King's College London

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Dr Vishal Patel

Research interests

Current Positions, Experience & Focus

Chronic liver disease is a condition that I am dedicated to managing clinically and investigating academically, and still represents so much unmet need with a huge burden of morbidity and premature mortality. Translational research in this area is therefore pivotal to improving patient outcomes and quality of life in those that are afflicted, and my group is determined to make real progress in this area. 

I am a Clinician Scientist focusing on investigating the gut-liver axis in advanced chronic liver disease, including the pathophysiological roles of the gut microbiome and intestinal barrier in driving infection risk particularly in an era of increasing antimicrobial resistance, and therapeutic interventions that can target these areas. Linked to this are how metabolic profiling and other high throughput systems biology-based techniques can further elucidate the mechanisms behind these changes and harnessing this knowledge can facilitate the development of better targeted therapies.  

I am currently a Principal Investigator and group lead for Advanced Chronic Liver Disease (ACLD) with a focus on the role of the gut microbiome, at the Institute of Hepatology (Foundation for Liver Research) working with Prof Roger Williams CBE. My clinical role is as a Consultant Hepatologist & Endoscopist with a focus on ACLD and related complications including portal hypertension, with triple accreditation and Specialist Certification in Hepatology, Gastroenterology and General Internal Medicine. I am an Honorary Clinical Lecturer within the School of Immunology & Microbial Sciences at King's College London. I have tertiary centre training and experience at the Liver Unit at King's College Hospital where I am now a Consultant in complex hepatology, liver intensive care medicine and liver transplantation. I am a fully JAG accredited endoscopist and certified colonoscopy trainer with advanced upper and lower GI diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy skills, including the management of refractory portal hypertensive bleeding.  

Academic Interests, Clinical Trials & Grant Income

I am and have been involved in several observational and interventional translational studies in chronic and acute liver failure syndromes, including those involving acute alcoholic hepatitis and hepatic encephalopathy. I am Chief Investigator of the BOPPP trial ( ID: NCT03776955) which is NIHR HTA funded (£2.2 million) evaluating the effectiveness of non-selective beta-blockers to prevent variceal haemorrhage in patients with small oesophageal varices and cirrhosis. BOPPP was set up and is being run with Dr Mark JW McPhail (KCL, KCH) and is closely supported by the King's Clinical Trials Unit, and will be one of the largest trials in portal hypertension, aiming to recruit 1,200 patients at 30 UK sites with the trial set to run over a 5 year period. 

Vishal has conducted an investigator initiated randomised clinical trial (‘RIFSYS’; ID: NCT02019784) examining the mechanistic effects of Rifaximin in cirrhosis complicated by hepatic encephalopathy, with Prof Debbie Shawcross. I am a co-investigator in a RCT of Faecal Microbiota Transplantation in Cirrhosis (‘PROFIT’; ID: NCT02862249) led by Prof Shawcross, and am involved in the Horizon 2020 funded MICROB-PREDICT study (€15 million). I have also been the recipient of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) CRN Greenshoots Award.

I have interests in investigating coagulation dysfunction in chronic liver failure syndromes, working closely and publishing with Prof William Bernal (King’s), Prof Ton Lisman (Netherlands) and colleagues at Hospital Clinic, Barcelona, to better understand the mechanisms underpinning risks of clotting and thrombosis in CLD, as well as how these findings can be translated into clinical practice.

I was previously awarded a Young Investigator of the Year grant from the Intensive Care Foundation to facilitate work examining the gut microbiome, bacterial translation and immune dysfunction in acute-on-chronic liver failure syndromes. I independently set up the 'Gut-Liver Axis in Liver Failure Syndromes' study to facilitate data generation for my doctoral thesis, and this has now been adopted onto the NIHR Clinical Research Network portfolio and at the time of writing this study has recruited over 500 patients and healthy volunteers.

Collaborations & Profile

I collaborate closely with colleagues within King's Health Partners (King's College Hospital and King's College London) and the European hepatology community. I have been invited regularly to speak at national (BSG, BASL, Association of Physicians) and international meetings (EASL, AASLD, EUG, ISHEN) with a focus on the role of the gut microbiome in chronic liver failure syndromes. I am a Gut Microbiota for Health Expert Panel member (British Society for Gastroenterology Research Section), and BSG-BASL Liver Research Development Group member, where national strategy for hepatology research is formulated.





Oral presentation

Types of External academic engagement - Invited talk

The Pathogenic Relationship of the Host Microbiota with the Gut–Liver–Brain Axis

Vishal C Patel (Speaker)
14 Apr 2016

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

Rifaximin Is Efficacious In The Treatment Of Chronic Overt Hepatic Encephalopathy: A UK Liver Multi-Centre Experience

Vishal C Patel (Member)
17 Jun 2014

Activity: OtherTypes of External academic engagement - Invited talk

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