Patrik Bachtiger

Patrik Bachtiger - 2016 Dr Falk Guts UK F1/F2 Bursary Winner

Title: Mechanisms of Cell Death in Acute on Chronic Liver Failure: Necrosis, Apoptosis and the Emerging Role of Nucleosomes

Summary: Liver disease is the fifth biggest cause of death in the UK population. However, compared to the other top five causes of death, rates of liver disease have seen a dramatic increase in recent decades. The economic impact of liver disease is vast, and outcomes for these patients – despite intensive care organ support in many cases – remains poor.

Studies to understand the molecular basis of how liver cells are being killed – and how to intervene in this – are essential. My project sets out to elucidate the mechanisms by which the cells of the liver are killed during acute chronic liver failure (ACLF), by measuring blood markers of cell death in patients with different grades of ACLF and acute decompensation (AD), as well as exploring the role of nucleosomes (a molecule which can cause inflammation) in triggering cell death. This may lead to us being able to monitor and identify patients at risk of developing ACLF, and propose targets for drug development and therapeutic monitoring.

Liver diseases are set to pose ever increasing demands on public health. Receiving support and recognition from the Dr Falk Guts UK Bursaries can only help galvanise young researchers to want to embark on projects to further help this patient group.

Patrik Bachtiger