Fibrosis - the excessive growth of fibrous tissue due to chronic inflammation and altered tissue remodelling and repair processes - is a global health problem. It occurs in various organs, including the lung, kidney, liver and intestine, and is a key component of important pathologies, including cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s Disease and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Despite the huge advances made by research in recent years, the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of fibrosis are still unclear; indeed, it would seem that different mechanisms are involved in each of the affected organs. Importantly, there are few effective therapeutic options, and only for some organs, such as the lung and kidney, with no anti-fibrotic pharmacological treatments currently available for the intestine or liver. The International Workshop on Liver and Gut Fibrosis is an initiative to bring together basic scientists and clinical experts working in the field to share perspectives about this condition. The workshop focuses on the molecular mechanisms involved in the different types of fibrosis, particularly that found in the gut and liver, with an emphasis on mechanisms that are common to different organs. In this way, the workshop sets out to explore avenues that might lead to an improvement of current therapeutic approaches and to identify new pharmacological targets that could relieve the burden of fibrosis for millions of patients.
The first edition of the workshop, held in October 2021 and endorsed by European and national scientific societies, was well-received by all those involved and has driven us to organise a second edition, which we are sure will be an equally stimulating and productive event. We invite those of you with an interest in this topic to join us in the beautiful Mediterranean city of Valencia, together with some of the most relevant international researchers in the field. We look forward to seeing you.