VCU Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health to Hold First Academic Symposium Oct. 13-14 – VCU News

The Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health at Virginia Commonwealth University will host its inaugural academic symposium Oct. 13-14 to reflect on the history of hepatology at the university, celebrate current advances in liver-related research, and to look to the future. The symposium will bring together leading experts in liver disease and metabolic health for two days of scientific sessions with a strong emphasis on translational research, team science, public-private collaboration, and the development of new paradigms of care.

Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis were among the top 5 causes of decreased life expectancy in the U.S. last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet federally approved treatments for many liver diseases, including nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are nonexistent or rare. The only option for many patients with end-stage liver disease is a transplant, but demand far outstrips supply.

“Our institute’s first academic symposium will bring together renowned researchers and collaborators from around the world to discuss insights and innovations on how we can better prevent, diagnose and treat patients with liver disease,,” said Arun Sanyal, MD, director of the Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health and professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in VCU’s Department of Internal Medicine. “This is an exciting opportunity for the scientific community to come together with the common goal of finding cutting-edge solutions to improve the lives of our patients.”

The scientific sessions will begin with a keynote lecture by Sir Michael Houghton, Hon. D.Sc., Ph.D., director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Applied Virology at the University of Alberta and co-recipient of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the hepatitis C virus.

The symposium will then feature more than 15 speakers from the United States, England, India, Singapore and Mexico. Looking at liver health from a global perspective, topics range from end-stage liver disease to the management of NASH, an aggressive form of fatty liver disease that is characterized by liver inflammation and can progress to advanced scarring (cirrhosis) and liver failure.

In December 2021, VCU announced its plan to establish an Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health, building on the successful legacy of its Hepatology and Liver Transplantation programs with the goal of becoming a global leader in liver-related and metabolically challenged research violations. Supported by a $104 million gift in February 2022, the largest publicly shared endowment for liver research in U.S. history, the Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health will advance scientific discovery in clinical care and develop new treatments and diagnosis for patients with liver disease.

The symposium will be held in person at VCU’s Commonwealth Ballroom, located at 907 Floyd Ave. in Richmond, Virginia. A complete schedule of symposium events is available on the Stravitz-Sanyal Institute for Liver Disease and Metabolic Health website. For those unable to join the event in person, all symposium sessions will be streamed live online.

Media interested in attending the event you must contact Olivia Trani at [email protected]