At the last Fibrosis Single Topic Conference in 2006, Natalie J. Torok, MD, MSc, FAASLD, was a junior investigator. However, it was at that event 12 years ago, that she heard the latest research and started collaborating on projects in the fibrosis area.
Now, Dr. Torok, along with Don C. Rockey, MD, FAASLD, and Meena B. Bansal, MD, have organized AASLD’s next Hepatic Fibrosis Single Topic Conference in Dallas, Texas, Sept. 14-15. Registration is open with early bird pricing through August 17.
“How many new projects came out of that one meeting in Virginia 12 years ago?” said Dr. Torok. “We’re hoping that will be replicated with this STC, and that people can find really strong collaborators and get really exciting projects going.”
This year’s STC will serve as an update on current progress made in hepatic fibrosis with many new discoveries that have shaped the field including basic research of fibrosis and the role of the microbiome and gut-liver axis.
“This is really a needed conference. It’s an important topic, and it’s a great opportunity for basic investigators to get together with translational investigators,” said Dr. Rockey. “We encourage participants from all sectors to attend.”
The two-day event will feature six sessions, from the basic biology of organ fibrosis to sessions on the microbiome, immunity, and fibrosis or the gut-liver axis; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, fibrosis progression and hepatocellular cancer (HCC) in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonparenchymal cells and fibrosis; emerging concepts; and wrapping up with a translational session to take the research from bench to bedside.
“It will be relevant for the clinicians and the industry people who want to translate the science to the treatment,” said Dr. Rockey.
Dr. Torok noted that all the major topics will be covered, including novel hot topics that have not been addressed in a conference before, such as the links between fibrogenesis and HCC.
“Our meeting will focus on basic science, exciting findings and also the translational aspect of what pathways could be targeting in terms of developing new therapeutic approaches,” she said. “We’re going to touch base on really practical aspects that are still in the air in terms of how do you define the perfect antifibrogenic agents. It should interest industry as well.”
Dr. Rockey noted that a limited number of travel awards in the amount of $500 (per award) will be available for trainees in the field of hepatology with a special interest in the conference topic. To qualify for a travel award, an abstract on related research must be submitted and accepted.
“We’ve also got this session on oral abstract presentation, so this is really an opportunity for people to engage and get their work seen and collaborate,” he said.