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Inflammatory liver disease

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Theme leads

Professor Trish Lalor

Inflammatory Liver Disease Theme Lead

Professor Shishir Shetty

Inflammatory Liver Disease Theme Lead

Transforming outcomes for patients with inflammatory liver disease through early diagnosis and developing new therapies.

Liver disease and its complications are a major cause of premature death in the United Kingdom, with a fourfold increase since the 1970s. Identifying liver disease at an early stage remains very challenging, as usually the condition does not cause any initial symptoms. The rising deaths are because many patients with advanced disease do not respond to current medical treatments and are at risk of organ failure or developing liver cancer.

There is therefore an urgent need to find better ways of diagnosing patients at an early stage to prevent complications, and also find effective therapies that can reverse advanced liver disease.

Our BRC aims to tackle these challenges by studying liver inflammation, the central pathway that causes increased liver scarring – termed fibrosis – that can lead to liver cirrhosis. We will achieve this by studying samples from patients recruited to our extensive biobanks with cutting edge tools to identify new approaches to detect early liver inflammation. We will also find new treatments by using state of the art liver models, building on our international scientific reputation for studying liver inflammation and our strong partnership with one of the largest liver transplant programmes in Europe. Working within the Birmingham BRC infrastructure, we are ideally placed to test these new discoveries in early phase clinical trials with the ultimate aim of reducing deaths from liver disease.

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