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Meet our Twitter ambassadors

Chiara Becchetti

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Chiara Becchetti graduated in Medicine at the University of Brescia (2014), Italy and specialized in Gastroenterology at the University of Padua (2019), Italy. She focused early on hepatology and liver transplantation, earning further clinical and research experience at the Department of Surgery, Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham where she attended for a Fellowship in 2013 and 2015, respectively. Since May 2019, she works as Fellow Research in the Hepatology group at the University Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine (UVCM) of the Inselspital, University of Berne, Switzerland. Her main research interest focuses on advanced liver disease and liver transplantation.

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Julien Calderaro

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Pr Julien Calderaro is Full Professor  in the Department of Pathology of Henri Mondor University Hospital in Créteil, France. He is specialized in the field of liver diseases and tumors diagnosis. His works noticeably led to the etablishment of a refined HCC morphomolecular classification and to the identification of the Macrotrabecular-Massive  subtype of hepatocellular carcinoma. He now focusses his research on the immune microenvironment of liver cancers and develops innovative, artificial-intelligence based approaches to extract meaningful prognostic and molecular data from digital histological slides.

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Marco Carbone

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Dr Carbone is Senior Lecture at the University of Milano-Bicocca and Honorary Consultant Hepatologist at the European Reference Network-Liver Centre San Gerardo University Hospital, Monza where he is the clinical lead of the cholestatic liver disease programme. His research interest mainly relates to biomarker discovery in cholestatic liver diseases, that can inform mechanistic understanding, health care decisions, and the design of innovative clinical trials.

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Kathryn Jack

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Kate has worked as a specialist nurse in the field of viral hepatitis and liver disease since 1999, in both hospital and community locations in the East Midlands. In 2019 she was awarded a PhD following a mixed-methods research study into the impact of opt-out hepatitis C testing in prisons. She has an interest in Realist Evaluation methodologies and qualitative research that enables disadvantaged populations to be heard. Kate is an editorial board member of the Gastrointestinal Nursing journal’s liver supplement, a steering committee member of HCV Action, and a member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) nurse and allied health professional’s taskforce. Kate is currently leading an HEE funded longitudinal study exploring the experiences of a national cohort of nurses who have returned to clinical practice, and is due to start as a principal investigator on a further prison-based hepatitis C testing study.

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Sabela Lens

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Dr Lens works at the Liver Unit in Hospital Clínic and is associate professor at the University of Barcelona. Her main field of interest for the last years has been Viral hepatitis, particularly the epidemiology and therapeutic aspectos of hepatitis C and B. In recent years she has gained a particular interest in developing microelimination programs for Hepatitis C infection and in the immune response in patients with chronic Hepatitis B. Dr Sabela Lens is also vice-secretary of the Spanish Association for the Study of the Liver and member of the Young Investigator’s Task Force of the European Association of the Study of the Liver (EASL).

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Milan Mishkovikj

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Milan Mishkovikj, Msc. is the founder of Hepar Centar Bitola (Liver Center of Bitola), North Macedonia.  He currently serves as the organization’s Vice president and CEO. Milan is a faithful member of the Advisory Board Project; HAREACT (The Joint Action on HIV and Co-infection Prevention and Harm Reduction (HA-REACT) addresses existing gaps in the prevention of HIV and other co-infections, especially tuberculosis (TB) and viral hepatitis, among people who inject drugs (PWID). The three-year project was launched in late 2015 with core funding by the Health Program 2014-2020 from European Union (EU). Milan is also the founder/Vice President of the Alliance of Patients Organizations in N. Macedonia. Milan graciously attains the position as Director of the European Liver Patient Association (ELPA)and works as an Official EU Health Lobbyist in EU parliament.

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Laura Pallett

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Dr Laura Pallett is currently a Senior Research Fellow within the Division of Infection & Immunity, University College London under the mentorship of Prof. Mala Maini. As a viral immunologist, Laura’s research interests are centered on understanding immune cell dysfunction and adaptation in the context of chronic HBV infection (CHB), and HCC. More recently her research interests have extended to explore the specific role of liver-resident lymphocytes in liver homeostasis and CHB/HCC.

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Salvatore Piano

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Salvatore Piano is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University Hospital of Padova, Italy. His main research interests are pathophysiology and treatment of complications of cirrhosis: ascites, hepatorenal syndrome, bacterial infections and acute-on-chronic liver failure. He has published > 80 papers in Lancet, Gastroenterology, Gut, Journal of Hepatology, Hepatology, etc. (I.F. tot=779.01; H-Index=32) He has been invited speaker to > 40 International Meetings such as EASL, AASLD and APASL meetings. He is Associate Editor of Liver Transplantation and Editorial Board member of Journal of Hepatology and JHEP reports. He is member of the International Club of Ascites steering committee and EASL YI Task Force.

