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The Italian Liver Foundation NPO opens its first dedicated research laboratory in Indonesia

A significant recognition from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN)

The Italian Liver Foundation NPO (FIF) is the first scientific institution to have its own fully-equipped research laboratory at the Science and Technology Campus of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) of the Republic of Indonesia, located in Cibinong. This achievement marks the first significant outcome resulting from the Memorandum of Understanding signed between FIF and BRIN in Trieste last September 2022. The collaboration aims to develop joint research projects and create a network of liver expertise between Italy and Indonesia.

"The establishment of this laboratory, led by Caecilia Sukowati, researcher, and project leader of FIF," says the Scientific Director of the Foundation, Claudio Tiribelli, "is a genuine privilege and, at the same time, a recognition from BRIN of the importance of our Institution at the international level. The Campus is an open-lab where researchers can access state-of-the-art technologies made available to them, but no one had a dedicated laboratory until now. FIF is the very first."

The newly established FIF laboratory in Indonesia is equipped with various instruments, including a cell culture room and bioinformatics support. It will be used for conducting studies on liver diseases by both BRIN researchers and FIF researchers visiting Indonesia, playing a crucial role in the success of this joint research collaboration and expanding educational programs between Indonesia and Italy.

"The scope of collaboration is extensive, albeit focused on liver studies," adds Claudio Tiribelli, "including molecular aspects of liver diseases such as viral hepatitis, hepatocellular carcinoma, neonatal jaundice, and other liver-related pathologies. The activity also involves epidemiological studies, cost-effectiveness analysis of hepatitis vaccination among children, non-invasive diagnosis of carcinoma, liver disease screening, and surveillance programs."

The National Research and Innovation Agency is a government institution operating under the President of the Republic of Indonesia, coordinating 48 research entities from ministries and institutions. It is responsible for the national policy on science, technology, and innovation.
"Expanding this significant collaboration with Indonesia's main and largest national research and innovation body," concludes Tiribelli, "is a tremendous opportunity for the Italian Liver Foundation Onlus, and it allows us to involve other Italian institutions as well. For instance, the training activities also include the University of Trieste and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, which will finance scholarships for young Indonesian doctoral students to conduct their research activities in FIF's laboratories, aimed at obtaining a Doctorate at the University of Trieste. In 2024, two Indonesian students will begin their molecular hepatology doctoral research at FIF and UniTS".

 Photo 1 (from left to right): Dr. Agustiningsih (BRIN researcher), Dr. Caecilia Sukowati (senior researcher FIF - BRIN), Dr. Sri Jayanti (post-doc researcher BRIN), Dr. Turyadi (senior researcher BRIN)
 Photo 2 Laboratory plaque

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