Sep 25, 2017

Newest edition to the GMRF research team Raji Baidya explains her research and the impact it could have for future liver transplant patients.

Raji Baidya recently joined the GMRF team as a PhD student in our Liver Disease Unit. Having only recently moved to Australia  from Nepal, she is enjoying our beautiful weather and discovering all that Brisbane and the surrounding areas have to offer. We caught up with Raji to find out more about the research she’ll be doing and the incredible difference it could make to thousands of liver transplant patients….

How would you describe the research you are doing?

I am working on liver transplantation research to address the increase in livers that are not suitable to transplant (due to the obesity epidemic and livers having too much fat in them that tend to fail after transplant). The stats show that 10-13% of patients will die within three years of their transplant, while 15-18% will require re-transplantation due to failure of their donor liver. We not only need more livers available to transplant but we need to improve the outcomes for transplant patients.
This study hopes to find markers (called “alarmins”) in these donor livers that could tell us which ones will fail after transplant and which ones might be successfully transplanted. If we can find a marker that indicates a bad outcome, it might be possible to block it with a drug, hopefully resulting in increased use of these “unsuitable” livers and more successful transplants.

Who will benefit from the outcomes of this research?

 Patients who have undergone liver transplantation or need a transplant will benefit as they will be more confident that their transplant will have a good outcome with decreased chance of complications. Also, families that make the decision to donate the organs of their loved ones can feel more confident that their donation will result in a successful transplant.

How long will it take to complete this research?

This is a long term project with initial laboratory studies taking up to three years to complete. Further clinical work and putting into practise the outcomes of the initial project may take 5 to10 years to determine if we can  “rescue” livers or successfully treat a donor liver so that there is a better chance of a successful outcome.

What will success look like?

The goal of this research is identifying an injury profile that is associated with liver injury post-transplantation and successfully blocking this pathway will be the key goals of this research. If successful, we could transform post-transplant patient care, improve success rates of transplants and reduce the current waste of donor organs unsuitable to transplant.

Our PhD scholarship program is made possible by the generous support of our GMRF Discovery Partners. If you would like to find out more about how you can help the next generation of brilliant medical researchers in the field of liver disease, contact Partnership and Development Manager Sharon Wood on 07 3394 7508.


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