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Robin Hughes

Dr

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Research interests

The Hepatocyte Transplantation & Biology Group is developing hepatocyte transplantation as a treatment for patients with liver disease. There are a number of advantages of cell transplantation over whole organ transplantation. Eight patients with liver-based metabolic defects have received human hepatocytes prepared in our GMP laboratory. The laboratory research is focussed on overcoming the barriers to wider use of hepatocyte transplantation. Currently this includes investigation of methods to improve the quality of hepatocytes isolated from fatty livers, which are often rejected for transplantation. In the future it is hoped that liver stem cells can be used to replace cells isolated from donor liver and this area is being investigated in collaborative studies. Isolated hepatocytes need to be cryopreserved to give good function on thawing, so that they are available for immediate clinical use when needed. Although progress has been made in our laboratory to improve cryopreservation protocols and understand the mechanisms of cryopreservation-induced damage, there is still scope for further improvement. There are also studies on-going to develop methods of cell therapy for patients with acute liver failure and to track cells once they have been administered to the patient.

Research interests (short)

Hepatocyte transplantation; liver support; hepatoprotection; liver cell biology.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

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