International liver congress

Liver disease is rarely out of the press these days with rising numbers placing it as the UK’s fifth highest killer.  Each year the world’s leading scientific researchers meet at a congress specifically relating to the study of liver disease called the ‘European Association for the Study of the Liver’ (EASL), which in 2014 is held in London.  The latest research and findings are shared and the best scientific minds discuss causes, prevention and treatments. 

The Centre for Liver Research at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University of Birmingham, (Director, Professor David Adams) has an international reputation for its fundamental laboratory research into liver disease, through to its ground breaking clinical trials into possible treatments.  The Centre is prominently represented at EASL with talks from its dynamic younger researchers who are carving their niche in this field, through to senior researchers who are already extremely well known on the international scientific stage.  Professor Philip Newsome, Dr Gideon Hirschfield, Dr Evaggelia Liaskou, Dr Palak Trivedi and Dr Tony Bruns are among the Centre’s speakers, whilst Dr Ka-Kit Li, Ditte Hedegaard and Samantha Lissaur are presenting posters whose research value has been classed among the top 10% at the congress.

Dr Liaskou was undertaking a scientific placement in Norway when she received the news that she had been requested to talk at the congress on her work entitled ‘Vitamin D deficiency and CD28-ve T cells: an interesting interplay in the pathogenesis of primary sclerosing cholangitis’.  Dr Liaskou, who is a post-doctoral research scientist with Dr Hirschfield, has also been invited by the EASL Governing Board to give a lecture during the EASL & IPSCSG (International PSC Study Group) joint workshop which will be held during the annual congress. The lecture will be on ‘Targeting the gut-liver lymphocyte axis: treatment approached based on biologic insights’.  

Other members of the liver team with prominent and competitive oral presentations include Dr  Trivedi, who is presenting on behalf of the PBC supergroup and will outline his work on Hepatocellular carcinoma in primary biliary cirrhosis. Dr Trivedi’s talk has been selected as best oral abstract in clinical science.  Similarly Dr Tony Bruns will deliver state-of-the art laboratory science conducted in Birmingham, and supervised by Prof Adams.

Birmingham can be very proud of its significant contribution to this key international liver congress.  It is a testament to the world class clinical and laboratory research conducted by the group as a whole.