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Livers Webinar | Liver Fibrosis: Mechanisms, Targets, Assessment and Treatment

14 Dec 2023, 14:00 (CET)

Fibrosis, Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular Carcinoma, NASH, NAFLD, Cytokines, Chemokines, Extracellular Matrix, Fibrotic Signaling
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Welcome from the Chairs

Fibrosis is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be the final state of healed inflammation as scar tissue; on the other hand, it is frequently associated with a reduction in or loss of organ function. Moreover, it is a surrogate parameter that indicates the progression of the disease to liver cirrhosis or even hepatocellular carcinoma. This is especially true for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, a pandemic disorder associated with Western lifestyles and diets. To influence organ fibrosis, it is important to better understand its induction, perpetuation and termination at the molecular level. The induction of liver fibrosis may be metabolic (e.g., alcohol, diet and drugs), infectious (e.g., viruses), autoimmune (e.g., primary biliary cholangitis) or due to monogenetic defects (e.g., increased iron storage). The molecular mechanisms leading to final-stage fibrosis are very different depending on its pathogenesis. This Webinar aims to provide some insights into basic and clinical aspects of hepatic fibrogenesis.

Date: 14 December 2023

Time: 2:00 pm CET | 8:00 am EST | 9:00 pm CST Asia

Webinar ID: 864 0887 3395

Webinar Secretariat:

Event Chairs

Institute of Molecular Pathobiochemistry, Experimental Gene Therapy and Clinical Chemistry (IFMPEGKC), RWTH University Hospital Aachen, Germany

Ralf Weiskirchen, Professor, PhD was born in 1964 Bergisch Gladbach, North Rhine Westphalia (Germany). After his school education, he studied Biology and made his PhD at the University of Cologne (Germany). Thereafter, he worked as a Research Associate in the Institute of Biochemistry at the University of Innsbruck (Austria). Back in Germany he habilitated at the RWTH University Hospital Aachen and became a Professor assignment in 2007. Dr. Weiskirchen is currently head of the Institute of Molecular Pathobiochemistry, Experimental Gene Therapy and Clinical Chemistry (IFMPEGKC) at the RWTH University Hospital Aachen. His major focus is the analysis of TGF-β/BMP and PDGF signaling pathway in the pathogenesis of liver diseases. Professor Weiskirchen maintains a variety of national and international cooperations that are focused on molecular aspects of disease formation and therapy. Moreover, his work further aims to identify and evaluate of novel biomarkers that might be helpful in diagnosis of hepatic diseases.

Department of Internal Medicine I, University Hospital of Bonn, Germany

Professor Emeritus, was born on 9 July 1946 in Lauingen on the Danube. After studying Medicine at the universities of Würzburg, Montpellier, Hamburg and Heidelberg, he trained as an internist and gastroenterologist at the University of Heidelberg and at the academic teaching hospitals of Pforzheim and Munich Schwabing. Gustav Paumgartner enabled him to enter the field of hepatology at the University of Munich, where he taught and worked as an assistant and associate professor from 1984 to 1992. Between 1992 and 2012, he was a full professor of Medicine at the University of Bonn and Head of the Medical Department I, a time during which Peter Malfertheiner, Frank Lammert, Ulrich Spengler, Jürgen Rockstroh and Jonel Trebicka were essential members of the clinic’s staff. From 2012 to 2014, he was a full professor and temporary head of the Department of Gastroenterology and Endocrinology at the University of Göttingen. He is a fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association. In 2018, he was Honorary President of the International Liver Congress (ILC) of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). He is an honorary member of the German Society for Internal Medicine. In 1985 he received the Körber European Science Prize; in 2014, he received the Recognition Award of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL); and in 2020, he received the Leopold Lichtwitz Medal. He tries to remain intellectually close to academic Medicine, especially hepatology.

Invited Speakers

Department of Internal Medicine B, University Clinic Muenster, University of Münster, Germany

Prof. Dr. Trebicka is Director of Medical Department B of the University Clinic Münster in Germany since May 2022. He is also coordinator of H2020-Project MICROB-PREDICT and PREDICT study in the European Foundation for Study of Chronic Liver Failure (EFCLIF) in Barcelona, Spain. He received the medical degree (2004) and one year later, Dr. Trebicka got his Dr. med. at the University of Bonn and in 2014 his PhD at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), and he is Adjunct Professor for Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense (Denmark) since 2015. Prof. Dr. Trebicka was appointed 2018 as Professor for Translational Hepatology and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Universitary Liver Center at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Clinic Frankfurt in Germany. His field of interest and publications are basic and clinical research on end-stage liver diseases (liver fibrosis, acute-on-chronic liver failure and portal hypertension), HIV and vascular liver diseases with special emphasis on chronic inflammation, genetic mechanisms and intracellular signaling (

Liver Cell Biology Research Group, Faculty of Medicine & Pharmacy, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium

Leo van Grunsven obtained his Biology degree in 1992 from the University of Utrecht and his PhD in Life Sciences in 1996 from the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. He had his postdoctoral training at the NINDS/NIH (Bethesda, USA) and the KU Leuven (Belgium) and joined the lab of the late Prof. Albert Geerts at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB, Belgium) in 2006, and became an assistant Professor in 2009 and heads the Liver Cell Biology research group since. His group studies molecular mechanisms involved in liver -homeostasis, -fibrosis and –regeneration with a special focus on hepatic stellate cells. His group was the first to identify autophagy, AGE- and HIPPO-signaling as key mechanisms involved in hepatic stellate cell activation during liver fibrogenesis. His team established the first hepatocyte-injury dependent in vitro liver fibrosis model by using spheroid cultures of human hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells (2016) and established 4 liver cell-type spheroid cultures of primary mouse cells in which NAFLD/NASH can be studied (2022). Current research efforts include the development of iPSC-derived liver cell models and investigation of the regulation of stress pathways in hepatic stellate cells and other sinudoidal liver cells during acute and chronic liver injury. Through these efforts he wishes to find novel approaches to tackle chronic liver disease. Leo van Grunsven (co-)authored >120 peer-reviewed publications (>65 last or first author) and has an h-index of 45 (Web of Science). He currently heads a team of 2 post-docs, 3 technicians and 8 PhD candidates.



Time in CET

Prof. Dr. Ralf Weiskirchen

Welcome note


Prof. Dr. Tilman Sauerbruch

Introduction to Hepatic Fibrosis


Prof. Dr. Leo A. van Grunsven

Modelling Liver Diseases in a Dish


Q & A


Prof. Dr. Jonel Tebicka

Non-Invasive Tools to Assess Fibrosis in the Clinics


Q & A


Closing of Webinar
Prof. Dr. Ralf Weiskirchen & Prof. Dr. Tilman Sauerbruch


Webinar Recording

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Relevant Special Issue

"Liver Fibrosis: Mechanisms, Targets, Assessment and Treatment"

Edited by Prof. Dr. Ralf Weiskirchen and Prof. Dr. Tilman Sauerbruch

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2024

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