Cure for liver disease is $1million closer

Canadian Liver Foundation announces new research funding for 2012

TORONTO, Feb. 6, 2012 /CNW/ - In a lab somewhere in Canada, the next breakthrough in the fight against liver disease is waiting to be found. The Canadian Liver Foundation (CLF) will bring this breakthrough a step closer by investing $1 million dollars in liver research in 2012. With these funds, 17 researchers - both senior specialists and new investigators - will pursue studies in liver cancer, pediatric liver disease, tyrosinemia and other forms of liver disease.

"In the past 20 years, we have made incredible progress in unlocking the complexities of the liver and the mechanisms of liver disease," says Dr. Eric Yoshida, Chairman of the Canadian Liver Foundation's Medical Advisory Committee. "With hepatitis C for example, we have gone from identifying the virus to being able to cure a large percentage of patients. With enough resources, we can do this with other liver diseases too."

Fatty liver disease linked to obesity is the now the most common form of liver disease in Canada followed by hepatitis B, hepatitis C, autoimmune and alcohol-related liver diseases. An estimated three million Canadians are living with some form of liver disease but may not even be aware of it as symptoms can often be vague or even non-existent until it reaches an advanced stage.

The Canadian Liver Foundation is the largest non-profit funder of liver research in Canada and has invested more than $20 million in research since it was first founded. The Foundation offers funding in three grant categories: Operating grants for senior and new researchers, Graduate studentships for Ph.D. and Masters level researchers and Summer Studentships for undergraduate students. Throughout its history, the CLF has funded 483 researchers at various points in their careers.

"Liver research is chronically underfunded because liver disease is not seen as a priority for governments or individuals," says Dr. Yoshida. "We are grateful to the Foundation's supporters - many of whom have been personally affected by liver disease - who give what they can to keep important research moving forward. The answers we find today will help save lives tomorrow."

The CLF's grant competition is now open with an application deadline of April 2, 2012.  To learn more about the CLF's research programs, visit www.liver.ca

SOURCE Canadian Liver Foundation

For further information:

Melanie Kearns, Canadian Liver Foundation  416-491-3353 ext. 4923  mkearns@liver.ca


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