We are leading national multi-centre studies looking at cells in the liver to identify biomarkers, molecules in the blood or tissue that might indicate those people at highest risk of going on to develop NAFLD, and even liver cancer
If we can identify the abnormalities in the cells that might be driving the condition, we can test these in small-scale clinical trials to better understand how the disease progresses and then look to how we can implement it in NAFLD clinics or in primary care.
We are also exploring the role of diet – such as high sugar and high fat intake – in driving the disease, as well as whether genetic factors, when combined with diet, predispose people to NAFLD.
We are trialling weight loss interventions, such as total diet replacement, alongside drug and surgical approaches (including using drugs often used to treat type 2 diabetes) in patients with advanced liver disease.
The Oxford BRC is running one of five citizen science projects being supported by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. we have received more than €270,000 as part of the three-year STEP CHANGE initiative. We are conducting research into the role of steroid hormones in the treatment of NAFLD, obesity and type 2 diabetes. It is the first study undertaken with a citizen science approach in the domain of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism in general and NAFLD in particular.