The first Irwin M. Arias Symposium was held in 1991, and the theme of the event was – as it remains today – Bridging Basic Science and Liver Disease.
In the shadowed reality of a global pandemic, well into it’s second year, there is no disputing the ongoing need for building bridges between academic and clinical science, as well as applied industrial partners – all working together to better understand liver biology, pathology, and treatment.
In the age-old practice of making the best of the situation at hand, we are delighted to ‘pivot’ from our traditional, in-person, local community-focused bridge-building Symposium held in Cambridge, MA. Instead, in 2021 we embraced the opportunity to gather in a digital format, and celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Arias Symposium by extending our reach to include speakers from across the globe, and also to welcome participants and attendees from anywhere in the world. We shared exciting new data from speakers in 5 countries, on 3 continents and 6 time zones. We welcomed participation from researchers at every stage of their careers, and invited them to share perspectives from their academic, industrial, and clinical research settings.
Our program included 9 plenary talks, and a collection of ‘micro talks’ of just 3 minutes each – selected from registered abstract submissions. We featured a ‘fireside chat’ style discussion between Dr. Arias and our current Symposium directors, Drs. Sangeeta Bhatia and Wolfram Goessling. Finally, we leveraged the power of digital conferencing technology to offer ‘meet the expert’ opportunities in which trainees registered to join small group discussions with our speakers and other distinguished scientists in our field. The entire program has been generously provided for free via the American Liver Foundation and its sponsors.