A team of researchers at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra (CNC-UC) challenges citizens to participate in an online initiative of NAFLD (Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease) awareness, with a growing prevalence in developing countries.
The participation involves the filling of two questionnaires, available on www.figadogordo.com
, before and after Reading a comic developed by the team within the European project “FOIE GRAS” (Marie Sklodowska Curie Actions-Innovative Training Networks; MSCA-ITN), which is focused in basic and translational research about this liver disease.
The initiative is coordinated by Mireia Alemany i Pagès, student at the Doctoral Program in Experimental Biology and Biomedicine (PDBEB), of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research of the University of Coimbra (IIIUC), and is part of her PhD thesis, aimed at developing new communication strategies and approaches for NAFLD, as well as impact monitorization.
The student has done field work with patients, with the scope of understanding what they knew or did not know about the disease. This work, done in a collaboration with biologists, psychologists, sociologists, caretakers, clinicians, and patients, resulted in a scientific publication, and, based on the life stories and doubts raised by patients, the story behind “A balanced liver is halfway done”, illustrated by Rui Tavares, also a PDBEB student. This comic focuses on characteristics, treatments, and disease prevention, as well as other metabolic disorders.
Both students are supervised by Anabela Marisa Azul and João Ramalho-Santos. More information about the FOIE GRAS Project available on: http://www.projectfoiegras.eu/about/