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Prof Rajiv Jalan
Upper Third Floor, UCL Medical School
Institute for Liver and Digestive Health, Royal Free Hospital
Rowland Hill Street,
Prof Rajiv Jalan profile picture
  • Professor of Hepatology
  • Inst for Liver and Digestive Hlth
  • Div of Medicine
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

I am a clinician with a strong focus on translational research. I graduated in India, trained in Edinburgh and studied for my PhD in Maastricht. I moved to UCL as a Senior lecturer/Hon Consultant in 2000 and was awarded a personal chair in 2009. I spend about 50% of my time providing patient care as a Hepatologist at the secondary and tertiary level at the Royal Free Hospital where I also run a translational and basic science laboratory. I have just finished my term as the Editor in Chief of Journal of Hepatology, which is the first ranked amongst all liver journals (IF: 25.08). The Liver Failure Group at UCL, which I founded and head, is currently comprised of 6 PIs including myself. I am also the Scientific Director of the European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure (www.efclif.com).

Research Focus and Output 

My work is focused on liver failure. The most important observation we made was the discovery that systemic inflammation played a crucial role in the progression of liver injury and cirrhosis culminating in liver failure leading up to current hypotheses and the seminal observation that acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) was a distinct clinical syndrome with defined clinical, prognostic and pathophysiological characteristics. ACLF is associated with high mortality rates, consumes huge healthcare resources and its treatment is an unmet need. In the past 20 years since I described this syndrome first, more than 6500 papers have been published on this subject and many research groups and industry are focussed on this subject to better define, prognosticate, understand its pathogenesis and develop new treatments. 

I have developed a vibrant clinical practice and laboratory with many novel therapies and established extensive collaborations with key investigators, Foundations and Industry around the world to study the pathophysiological basis of ACLF. I was the Founder member of the EASL CLIF Consortium (efclif.com), which now stands independently funded with the aim of developing new treatments for cirrhosis and liver failure. One of the drugs I discovered, ornithine phenylacetate (MNK 6105) is due to enter Phase 3 clinical trials. Four of our inventions, CARBALIVE, DIALIVE, Alcochange and Cirrhocare have just completed Phase 2 studies and are ready for pivotal trials. I discovered the TLR4 in ACLF. A Phase 2 clinical trial has been initiated.

My research has led to successful publications of about 480 original papers, editorials and reviews. My H-Index is 100 (Google Scholar; Total citations: >37K).

Research Summary

Research Impact and Seminal observations
1. Novel treatment of Variceal Bleeding (1993-1997): Establishment of TIPSS for the treatment of variceal bleeding. 35 papers.
2. Novel approaches to the treatment of Hepatic encephalopathy (1995-2021): Recognition of the importance of inflammation in the development of hepatic encephalopathy (92 papers; 1st in 1995). Discovery of an ammonia lowering drug, ornithine phenylacetate, which is entering Phase 3 clinical trials.
3. Reducing deaths of acute liver failure patients from cerebral oedema (2007-2004): Treatment of Acute Liver Failure patients with uncontrolled intracranial hypertension using hypothermia (11 papers; 1st in man study in 1999).
4. Defining a new syndrome which has re-classified cirrhosis (2001-2021): 1st hypothesis that acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a clinically, prognostically and pathophysiologically distinct entity (>50 papers; 1st paper 2001-2). There are 6500 papers on this topic since; >500 new researchers; >$500M investment from Industry in next 5-yrs and 13 companies developing new therapies for this condition. 
5. Novel biomarkers and therapies for cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver failure (2007-2020): Development of novel devices/drugs to treat decompensated cirrhosis: MNK6105/06; DIALIVE, CARBALIVE, TLR4 antagonist, Cirrhocare and Alcochange.
6. Founding CLIF Consortium (now European Foundation for the Study of Chronic Liver Failure; www.efclif.com) (2009-2021): This not-for-profit foundation aims to reduce deaths and improve quality of life of patients with cirrhosis. 
a. Consortium Founded 2009; Foundation status 2015.
b. Raises approximately Euro 5M per year from philanthropic funds. 
c. EUH2020 grants: approximately Euro 45M; Coordinates seminal studies: CANONIC; PREDICT; ACLARA, CHANCE, MICROB-PREDICT; DECISION; A-TANGO. Participates in ALIVER, CARBALIVE, LIVERHOPE
d. Organising Global Studies: Over 130 affiliated Universities/Hospitals
7. Establishing priority for access to organs for transplantation for ACLF patients (2021): First large studies showing benefit of transplant in these patients, lack of equity of access and inadequacy of current allocation programmes led to change in policy in UK and Spain already. Hopefully, others will follow.

Teaching Summary

Education and Supervision
The Biomedical Entrepreneur: I started a module for undergraduates as part of the Applied Medical Sciences BSc. Course at UCL. This has been running for several years.
Students for higher degrees: I have successfully supervised 10 MD/PhD students, Training fellowships were obtained from Wellcome Trust, EASL and regional research boards. Three of my fellows have gone on to become Professors (UCL: 2; Kings: 1).
Supervision of fellows: I have provided the infrastructure for research training of over 65 fellows from India, China, Egypt, Austria, Italy, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, Norway and Canada, many of whom are now running successful Departments. 

Academic Background
1991   Member of the Royal College of Physicians Royal College of Physicians
1986   Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery To be updated
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