Moving from Hepatitis Discovery to Elimination: NIH Research Advancing Hepatitis Elimination
The United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) is committed to setting research priorities that advance progress toward viral hepatitis elimination. In addition to basic research to understand the molecular processes of viral hepatitis infection, NIH focuses on development of new vaccines, diagnostics, treatments and other interventions to prevent acute and chronic hepatitis infection and related disease. In 2019, the NIH released The Strategic Plan for Trans-NIH Research to Cure Hepatitis B for Development of Improved HBV Therapies. NIH also supports intramural and extramural research of the other causes of viral hepatitis- hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis D virus and hepatitis E virus. In 2020, Dr. Harvey Alter, NIH researcher, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for his contributions to the discovery of HCV, exemplifying the importance of NIH to hepatitis elimination efforts.
NIH recognizes the value of broad biomedical collaboration and coordination to the research process including sharing resources, exchanging methods, standardizing techniques and assisting on dissemination of scientific findings and mentoring the next generation of hepatitis scientists. For hepatitis research to improve health, NIH also values research to translate scientific innovations into public health and clinical practice and inform the scale up of hepatitis vaccination, testing and treatment to achieve goals for hepatitis elimination. With the launch of the Viral Hepatitis National Strategic Plan for the United States: A Roadmap to Elimination 2021-2025 and only 10 years to go to reach global elimination goals, now is the time to to bring together the research and implementing strategies to improve hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment. To facilitate these discussions, NIH and the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination are launching a new webinar series, "Moving from Hepatitis Discovery to Elimination: NIH Research Advancing Hepatitis Elimination." The objectives of the series are to highlight ongoing research that can benefit elimination efforts, support translation of research into implementation, and identify additional research needs.
Objectives of this webinar series include:
• Showcase ongoing NIH research related to hepatitis elimination in an open access format
• Support translation of research to implementation
• Develop momentum for hepatitis elimination
• Identify further research priorities
The first webinar, "The Road to Elimination and the Role of NIH" set the stage on the status of hepatitis elimination efforts globally and in the United States and will introduce hepatitis-related research activities across the NIH institutes. Special introductory remarks were made by Dr. Harvey Alter, 2020 Nobel Prize Laureate. Subsequent webinars are hosted by individual Institutes and Centers (i.e. NCI, NIDA, NIAID, NIMHD) and highlight their specific research activities advancing hepatitis elimination. Webinars are held the second Thursday of every month.