A unique program, under the direction of Dr. Scott Friedman, the Division Director of Liver Diseases and world authority on liver fibrosis, has been established to facilitate the development of novel diagnostic methods and treatments of liver fibrosis. This program is supported through the generosity of the estate of Eva and Morris Feld. In partnership with key pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Friedman and his group monitor the development and testing of potential antifibrotic compounds in cultured cells, in animal models of hepatic fibrosis, and ultimately in clinical trials of patients with chronic liver disease. Continued growth of this center will maintain Mount Sinai at the forefront of clinical testing for new antifibrotic compounds. In addition, Dr. Friedman and his colleagues are developing new methods for diagnosing fibrosis without the need to perform a liver biopsy, a relatively invasive procedure. Dr. Friedman has recently patented one such method, which is currently undergoing testing in animal models.
Mount Sinai and Hepatic Fibrosis
All chronic liver diseases can cause fibrosis, or scarring. Fibrosis is the reason patients with liver disease develop liver failure and may need transplantation. Thus, efforts to stop fibrosis may prevent complications of all chronic liver diseases including HCV, thereby avoiding the need for transplantation. Currently over 4 million people in the US have HCV, and many will develop severe fibrosis and liver failure over the next two decades.
There are currently no approved antifibrotic treatments for patients with liver disease. Interest in such therapies is increasing in the pharmaceutical community, but there is an urgent need for an academic center that integrates basic science discoveries with antifibrotic drug development and testing.
Mount Sinai is the ideal home for an antifibrotic research center. Mount Sinai is at the forefront of Liver Fibrosis research. Dr. Scott Friedman has assembled a world-class team of 18 individuals including students, postdoctoral fellows, technicians and physicians who are together exploring the fundamental mechanisms underlying liver fibrosis or scarring. From these basic investigations have begun to emerge major new insights into how this fibrosis can be stopped.
Mount Sinai is synonymous with excellence in liver disease. In particular, the Division of Liver Diseases and the Recanati-Miller Transplant Institute are among the largest, most productive, and widely respected liver programs in the world. The Division of Liver Diseases and the Recanati-Miller Transplant Institute have embarked on a unique partnership that will solidify Mount Sinai's pre-eminence in all aspects of liver disease, from understanding its basic causes to the pioneering of new treatments. In particular, a growing clinical trials unit has been assembled to rapidly translate basic science discoveries into new treatments for those with liver disease.