Dr Grace Hatton

Faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) in chronic liver disease.

Grace Hatton
Guts UK/Dr Falk 2019 Award Winner

Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital

Title of the project: The role of faecal microbial transplantation (FMT) in treatment of chronic liver disease

Placement Supervisor: Dr Deborah Shawcross

There is an increasing focus in the scientific world on the bacteria which reside in the gut, known as the microbiota. My project focuses on the use of faecal microbial transplantation (FMT), which is a novel therapeutic strategy undergoing randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluation in patients with cirrhosis of the liver.

By replacing an unhealthy gut microbiota with a healthy one, we are trying to understand how the gut microbiota and microbiome communicates with the immune system, and whether FMT may improve the immune dysfunction we typically see in patients with chronic liver disease which makes them highly susceptible to infections.

FMT has already demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of gut disorders including Clostridium Difficileinfection. Our work will continue hopefully into subsequent trials with wider cohorts if we are able to demonstrate a positive effect on disease outcome, including cirrhosis progression and subjective patient quality of life assessments.

On a personal as well as professional level, winning this award reinforces the validity of my work impacting and hopefully benefiting a wide patient cohort as well as supporting my career aspirations to pursue a career in academic clinical hepatology. I am immensely grateful to the Guts UK/Dr Falk committee for the award and the recognition that it brings to myself and the research group that I work in at KCH.

Dr Grace Hatton