The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), University of The Philippines-Manila (UPM), and Italian liver foundation Fondazione Italiana Fegato (FIF) have joined forces to combat liver diseases through research. 

Through the partnership, the group is seeking each others’ assistance in developing, promoting technological cooperation on the study of hepatology via joint research and development, scholarship grants, exchange of scientists, experts, and researchers for studies, and training.

According to DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña, the alliance, which was officiated through the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOU) on August 18, will further strengthen the ties between the institutions.

“The emergence and continual progression of COVID-19 has placed other patients with chronic illnesses at greater risk of dying by limiting their access to healthcare. Thus, our responsibility to continue our efforts in tackling long-standing health problems such as liver diseases is of great importance,” de la Peña explained.

“I am certain that this tripartite collaboration can create boundless opportunities for the involved parties to share information, services, and expertise with the global community towards the prevention and treatment of liver diseases,” he added. 

Under the MOU, the following studies will be explored: 

  • Applications of OMICs technologies in explaining pathogenesis in liver diseases, 
  • Biomarker discovery for precision medicine, 
  • Discovery of novel therapeutic targets, and investigation of the gut microbiome and liver diseases; 
  • Animal and non-animal models for liver diseases;
  • Artificial intelligence and its application to diagnosis and prognostication in chronic liver disease.

“With the support of our partners, many possibilities and opportunities for our researchers and liver research in the country will be available which is consistent with DOST’s commitment in making “science for the people,” de la Peña emphasized. 

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