Dr Nikhil Vergis
Imperial Post-Doctoral, Post-CCT Research Fellowship
Metabolic regulation of monocyte function in alcoholic hepatitis
How does the metabolism of circulating immune cells control their function and susceptibility to sepsis in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis?
Patients with alcohol related liver disease have a weakened immune system that renders them susceptible to sepsis and death. Recent studies have demonstrated that immune function may be controlled by cellular metabolism. This project aims to unpick the ways in which altered metabolism of immune cells might cause changes in their function and reduce the risk of serious infection and death. The ultimate aim is to identify nutrient targets that might be used to alter the function of immune cells and improve the health of patients with this condition.
I am a clinical academic with an interest in innate immune dysfunction in patients with liver disease. I am particularly focussed on the immunometabolic regulation of myeloid cell function during severe alcoholic hepatitis, a condition with high mortality in which patients are especially susceptible to sepsis.
I completed pre-clinical training at the University of Cambridge in 2002 before commencing clinical training at the University of Oxford, which I completed in 2005. I subsequently rotated through Oxford Radcliffe and Imperial NHS Trust hospitals before taking an Academic Clinical Fellowship at Imperial College in 2009. This led to a Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Training Fellowship which I used to complete a PhD in translational immunology in alcoholic hepatitis in 2016. My higher clinical training in Gastroenterology and General Internal Medicine was at Chelsea and Westminster Hospitals before taking an Imperial Post-Doctoral Post-CCT Research Fellowship at the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction under the mentorship of Professor Mark Thursz.