Hepatology Research Group
The hepatology research group (HRG) is an integral part of the Institute of Health and Care Research: infection, immunity and inflammation.
We utilise state of the art laboratory facilities based in the Derriford Research Facility, and the world class clinical research strengths of the Faculty of Health and Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHNT).
We work in unison with the South West Liver Unit, at Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, providing a full range and secondary, tertiary and community Hepatology services to the South West region, including assessment for liver transplantation, TIPS and liver cancer therapy.
The research team run several commercially sponsored clinical trials in hepatitis C therapy, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), primary biliary cholangiopathy (PBC), alcoholic liver disease and liver failure amongst others, through the clinical research facilities of The Lind Research Centre at Derriford Hospital.
Hepatology Research Group Annual Reports

The broad themes of the hepatology research group are:
  • Protection from hepatitis C virus infection – (principal investigator) PI Professor Matthew Cramp
  • Lipid metabolism and the pathogenesis and treatment of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis – PI Dr David Sheridan
  • Alcoholic hepatitis – PI Ashwin Dhanda
  • Molecular virology of hepatitis C and other hepatitis viruses – PI Dr Dan Felmlee

<p>South West Liver Unit<br></p>

Publications

  • Valencia A, Vergara C, Thio CL, Vince N, Douillard V, Grifoni A, Cox AL, Johnson EO, Kral AH & Goedert JJ 2022 'Trans-ancestral fine-mapping of MHC reveals key amino acids associated with spontaneous clearance of hepatitis C in HLA-DQβ1' The American Journal of Human Genetics 109, (2) 299-310 , DOI
  • Alsaleh M, Leftley Z, O’Connor T, Hughes T, Barbera TA, Koomson LK, Zabron A, Reeves H, Cramp M & Ryder SD 2021 'Mapping of population disparities in the cholangiocarcinoma urinary metabolome' Scientific Reports 11, (1) , DOI Open access
  • Pradeep A, Barker F, Ramos K, Littlejohn W, Tavabie OD, Nicholson C, Menon K, Cramp ME, McDougall N & Cash J 2021 'Virtual liver transplant assessment: a novel pathway that is likely safe, effective and optimises access to transplantation' Frontline Gastroenterology 13, (4) 360-362 , DOI
  • Pohl K, Moodley P & Dhanda AD 2021 'Alcohol’s Impact on the Gut and Liver' Nutrients 13, (9) 3170-3170 , DOI Open access
  • Nayagam JS, Tavabie OD, Norton B, McMahon MJS, Ramos K, Cadden ISH, Cramp ME, Menon K, Prachalias A & Agarwal K 2021 'Interleukin-2 receptor antibody induction with early low dose tacrolimus preserves post-liver transplant renal function in at risk individuals' Journal of Liver Transplantation 3, , DOI Open access
  • Petroff D, Blank V, Newsome PN, Shalimar, Voican CS, Thiele M, de Lédinghen V, Baumeler S, Chan WK & Perlemuter G 2021 'Assessment of hepatic steatosis by controlled attenuation parameter using the M and XL probes: an individual patient data meta-analysis' The Lancet Gastroenterology &amp; Hepatology 6, (3) 185-198 , DOI Open access
  • Aranday-Cortes E, McClure CP, Davis C, Irving WL, Adeboyejo K, Tong L, da Silva Filipe A, Sreenu V, Agarwal K & Mutimer D 2021 'Real-World Outcomes of Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment and Retreatment in United Kingdom–Based Patients Infected With Hepatitis C Virus Genotypes/Subtypes Endemic in Africa' The Journal of Infectious Diseases , DOI Open access
  • Moodley P, Whyte AF & Dhanda A 2021 'Recurrent Chronic HEV in Severe Combined Immunodeficiency' Journal of Clinical Immunology 41, (5) 1103-1105 , DOI Open access
  • Parker R, Cabezas J, Altamirano J, Arab JP, Ventura-Cots M, Sinha A, Dhanda A, Arrese M, McCune CA & Rowe IA 2021 'Trajectory of Serum Bilirubin Predicts Spontaneous Recovery in a Real-World Cohort of Patients With Alcoholic Hepatitis' Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology , DOI Open access
  • Vergara C, Valencia A, Thio CL, Goedert JJ, Mangia A, Piazzolla V, Johnson E, Kral AH, O’Brien TR & Mehta SH 2020 'A Multiancestry Sex-Stratified Genome-Wide Association Study of Spontaneous Clearance of Hepatitis C Virus' The Journal of Infectious Diseases 223, (12) 2090-2098 , DOI
  • Moodley P & Dhanda AD 2020 'Editorial: can quantitative fibrosis assessment be used to enhance prediction of outcomes in patients with alcohol-related liver disease?' Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 53, (1) 183-184 Author Site Publisher Site , DOI Open access
  • Williams R, Aithal G, Alexander GJ, Allison M, Armstrong I, Aspinall R, Baker A, Batterham R, Brown K & Burton R 2020 'Unacceptable failures: the final report of the Lancet Commission into liver disease in the UK' The Lancet 395, (10219) 226-239 , DOI
  • Dhanda AD, Williams EL, Yates E, Lait PJP, Schewitz-Bowers LP, Hegazy D, Cramp ME, Collins PL & Lee RWJ 2019 'Intermediate Monocytes in Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis Are Functionally Activated and Induce IL-17 Expression in CD4<sup>+</sup>T Cells' The Journal of Immunology 203, (12) 3190-3198 , DOI
  • Sharkawy RE, Bayoumi A, Metwally M, Mangia A, Berg T, Romero-Gomez M, Abate ML, Irving WL, Sheridan D & Dore GJ 2019 'A variant in the MICA gene is associated with liver fibrosis progression in chronic hepatitis C through TGF-β1 dependent mechanisms' Scientific Reports 9, (1) 1439-1439 Author Site , DOI Open access
  • Eddowes PJ, Sasso M, Allison M, Tsochatzis E, Anstee QM, Sheridan D, Guha IN, Cobbold JF, Deeks JJ & Paradis V 2019 'Accuracy of FibroScan Controlled Attenuation Parameter and Liver Stiffness Measurement in Assessing Steatosis and Fibrosis in Patients With Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease' Gastroenterology Author Site , DOI Open access

