The dramatic increase in the incidence rate of fatty liver disease has brought about a decrease in the number of donor livers suitable for transplantation. Livers with too much fat in them 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 undertaken by PhD students in our Liver Research Unit aims to find markers (called “alarmins”) in these donor livers to identify which livers will fail and which could be succesfully transplanted.  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 Sharon Wood on 07 3394 7508.