Fifty years of impact on liver pathology: a history of the Gnomes

Michael Torbenson, Valeer Desmet, Helmut Denk, Francesco Callea, Alastair D. Burt, Stefan G. Hübscher, Luigi Terracciano, Hans Peter Dienes, Zachary D. Goodman, Pierre Bedossa, Ian R. Wanless, Eve A. Roberts, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Andrew D. Clouston, Annette S.H. Gouw, David Kleiner, Peter Schirmacher, Dina Tiniakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Professional societies play a major role in medicine and science. The societies tend to be large with well-developed administrative structures. An additional model, however, is based on small groups of experts who meet regularly in an egalitarian model in order to discuss disease-specific scientific and medical problems. In order to illustrate the effectiveness of this model, the history and practices are examined of a long-standing successful example, the International Liver Pathology Group, better known as the Gnomes. The history shows that groups such as the Gnomes offer a number of important benefits not available in larger societies and nurturing such groups advances science and medicine in meaningful ways. The success of the Gnomes’ approach provides a road map for future small scientific groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • History
  • Liver
  • Model
  • Pathology
  • Scientific group

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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