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Camila Picchio

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Camila Picchio (MPH) is a multidisciplinary public health researcher and PhD candidate (Medicine- International Health) at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and University of Barcelona. Her research focuses on simplifying the diagnosis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) using novel diagnostic tools and linking patients to care in Barcelona and sub-Saharan Africa.

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Francesca Romana Ponziani

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Francesca Romana Ponziani is a hepatologist working at the Liver Unit – Division of Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology of the Fondazione Policlinico Universitario Agostino Gemelli IRCCS in Rome. She is involved in the management of patients with liver diseases and its complications. Her scientific activity mainly focused on hepatocellular carcinoma, gut microbiota, liver transplant and liver cirrhosis complications. She is also a member of the governing board of the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver (AISF).

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Marco Sanduzzi Zamparelli

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He graduated at School of Medicine in 2012 and specialized in Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2018, both at Federico II University of Naples. Currently (since 2017), he is a research fellow at Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer Group (BCLC) – Hospital Clinic, under the mentoring of Maria Reig and Jordi Bruix focusing on systemic treatments for hepatocellular carcinoma. Since November 2018 he is a PhD student at Federico II University of Naples and since January 2020 PhD student at University of Barcelona. In 2020 he realized a 3-4 months fellowship at University of Oslo in order to study the role of gut and tumoral microbiome in liver cancer. He is actively involved in several trials with particular interest in two multicentre investigator initiated within the BCLC group. In 2021 he achieved my Degree in Statistics Sciences at Autonomous University of Barcelona.

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Zania Stamataki 

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Dr Zania Stamataki is a Senior Lecturer in Viral Immunology at the Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy, University of Birmingham, UK. Her team has expertise in building ex vivo models to study infection and immunity in 3-D microenvironments, using authentic human disease tissues and containment level 3 viruses (including SARS-CoV-2). Dr Stamataki’s lab is exploring new antivirals and therapies for chronic liver diseases in preclinical models, in collaboration with industry. She is a keen science communicator, mentor and chair for early career researcher training and career development at the college of Medical and Dental Sciences.

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Jennifer Towey

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Jenny Towey is a Specialist Dietitian working at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Liver Unit, Birmingham. She is also a HEE/NIHR award holder for a Pre-Doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship. Her specialist interests include nutritional assessment and management of alcohol-related liver disease and hepatic encephalopathy. She is actively involved in research and is passionate about standardising nutritional assessment and management for all those with end-stage liver disease.

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Palak Trivedi 

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Dr. Trivedi is a Clinician Scientist in the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and Honorary Consultant Hepatologist at University Hospitals Birmingham. He has devoted his career studying rare, chronic cholestatic liver diseases, in particular primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). Dr. Trivedi is Chief Investigator for the UK-PSC consortium and was elected chair of the British Association for Study of the Liver Special Interest Group (BASL SIG) for immune-mediated liver disease in 2018. The overarching themes of his research centre around the role of gut-liver immunity, studying the natural history of chronic cholestasis, and using real-world clinical outcome data to inform future clinical trial design in rare disease.

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Michele Vacca

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Dr Michele Vacca MD PhD is Assistant Professor (Tenure Track, RTDB) at the Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine of the University of Bari (Italy) and Visiting Professor in at the WT/MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, University of Cambridge (UK). He specializes in system biology, translational and pre-clinical in vitro/in vivo studies aimed to dissect key dysregulated pathways linked to liver metabolism and disease. His main clinical and scientific interests are the molecular mechanisms linking obesity and metabolic syndrome to their complications, with a specific focus on non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Ahmed Elsharkawy

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Dr Ahmed Elsharkawy has been a consultant transplant hepatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham since 2012. He is also honorary senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London.

His clinical interests include viral hepatitis, liver transplantation, polycystic liver disease, drug induced liver injury, primary biliary cirrhosis, acute liver failure, acute on chronic liver failure, NAFLD (especially in the context of hepatitis B) and cirrhotic sarcopaenia. He has pioneered novel approaches to the management of hepatitis C in the community.

He was awarded his PhD from Newcastle University on the role of NF-kB in the hepatic inflammation-fibrosis-cancer axis. He is a research active NHS clinician and is principle investigator on a number of clinical trials; as well as a member of trial steering committees.

He is the immediate past Chairman of the British Viral Hepatitis Group and has more than 60 peer reviewed publications. He is a regular peer reviewer for both publications and grants. He is keen on promoting the role of social media, in particular Twitter, in medical education and looking at novel ways to gain CME recognition through this.

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