NIH action plan charts future challenges for liver disease research

significant improvements in management of liver disease and specific prevention of many of these important causes of disease and mortality among Americans."

In 2003, the NIH created the Liver Disease Research Branch to focus and accelerate research on liver disease at the NIDDK and to coordinate liver-related research across the NIH and among other federal agencies. The Branch worked with the Liver Disease Subcommittee of the congressionally authorized Digestive Diseases Interagency Coordinating Committee to coordinate the drafting of the Action Plan. Representatives from 17 NIH institutes and approximately 250 experts in liver disease research from across the country, including researchers, practicing physicians, academicians, representatives of liver disease professional societies, patient voluntary and non-profit groups, and other interested members of the public, participated actively in the development of the plan.

"This year-long process was open and inclusive and engaged a great number of scientists and experts in the field of liver disease research," said Hoofnagle. "We have highlighted specific goals for the next ten years that are focused upon further reducing the frequency and burden of liver disease."

Along with introductory and summary statements, each chapter of the Action Plan includes a background section, a summary of recent advances, a central section describing important future research goals, and a final section that outlines active steps to achieve each goal. A total of 214 research goals identified in the Action Plan are categorized by their degree of difficulty and time frame, with several research goals overlapping. The Action Plan also includes an implementation plan and a list of benchmark goals that will be used to gauge its effectiveness and success.


Contact: Marcia Vital
NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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