More than 130 scientists from 10 nations attended the first International Symposium on Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases and Cirrhosis last week, organized by the USC Cirrhosis Research Center and the USC-UCLA Research Center for Alcoholic Liver and Pancreatic Diseases.
The turnout was larger than expected, said Hide Tsukamoto, professor of pathology at the Keck School of Medicine, who noted there were 46 posters and 28 oral presentations of exceptional quality during the event at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina Del Rey on May 18-19.
“Alcoholic liver and pancreatic disease comprises the two most common alcohol-associated lifestyle diseases that plague many nations around the world,” said Tsukamoto. “Alcohol abuse is ranked as one of the leading risk factors in both developed and developing countries. Alcohol also synergistically interacts with other risk factors common in contemporary societies such as obesity and diabetes to render serious pathologic consequences. For these reasons, it makes sense to unite experts of these two organs from around the world to engage in enlightening discussions on the scientific disciplines common to both.”
Randolph W. Hall, USC Vice Provost for Research Advancement, made welcoming remarks on behalf of USC. In the final session, C. Anderson Johnson, director of the USC Institute for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research, delivered a special lecture on Asian-Pacific transdisciplinary research, followed by a round-table discussion by international panelists on specific strategic planning for global collaboration.
Among the international delegates were: Xianglin Shi and Jia Luo from the Institute of Nutritional Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kenji Fujiwara, Saburo Onishi and Michio Imawari of the Japanese Society of Gastroenterology, Manfred Singer and Max Bachem from Germany, Jeremy Wilson from Australia and Sam Zakhari and Vishnu Purohit from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in the U.S.
Tsukamoto said the responses from the attendees were overwhelmingly positive and they all wish to have this meeting continued to facilitate further collaborations on an international scale.