Liver diseases: Symptoms, causes and novel therapies (Ongoing)

Posted On 2021-03-08 11:07:46

This Series on Liver diseases: Symptoms, causes and novel therapies is edited by Dr. Ralf Weiskirchen from RWTH University Hospital Aachen, Aachen, Germany and Dr. Wolfgang Stremmel from Medical Center Baden-Baden, Germany.

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

Ralf Weiskirchen, Professor, PhD was born in 1964 in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. After his school education, he studied 1983-1989 Biology and made his PhD on functional aspects of oncogenes in 1993 at the University of Cologne, Germany. Thereafter, he worked 1994-1999 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. Actually, he is head of the Institute of Molecular Pathobiochemistry, Experimental Gene Therapy and Clinical Chemistry (IFMPEGKC) in Aachen.

His major research focus is the analysis of molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis. In the past, he has intensively studied general aspects of cytokine and chemokine activities and their signaling pathways. Therefore, he studied animal models of hepatic inflammation, fibrosis/cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition, he isolated and established novel biomarkers or predisposition traits that allow determining the outcome of liver disease. The long-term objective of Professor Weiskirchen’s studies is to translate experimental findings into novel diagnostic or therapeutic strategies. During the last years he has also developed novel protocols for measuring and profiling metal concentrations in experimental and clinical samples. The analytical protocols are based on laser ablation-inductively coupled mass spectrometry imaging, which allow visualizing relative and absolute element concentrations. Since hepatic metal overload (e. g. iron: hemochromatosis, copper: Wilson's disease) is relevant in the pathogenesis of hepatic inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis, the established protocols are diagnostically helpful for early detection of metal deposits.

To date, Ralf Weiskirchen has authored about 450 articles in peer-reviewed journals and gave a large number of presentations and lectures at medical and scientific conferences. He is an editorial board member of a wealth of journals, honorary reviewer for many national and international organizations, and active member of the German Association of the Study of the Liver (GASL) and the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL).He is grateful to AME Medical Journal offering him the possibility to edit the ongoing series “Liver diseases: Symptoms, causes and novel therapies”.

Wolfgang Stremmel, MD
Practice for Gastroenterology, Medical Center Baden-Baden, Baden-Baden, Germany

Wolfgang Stremmel was born in 1952 in Cologne, Germany. He studied Medicine 1970-1977 in Cologne and finished his dissertation on cellular phospholipid metabolism at the department of Biochemistry in Cologne in 1977 where he was employed thereafter until 1978. He switched to Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the University Hospital in Düsseldorf 1978. From 1980-1982 he was sponsored by the German research council (DFG) for a fellowship at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City with Professor Paul Berk. During this fellowship he studied membrane transport mechanisms for bilirubin and fatty acids. Back in Düsseldorf, Germany he continued to work on fatty acid metabolism as well as on iron- and copper overload diseases. He advanced to senior fellow as well as assistant and associated professor. Thereafter he accepted in 1905 a call as full professor and director of the Department of Medicine (Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Infectious Diseases) at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. In 2018 he retired from this position and is now associated to the Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology it the University of Heidelberg.

Besides his clinical focus on gastroenterology, hepatology and infectious diseases, he concentrated his scientific interest on metabolic diseases, including hemochromatosis, Wilson disease and steatohepatitis. He discovered a pathogenetic concept for ulcerative colitis and primary sclerosing cholangitis, developed a new therapeutic concept for ulcerative colitis, tackled the problem of neurologic manifestation in Wilson disease and propagated an anti-inflammatory therapeutic concept for liver inflammation. His interest is basic science to discover new avenues within the pathogenesis of diseases, e.g. mechanism how fatty acids enter cells and vectorial phosphatidylcholine transport in epithelia.

Wolfgang Stremmel has published over 600 original articles in peer-reviewed journals. His scientific work was continuously embedded in single and cooperation research funding by the German research council (DFG) He was awarded by the highly recognized Gottfried Wilhelm Leipzig research program, the Thannhauser decoration of the Germany Gastroenterological Association (DGVS), the European Price of Gastroenterology and he also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Tiflis, Georgia.

Series outline:

  1. Etiology-specific aspects of liver pathology
  2. Wilson disease: More complex than simple copper overload
  3. Fat: A burden for the liver Urgency/Frequency (PUF) Patient Symptom Scale” instruments
  4. Matrix metallproteinases: Potential therapeutic targets?
  5. Herbal compounds: A clue in therapy of hepatic fibrosis?
  6. Recent advances in nanotechnology in therapy of hepatic disease
  7. The two sides of beer in the pathogenesis of liver disease
  8. The concert of T cell biology in the pathogenesis of hepatic disease
  9. The JNK pathways: Key drivers of cholangiocarcinoma?
  10. Profibrogenic mediators in Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  11. AKT1/AKT2: Critical actors in the development of hepatic inflammation
  12. New clues from system biology in the characterization of liver disease
  13. Does stem cell research offer new possibilities in therapy of liver disease?
  14. The gut-liver action: More than just fiction?
  15. Endocannabinoids: Harmful dope for the liver?
  16. Bile acids: Complex mediators and modifiers in hepatic disease
  17. Functional aspects of the bile acid phospholipid conjugate ursodeoxycholate lysophoshatidylethanolamide

The series “Liver diseases: Symptoms, causes and novel therapies” was commissioned by the editorial office, AME Medical Journal without any sponsorship or funding. Ralf Weiskirchen and Wolfgang Stremmel served as the unpaid Guest Editors for the series.