Liver Disease Research Branch
As of June 1, 2003, the Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) created the Liver Disease Research Branch within the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition and appointed Dr. Jay Hoofnagle as its founding director. The Branch also includes Dr. Leonard Seeff, special expert on viral hepatitis, Dr. Jose Serrano, Director of the Liver and Biliary Program, and Dr. Edward Doo, Director of the Liver Diseases Program. The Branch also relies upon the expertise and contributions of other members of the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, including Dr. Patricia Robuck, Director of the Digestive Disease Clinical Trials Program; Dr. Jay Everhart, Director of the Epidemiology and Data Systems Branch; Dr. Robert Karp, Director of the Genetics and Genomics Programs; and Dr. Judith Podskalny, Director of the Training and Career Development Program.
The Liver Disease Research Branch serves to focus and accelerate research on liver disease in the NIDDK and help coordinate and stimulate liver-related research across the NIH and within other Federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Defense, the Bureau of Prisons, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. The mission of the Liver Disease Research Branch is:
- To plan and direct the program of research grants, cooperative agreements, epidemiological studies, clinical trials, contracts, fellowships and training awards in liver and biliary disease;
- To provide consultation to investigators in preparation of proposals for research;
- To maintain surveillance over developments and assess needs for basic research in liver diseases; to prepare analyses of national research efforts and help identify gaps in research;
- To assess needs for clinical and translational research in liver diseases; to provide advice and direction to development and design of protocols; and ultimately to provide supervision and oversight for conduct of clinical trials;
- To develop recommendations to the NIDDK Advisory Council regarding priorities, initiatives, and funding of liver and biliary disease research;
- To advise and participate with outside lay organizations in responding to needs of patients with liver disease;
- To conduct meetings and workshops to help stimulate research, set research priorities and disseminate knowledge about liver and biliary diseases and recent research findings;
- To prepare, evaluate and distribute teaching and educational materials on liver and biliary diseases.
An initial important task set for the Liver Diseases Research Branch was to prepare the trans-NIH Action Plan for Liver Disease Research. This Action Plan provides an overview of the current burden of liver disease in the United States, the current level of NIH research funding in liver disease, and recent research advances. Importantly, this plan also summarizes challenges to advancing liver disease research and delineates the major goals for future research. Specific goals for the next ten years are defined for each of 16 topic areas in liver disease research. The Liver Disease Research Branch in collaboration with the Liver Subcommittee of the Digestive Diseases Interagency Coordinating Committee (representatives from the NIH institutes and Federal agencies involved in liver disease research funding) is reponsible for supervising this conduct of the Action Plan and for developing future initiatives in liver disease research aimed at reaching the goals defined in the Action Plan.
Examples of initiatives in Liver Disease Research include special program announcements in the areas of proteomics of the liver, biomarkers for liver disease, non-invasive tests for diagnosis and staging of liver disease, and ancillary studies linked to specific clinical trials, databases and cohort studies on liver disease.Liver Disease Research Programs Recent and future meetings sponsored by the Liver Disease Research Branch are listed on the Institute web site.
Page last updated: January 01, 0001