As part of the International Liver Congress (ILC) 2021, the EASL Takeaways take a look at key topics from the congress, with leading experts discussing the most impactful science and putting it into perspective.

Professors Cecília Rodrigues, Rui Castro and Saskia van Mil highlight basic science studies that used ground-breaking techniques and tools in the study of liver diseases. The first techniques examined by the experts are shotgun metagenomic sequencing and single-cell analysis, led by Professor Rodrigues. Professor Castro then discusses a study that used RNA sequencing, before Professor van Mil explores techniques that analyze single cell transcriptomics while taking into account the spatial organisations in tissues. Professor Rodrigues then presents a segment on the single-nucleus RNA-seq2 technique, which enables deep characterization of nuclei isolated from frozen archived tissues. Finally, the experts discuss liver organoids, which are increasingly used to model aspects of liver biology in vitro. 

Biographies

Cecilia Rodrigues Professor Cecilia Rodrigues heads the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Medicines at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, Portugal. She is past Governing Board member (Scientific Committee) of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Her research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that drive development and progression of chronic liver disease, aiming towards tailored therapies and biomarkers.
Rui Castro Rui Eduardo Castro is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon and Principal Investigator at the Research Institute for Medicines in Portugal. His research focuses on the role of microRNAs in metabolic liver disease, focusing on non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) diagnostic and therapeutics, as well as inter-organ communication. He is also a member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Scientific committee.
Saskia van Mil Saskia van Mil is Professor of Molecular and Translational Metabolism at the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. She is also a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL). Her group has studied the molecular and translational aspects of energy metabolism in the liver and the intestine, with a specific focus on the role of FXR in metabolic disorders (e.g. NASH) and disorders of intestinal integrity (e.g. IBD) and optimising the efficacy of FXR agonist treatment.