver biology, pathophysiology and disease management and prevention. I urge you to review the program (through the App) before arriving so that you can develop your own schedule for the meeting.
Here are a few more programs that illustrate the exciting programming available to meeting attendees:
- “Tropical Hepatology: Tropical Diseases and Liver Involvement” is a joint symposium of AASLD and the Latin American Association for the Study of the Liver (ALEH).
- “Being an Associate Editor or Editorial Board Member for an AASLD Journal” brings together the four distinguished Editors-in-Chief of our journals along with an Associate Editor for each to discuss the path to become a journal editor.
- We will present another Emerging Trends Symposium at this year’s meeting, and the title is “Palliative Care Toolkit: Practical Strategies for Integrating Palliative Care into the Management of Patients with Cirrhosis.”
- The Diversity Workshop this year will focus on the critical topic of “Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Liver Diseases.”
- Lastly, I am especially grateful to this year’s President’s Choice Lecture and strongly encourage you to attend. Tom Karlsen, MD, PhD of Oslo, Norway, Secretary General of EASL, will present “Genomics, Microbiomics and Personalized Hepatology” on Sunday, November 11.
Please plan to stay at the meeting through Tuesday morning, which will feature the Presidential Translational/Genomics Plenary Session, Late Breaking Abstract session, and three Debrief Lectures on Hepatitis, NAFLD and Clinical Hepatology. So plan on staying at the meeting until the very end.
If you need to brush up on your technology or social media skills, please make time to stop by the Tech Bar in the AASLD Pavilion where you’ll find technology and app demonstrations as well as tutorials about social media.
Here are a couple of links to assist you with navigating The Liver Meeting®:
- With the online planner you can preview sessions and programs and filter by topic.
- For a concise overview of the meeting, please visit the program at a glance.
- And don’t forget to download the AASLD Liver Meeting app for the meeting.
See you in San Francisco!