University of Birmingham researchers are spearheading efforts to tackle the twin deadly scourges of liver disease and diabetes, now recognised as two of the most serious global health epidemics, yet both ultimately preventable.

Clinical trials

Worldwide, viral infection is the major cause of liver damage and another 2.5 million deaths a year are due to livers being damaged by alcohol abuse. But health experts are also increasingly concerned about obesity, which raises the risk of developing fatty liver disease, leading to heart disease, cancer and liver failure. Rates of obesity have doubled since 2008 when the figure stood at more than 500 million worldwide.

Type 2 diabetes is now an all-time high, affecting up to ten per cent of the UK population, and is a condition that doubles the risk of death from heart disease. The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading centres for diabetes research, with groups working on everything from causes of the disease to clinical trials of new therapies.

Silent killers

The work being carried out at Birmingham is identifying how healthy diets, normal weight and physical exercise can dramatically cut the likelihood of developing liver disease or diabetes, the so-called silent killers.

Professor Philip Newsome

Professor Philip Newsome

Director of the University’s Centre for Liver Research, which translates basic laboratory findings into new therapies and drug treatments for patients with liver disease.

Dr Thomas Solomon

Dr Thomas Solomon

Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. He investigates the causes of high blood sugar, the consequences of high blood sugar on the body’s metabolism and its hormone systems, and is exploring how exercise can be tailored to improve blood sugar in individual patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Dr Patricia Lalor

Dr Patricia Lalor

Senior Lecturer in The Centre for Liver Research with an interest in inflammation, endothelial biology and regulation of liver metabolism. Current research projects are focused upon understanding the molecular regulation of glucose and lipid homeostasis in human fatty liver disease

Centre for Liver Research

Exercise is medicine

Liver Disease and Liver Research

The Immune System and Liver Disease


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