Liver Disease

We are enhancing our understanding of causes, therapies and potential cures of several liver conditions.

More about Liver Disease Research in Newcastle

Chronic liver disease is a major cause of poor quality of life and is a contributor to excess death, making it a significant concern for both patients and the NHS.

While varying types of liver disease are not exclusive to the older population, our unique approach in understanding the underlying processes of cellular ageing, is extremely beneficial in understanding the causes and progression of the disease.

As part of the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, we approach liver disease research as an independent discipline, but we also examine how it co-exists with other chronic conditions affecting the older person. Our unique combination of research themes, underpinned by ageing syndromes, is designed to maximise research and clinical impacts on care for the older population.

We build on experimental medicine in liver disease and other long-term conditions, and apply this knowledge to common ageing syndromes such as sarcopenia, frailty and multimorbidity. This unique combination of care represents a major unmet need in our healthcare system.

Liver disease research in Newcastle

Liver research in Newcastle is internationally recognised.  Clinical, translational and scientific research activities are being undertaken throughout the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Newcastle University on an ongoing basis.

Our NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre focusses on programmes that aim to increase survival rates for people living with liver disease. We also dedicate research into projects aimed at improving quality of life and therapies to reduce symptom impact in:

  • Rare liver diseases, particularly autoimmune liver diseases
  • Metabolic liver diseases (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – NAFLD)
  • Liver fibrosis (early stages of liver scarring)

Our aims

Each of our research themes will build on significant expertise in ageing biology research in Newcastle to date. We aim to develop innovative approaches to exploring the contribution made by the ageing processes to the biology of liver diseases.

Using this expertise, the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre will continue to expand world-class patient cohorts in the above disease areas, to establish a comprehensive clinical trials programme.

How we carry out research into liver disease

Our liver disease research is carried out through a number of ongoing clinical studies. For these, we work with our well-established patient cohorts, as well as through lab-based biomedical research within our state-of-the-art facilities.

Our one-on-one patient contact takes places through our NIHR Clinical Research Facility in Newcastle, namely, the dedicated CRESTA Clinic.

The CRESTA Clinic in Newcastle is an NHS staffed and managed clinical facility. It provides enhanced care for patients with complex multimorbidities, through a ‘one-stop’ multidisciplinary visit. Within the dedicated liver clinic, patients can receive treatment from their regular consultant, whilst also playing a vital role in ongoing liver research.

A large part of our liver disease research is in the improvement of quality of life through symptom control. Working with patients is a crucial part of this, but we also value our excellent links with industry partners. These links enable the progression of scientific discoveries into trialled and approved drugs that work to target life-altering symptoms of liver diseases. We currently work with 17 companies who lead development programmes in our target areas. Our total industry investment portfolio is currently at £10m, with partners such as Abbvie, GSK, Pfizer, Novartis and Intercept.

It is our unique combination of patient contact, research and industry partnerships which supports our discovery of stratified therapies and treatment in the liver disease area.