In celebration of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we want to raise awareness of the work of women in hepatology and inspire the next generation of budding scientists.
Debbie is a clinician scientist who works as a consultant hepatologist in the King's Liver Unit with a special interest in hepatic encephalopathy and other complications of cirrhosis. She has worked in translational research to improve outcomes for patients with chronic liver failure for more than 20 years. The aims of her research program are to characterize the immunobiology of chronic liver failure focusing on the gut–liver–brain axis in the context of the gut microbiome as a driver of immune dysfunction, inflammation and hepatic encephalopathy.
She is leading the field in clinical trials of fecal microbiota transplantation and is Chief Investigator of the PROMISE trial, a multicenter randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial of fecal microbiota transplantation funded by the Efficacy and Mechanism Evaluation (EME) Programme of the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR). "I am leading a ground breaking national clinical trial exploring whether fecal microbiota transplantation may be able to improve the outcomes for patients with cirrhosis", Debbie explains. "I am a passionate advocate for the early detection of liver disease and tacking antimicrobial resistance having attended UK Parliament to influence policy makers", she adds.
Debbie strives to be a role model and to champion clinical, scientific and research opportunities for female hepatologists, hepatology nurses and basic scientists across Europe. She is elected member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) Scientific Committee and Governing Board. She is an advocate for high quality education and training in gastroenterology and hepatology and was Director of the Health Education England London Gastroenterology Training Programme. Currently, she is Deputy Chair of the British Society Gastroenterology (BSG) Research Committee and also serves on the BSG Training Committee, is an active member of the BSG Supporting Women in Gastroenterology network and participates in the BSG Mentoring Programme as a mentor.