S3-E57.1 – Veronica Miller on Traversing from the HIV Forum to the Liver Forum

S3-E57.1 - Veronica Miller on Traversing from the HIV Forum to the Liver Forum
In this conversation, Executive Director Veronica Miller introduces her path to the Liver Forum. She details her career history in HIV research and the establishment of the HIV Forum before working on HCV and eventually NAFLD.

The Liver Forum aims to advance the regulatory sciences for the treatment of NAFLD/NASH and liver fibrosis by providing a neutral, independent venue for ongoing multi-stakeholder dialogue. Their work facilitates the best science-based decisions on how to study efficacy and safety in real-time by using collective knowledge and experience with therapies for advancing liver disease. In this conversation, Executive Director Veronica Miller describes how she arrived to the field of NAFLD and the history of the Liver Forum.

Veronica begins by sharing the story of her background, originating in primary research in immunology. This led to her landing in Washington DC to assume leadership of the Forum for Collaborative HIV Research. Veronica recalls this experience as setting precedent for the potential that a forum could be and accomplish. The idea of the HIV Forum was for all stakeholders – patients, drug developers, physicians, investors, regulators and government agencies – to convene for a collaborative approach to research in a safe, egalitarian environment. For Veronica, it was a major switch from presenting her own data to masterminding and leading this collective approach to deal with addressing research gaps. Notably, the role required her to bring disparate groups together, including HIV patient activists, who were extremely knowledgeable and at times challenging. Critically, the forum experience leant patient voice to the arena for the first time. Within a few years, that same approach was expanding to other disease areas, including Hepatitis C. Through the Hepatitis C Forum, Veronica worked to resolve the issue of creating a clinical trial without standard controls. After attending a meeting at FDA about clinical trial endpoints, she ventured into the field of Fatty Liver disease. The session concludes with her note that NAFLD is unique from other diseases in that Fatty Liver does not have a pathogen to target.

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