Environment and liver disease

Developing research work to study the impact of environmental issues on human health will become an important part of our research portfolio. 
This is a key topic for our group with rising concern about the links between environmental degradation / pollution and climate change with poor health. Discussions between Matthew Cramp and Richard Thompson, Director of the Marine Institute at University of Plymouth, have resulted in a new collaboration that will use the skills and facilities of both groups to look at micro- and nano-plastics and their potential impact on gut and liver health. Ashwin Dhanda has been successful at getting internal funding support for a joint PhD student who will join us in 2022.

<p>Liver</p>

Hepatology research team

Meet the Hepatology research team:
DClinSci fellow: 
  • Kristen Lilly
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows: 
  • Dr Kris Bennett
  • Dr Keith Pohl
  • Dr Prebashan Moodley

<p>Hepatology research team<br></p>
<p>Woman researcher</p>

Minimising Mortality from Alcoholic Hepatitis

Plymouth is now an active recruitment site part of the national MRC funded consortium aiming to minimise death from alcoholic hepatitis (MICAH). Led by Dr Ashwin Dhanda the group is validating a novel bioassay to measure response to glucocorticoid (steroid) therapy.
Interview – Matthew Cramp talks about reducing mortality from Hepatitis C virus
Hepatitis C is a global health crisis impacting the lives of an estimated 180 million people. A major contributor to liver disease, in the UK alone, around 180,000 people are infected by hepatitis C at any one time.

<p>Derriford Research Facility</p>