Noha Mousaad Elemam, Ph.D. Fellow in Molecular Medicine & Translational Research program, and a Graduate Research Assistant in Sharjah Institute for Medical Research, University of Sharjah has participated in the first NAFLD summit by the European Association for the Study of Liver (EASL) with a poster presentation, that was granted a full young investigator bursary as being one of the top poster presentations. The Summit was titled "Target-Oriented Approach to Diagnosis and Pharmacotherapy of NASH: A Dialogue Between Academia and Industry", that was held in Rome, Italy on November 9th-11th 2017.
The summit's aim was to highlight NAFLD as it is a leading cause of chronic liver disease not only in Western countries but also among developing countries of the Far East, South Asia and the Middle East. Approximately 20% of NAFLD patients are likely to develop progressive liver disease (i.e. NASH) that leads to liver fibrosis, cirrhosis and thus hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Although a significant number of new drugs are already in the development pipeline, none have been approved by regulatory agencies. Therefore, the identification and development of new therapies was urgently needed. It was crucial to understand both the basic and translational / clinical aspects of NAFLD, with a specific focus on novel drug target and prognostic signature development. Noha's published poster presentation titled: "miR-29a*, a potential microregulator of lipid droplets formation in the liver", was part of a collaborative work with multiple universities in Egypt such as German University in Cairo and NewGiza University.