The field of hepatic fibrosis has enjoyed steady progress in uncovering molecular and cellular targets that have established the basis for emerging antifibrotic therapies, but there are still no approved antifibrotic drugs and obstacles remain.
Scott L. Friedman, MD, FAASLD, will review the current understanding of fibrosis pathogenesis in liver, explore emerging therapies based on this new knowledge, and define both opportunities and challenges for clinical development of novel therapies during this year’s Hans Popper Basic Science State-of-the-Art Lecture.
“I titled my talk ‘Hepatic Fibrosis: A Translational Success Story.’ When I entered the field, there was still some uncertainty about the basis of scar formation in the liver, and certainly no expectation that we could have any impact on its development or even reverse it,” said Dr. Friedman, who is the Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “What I will try to highlight are some of the basic advances that occurred over the last three decades that have led us to now testing new diagnostics and treatments for fibrotic liver disease.”
Dr. Friedman has performed pioneering research into the underlying causes of scarring, or fibrosis, associated with chronic liver disease. He was among the first to isolate and characterize the hepatic stellate cell, the key cell type responsible for scar production in the liver. His work has spawned an entire field that is now realizing its translational and therapeutic potential, with new anti-fibrotic therapies for liver disease reaching clinical trials.
He hopes that those attending the lecture will gain a sense of how progress has evolved over three decades, and what some of the basic observations were that led to our current state of knowledge and optimism.
“But most of all I want them to understand that this is a field that has matured to the point that it is quite relevant to clinicians and will evenuate into new therapies for patients with liver disease to improve the lives of our patients and make it more rewarding for the providers who administer those medications,” he said, emphasizing the lecture will appeal to clinicians and basic scientists alike.
The lecture will also highlight the emerging role of informatics in uncovering novel biology and shortening the path to drug testing and approval in chronic liver disease.
“I’m going to emphasize not just past successes, but also some of the emerging technologies and approaches that are enriching the field both from my and others’ laboratories,” he said. “I’ll close with the key challenges that face us as we try to develop new therapies as well as the more promising emerging clinical therapies that could have an impact on fibrosis or scarring on the liver, primarily in patients with NASH, which is currently the major focus for most of these new drugs.”
Hans Popper Basic Science State-of-the-Art Lecture
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm Monday
CC: Auditorium and Balcony