Mark Thursz is professor of hepatology in the Division of Digestive Diseases and Head of the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London.
Prof Thursz is a clinical hepatologist with inpatient beds and a clinic at St Mary’s Hospital. He was educated at King’s College London and trained in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at St Mary’s being appointed as Senior Lecturer and honorary consultant in 1997.
His early research work with Howard Thomas and Adrian Hill focused on genetic susceptibility in viral hepatitis. As an extension of this theme, his research expanded to encompass the natural history of viral hepatitis and factors which determine disease progression including the role of the coagulation system in hepatic fibrogenesis. In 2011 Prof Thursz launched the Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa (PROLIFCA) programme to address barriers to control and elimination of viral hepatitis in resource-limited countries. PROLIFICA has demonstrated the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of community-based screening for viral hepatitis in sub-Saharan Africa and the research results have informed WHO policy.
In addition to viral hepatitis, Prof Thursz runs a translation research programme in alcohol-related liver disease. He ran the Steroids or Pentoxifylline for Alcoholic Hepatitis (STOPAH) trial which explored the utility of existing treatments for alcoholic hepatitis and is now involved in a portfolio of trials in this condition. Recently granted an MRC Stratified Medicine award he is now exploring novel biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and risk of infection in this condition.
Prof Thursz was Secretary-General of the European Association for Study of the Liver 2011-13. He is currently Director of the Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre and Trust Research Director for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.