This proposal requests support for a Keystone Symposia meeting entitled Fibrosis: Translation of Basic Research to Human Disease and Novel Therapeutics, organized by Paul W. Noble, Shelia M. Violette and Scott L. Friedman, which will be held in Big Sky, Montana from March 30 - April 4, 2012. Fibrosis is a pathological process in which diseased tissue is replaced with excess extracellular matrix ultimately leading to organ scarring and failure, a final common pathway in many forms of chronic disease affecting multiple tissues. Currently, there are minimal and inadequate treatment options for fibrotic disease. The field of fibrosis is emerging and there is a strong need to understand the cellular, molecular, and genetic basis of fibrosis in humans and to develop animal models that reproduce and dissect this pathological process. There is also a need to identify prognostic markers of disease susceptibility, biomarkers of disease progression, and improved technologies to monitor the effectiveness of new therapies. The goal of the Keystone Symposia meeting on Fibrosis: Translation of Basic Research to Human Disease and Novel Therapeutics is to bring together researchers and clinicians in academics and industry to provide an integrated perspective of basic disease mechanisms, the more pragmatic challenges associated with executing clinical trials, and approaches to improve clinical development of anti-fibrotic drugs.
Fibrosis is a pathological response in which diseased tissue is replaced by excess extracellular matrix, ultimately leading to organ scarring and failure. Up to 45% of deaths in the United States can be attributed to complications of fibrosis, a final common pathway in many forms of chronic disease affecting the lung, liver, kidney, heart, skin, and vasculature, and even cancer. Despite this enormous public health burden, there are no approved treatments for fibrotic disease. Therefore, the focus of the Keystone Symposia meeting on Fibrosis: Translation of Basic Research to Human Disease and Novel Therapeutics is to bridge the gap between the mechanisms of fibrosis and their translation into new diagnostic and treatment strategies.