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May 4-6, 2020 | Boston, MA

Discussions Day
Thursday April 25

10.00am - 1.00pm

Workshop A:

Liver Fibrosis: Deliniating & Utilizing the Complexities of Fibrosis Pathology

Workshop Leader: Jelena Mann, Professor of Epigenetics, Fibrosis Research Group , Newcastle University


Our understanding of the paramount importance that epigenetic regulation exerts over disease progression has grown in the past decade. Not only do epigenetic mechanisms govern the course
of disease, but they also inform the likelihood of ever developing disease. Importantly, epigenetic mechanisms are plastic and can be modified with in life interventions ranging from diet and
exercise to use of drugs. I will highlight how epigenetic inheritance affect course of liver fibrosis development and describe the mechanisms behind these predispositions.

This workshop will discuss:

  • Epigenetic mechanisms governing liver fibrogenesis, both in rodent models of disease and in patients
  • DNA methylation patterns found in patient liver that show predisposition to developing liver fibrosis when exposed to chronic injury
  • Hepatic DNA methylation signatures present in the circulating cell-free DNA which can be used for determining the current grade of fibrosis
  • Epigenetic signatures that predispose patients towards development of fibrosis present in the liver before disease occurs

Jelena Mann, Professor of Epigenetics, Fibrosis Research Group , Newcastle University

I am interested in delineating epigenetic signalling pathways that trigger fibrogenesis and in doing so, discovering molecular control of fibrogenesis and associated signalling pathways that can be targeted with new as well as existing drugs. More recently we have also embarked on studies that test the ability of environmental factors to affect transgenerational inheritance of predisposition to liver fibrosis. Adaptation to environmental insults is critical for ensuring fitness and survival of the species, however it is currently not clear if predisposition to development of fibrosis exists or indeed if existence of disease in previous generations alters such predisposition.


10.00am - 1.00pm

Workshop C:

Stratification of NASH Through Patient Data Sets

Workshop Leader: Speaker TBC, ,


Stratified Medicine Scotland – Innovation Centre (SMS-IC) is focused on linking Scotland’s domain expertise, data assets and delivery capability to accelerate the adoption of precision medicine for more effective medicine development, better diagnostics and earlier intervention, and optimal treatment selection.

Join your peers to review latest research on:

  • The construction of highly curated and annotated patient data sets
  • Accessing the right patient populations for stratification
  • Ensuring data quality and content

Speaker TBC, ,

2.00pm - 5.00pm

Workshop B:

Systems Biology in NASH: Approaches & Applications

Workshop Leader: Adil Mardinoglu, Professor of Systems Biology , Kings College London


Systems biology is an interdisciplinary field that studies the complex interactions within the liver, other tissues and gut microbiota using a holistic approach. Detailed insights into the
biological functions of the liver and its crosstalk with the gut microbiota can be used to develop novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of NASH, and facilitate more efficient drug development decisions.

This in-depth session will focus on:

  • Comprehensively analyzing the biological functions in healthy and NASH diseased states using biological network models as an integration of multiomics data
  • Successfully employing systems biology in hepatology to identify biomarkers and liver specific drug targets to treat NASH
  • Detailing how to use systems biology for simulation of liver tissue functions and its crosstalk with other tissues for prediction of therapeutic and side effects
  • Successfully employing systems biology in elucidating how carbohydrate-restricted diets improve metabolism in subjects with NAFLD
  • Understanding systems biology of gut and oral microbiome in metabolic diseases

Adil Mardinoglu, Professor of Systems Biology , Kings College London

2.00pm - 5.00pm

Workshop D:

Drug Development Strategy & Regulatory Intelligence in NASH

Workshop Leader: Richard Torstenson, Independent Regulatory, Advisor


In the last year, the NASH drug development landscape has seen the emergence of novel drug candidates and varying success in the advancement of existing candidates. Now with the very
earliest NASH drug looking to hit the market in 2021, questions surrounding clinical development strategy and regulatory intelligence before and after an accepted drug are pivotal to the field.

This workshop will cover:

  • Translating drug development strategies confidently into trial execution
  • Reviewing the regulatory landscape currently and for the future. The impact of the first approved NASH drug on phase 3 design (e.g. use of placebo) and utilization of biomarkers to faciliate drug development will be discussed

Richard Torstenson, Independent Regulatory, Advisor