The British Society of Gastroenterology has announced Dr Upkar (Uppy) Gill of the Blizard Institute as the recipient of the Sir Francis Avery Jones research medal, awarded for his work on immune responses in Chronic Hepatitis B.
Dr Upkar (Uppy) Gill
The award will be presented to Dr Gill at the annual meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology in June in Birmingham. Uppy will give his lecture on his research into harnessing peripheral and intrahepatic immune responses to optimise treatment strategies for chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
Uppy said: "I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award, especially given the list of previous illustrious winners! Also having received the Sheila Sherlock award (BASL) last year, I hope that our continued research in hepatitis B and liver immunology can make a real difference for our patients."
CHB remains the leading cause of liver cancer worldwide, yet curative treatment options remain limited. Better definition of the strengths and limitations of current treatment strategies will be imperative to develop novel approaches to deliver the goal of Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-cure, for which novel agents have entered the clinical trial pipeline. Uppy's research aims to harness functional antiviral immune cells whilst eliminating hepatitis B virus from the liver, in patients undergoing treatment, which will allow for an improved understanding of the immunopathogenesis of CHB and lead to the pathway to functional cure.
Uppy is a Clinical Lecturer (ERC with the MRF/MRC) in the Centre for Immunobiology at the Blizard Institute. He is the latest in a string of illustrious Queen Mary academics to take this prize. Previous winners include Professor David Van Heel, Professor Sir Nicholas Wright, Professor Ray Playford and Professor Qasim Aziz.