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Bioenergetic Remodeling in the Pathophysiology and Treatment of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Project description

Metabolic insight into the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterised by the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver of individuals who consume little or no alcohol. It is commonly associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes, but currently no approved therapies exist. Funded by the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions programme, the Foie Gras project is working under the hypothesis that disruption in the gut-liver axis as well as hepatocyte metabolic remodelling mediate the origin and progression of NAFLD. Metabolic dysfunction is emerging as an early event in NAFLD, so researchers plan to study the role of mitochondria and identify NAFLD-associated biomarkers. Moreover, project findings will pave the way for the discovery of novel therapeutic targets.


FOIE GRAS provides innovative training for 13 early stage researchers (ESRs) to answer two critical and unanswered questions: a) Is hepatic bioenergetic remodelling involved in NAFLD pathogenesis, and target for stratification or therapeutic/lifestyle interventions? and b) Is the disruption of the gut-liver axis involved in NAFLD progression? In Western Societies, there has been a recent surge of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Its progression to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a leading risk factor for development of Type 2 diabetes, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. FOIE GRAS is first in supporting a cohesive and synergistic intersection of complementary and interdisciplinary training skills from academic and non-academic partners. FOIE GRAS combines strong scientific expertise with integrated and complementary training in translational research, clinical practice, technology commercialization, and public outreach, the combination of which in targeting NAFLD is lacking in the EU. Industrial partners CETICS, Mediagnost and Seahorse Biosciences provide experience on technology commercialization alongside scientific contributions while the affiliated patient organization will contribute with important training in societal awareness topics. ESRs training will utilize network-wide workshops and secondments to foster translation of basic research to clinical applications and SME creation. This diverse yet integrated skill set enhances the employment prospects of the trained researchers in both academic and non-academic sectors. Researchers will be endowed with excellent basic scientific knowledge and timely technology transfer know-how for developing novel therapeutic approaches for reversing the burden of NAFLD, thereby advancing both health and economic well-being of European citizens and approaching NAFLD research in the EU from its counterparts in the US and Asia.


Net EU contribution
€ 476 712,72
3004 517 Coimbra

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Continente Centro (PT) Região de Coimbra
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 476 712,72

Participants (9)

Partners (4)