The Institute of Hepatology, which is affiliated with King’s College Hospital and King’s College London, is an independent research organisation funded by the Foundation for Liver Research. It has relocated to Denmark Hill to enhance opportunities for close work with the clinical service at the hospital, which is a centre of excellence for liver conditions.
The Institute of Hepatology carries out basic scientific research into diseases of the liver with the aim to help develop new treatments. The Institute is owned and managed by the Foundation for Liver Research, a charity established in 1973 that supports ground-breaking research programmes into liver disease. The Institute was opened by the Duke of York, who is patron of the charity.
The new centre houses state-of-the-art laboratories for up to 50 scientists, and research is organised around the theme of liver cell injury and repair. Current areas of research include viral hepatitis, liver cancer, liver inflammation and metabolism, epigenetic events underlying liver development and regeneration, the restoration of immune responses in reducing organ dysfunction in liver failure, and use of pluripotent stem cells in enhancing regeneration of the liver.
Professor Roger Williams CBE, is the Director of Research at the Foundation, and was instrumental in establishing the world-class liver transplantation service at King’s College Hospital in the 1960s.
Talking about the opening, Professor Williams said, “I am delighted to be returning to Denmark Hill as it is the best location for the Institute of Hepatology due to the strength of the liver service at King’s College Hospital. We already have strong links with both the hospital, which is renowned for its expertise in liver conditions, and King’s College London, and the new location will further strengthen the research partnership between the three organisations.”
Professor Julia Wendon, Executive Medical Director, and Consultant Intensivist and Hepatologist at King’s College Hospital, added, “The Foundation for Liver Research has supported research programmes into liver disease for more than 30 years. This includes much of the early pioneering work at King’s College Hospital into liver transplantation and acute liver failure.
“Research is vital in developing new treatments. Having the Institute of Hepatology located at the hospital will enhance collaborative working into liver disease for the benefit of patients locally, nationally and internationally.”