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 University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust.
We work in unison with the South West Liver Unit, at University Hospitals Plymouth 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>


  • Boeira P, Tan H, Yates E & Dhanda A 2023 'Assessment of immune function and prediction of survival and infection in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis: An exploratory study' JGH Open , DOI
  • Allison MED, Verne J, Bernal W, Clayton M, Cox S, Dhanda A, Dillon JF, Ferguson J, Foster G & Gilmore I 2023 'Deaths from alcohol-related liver disease in the UK: an escalating tragedy' The Lancet 401, (10375) 418-420 , DOI
  • Tavabie OD, Kronsten VT, Przemioslo R, McDougall N, Ramos K, Joshi D, Prachalias A, Menon K, Agarwal K & Heneghan MA 2023 'Satellite liver transplant centres significantly improve transplant assessment outcomes for patients with chronic liver disease but not hepatocellular carcinoma: a retrospective cohort study' Frontline Gastroenterology , DOI
  • Sheridan DA, Shawa IT, Thomas EL, Felmlee DJ, Bridge SH, Neely D, Cobbold JF, Holmes E, Bassendine MF & Taylor-Robinson SD 2022 'Infection with the hepatitis C virus causes viral genotype-specific differences in cholesterol metabolism and hepatic steatosis' Scientific Reports 12, (1) , DOI Open access
  • Bowlus CL, Galambos MR, Aspinall RJ, Hirschfield GM, Jones DEJ, Dörffel Y, Gordon SC, Harrison SA, Kremer AE & Mayo MJ 2022 'A phase II, randomized, open-label, 52-week study of seladelpar in patients with primary biliary cholangitis' Journal of Hepatology , DOI Open access
  • Dhanda AD, Felmlee D, Boeira P, Moodley P, Tan H, Scalioni LDP, Lilly K, Sheridan DA & Cramp ME 2022 'Patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 have an impaired cytokine response with an exhausted and senescent immune phenotype' Immunobiology 227, (2) , 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. Dr Ashwin Dhanda has been successful at getting internal funding support for our joint PhD student, Namrata Pandey, who joined us in January. 
<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.

Hepatology research team

Meet the Hepatology research team:
NIHR Academic Clinical Fellows: 
  • Dr Kris Bennett
  • Dr Keith Pohl
  • Dr Prebashan Moodley
Bath placement students:
  • Gediminas Vielius
  • Jaiveer Arora
<p>Hepatology research team, University of Plymouth</p>