(Vienna, 25 January 2022) Magdalena Mairinger, a researcher in the Bariatric-Metabolic Surgery Working Group at MedUni Vienna, has been awarded funding from the Elise Richter Senior Postdoc Programme by the FWF (Austrian Science Fund). The researcher is working on a project on liver fibrosis after bariatric-metabolic surgery.
The most effective treatment for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is lifestyle modification and weight loss. This can be sustainably achieved in morbidly obese patients by means of bariatric-metabolic surgery, leading to a significant improvement in fatty liver. However, despite the remarkable improvement or complete reversal of fatty liver disease and steatohepatitis, an increase in liver fibrosis was described in up to 19% of patients after bariatric-metabolic surgery. Fibrosis is the most significant predictor of liver disease progression and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. The underlying mechanism of postoperative fibrosis progression has not yet been explained.
The aim of the work funded by the Elise-Richter programme is to investigate changes in intestinal permeability after bariatric-metabolic surgery and differences between patients with and without fibrosis progression.
Based on this work, risk factors and predictors will be investigated so that patients with increased risk of fibrosis progression can be identified preoperatively. Furthermore, new possible therapeutic approaches will be investigated through translational work in animal models, which will ultimately allow the development of tailored treatment concepts for patients with morbid obesity.
Elise Richter Programme
The FWF offers highly qualified female scientists who aspire to a university career the opportunity to take advantage of up to 6 years of funding as part of a two-stage career development programme. The career development programme for female scientists is divided into the Hertha Firnberg Postdoc Programme for the promotion of women starting out on their scientific careers and the Elise Richter Senior Postdoc Programme - or, for women working in the arts, the Elise Richter Programme for the Development and Opening Up of the Arts (Elise Richter PEEK) - with the goal of qualifying to apply for a professorship in Austria or abroad (habilitation or artistic habilitation or equivalent qualification).
The project was funded by the FWF with a grant of €193,000.
About Magdalena Mairinger
Magdalena Mairinger studied human medicine at the Medical University of Vienna, where she also completed her PhD in "Vascular Biology" in 2015. She joined the Department of General Surgery, Division of Abdominal Surgery in 2015 and is a member of the Bariatric-Metabolic Surgery Working Group led by Gerhard Prager. In 2020/2021, she was at the Inselspital in Bern for a fellowship, where she worked on the animal model she established on "Liver fibrosis after one-anastomosis gastric bypass in rodents". She has contributed to numerous publications and has received multiple awards and grants (recently the Best Abstract Oral Presentation IFSO EC- Prague 11/2021 and project funding from the Medical-Scientific Fund of the Mayor of the Federal Capital Vienna 2021).