The problem

Patients with severe liver diseases have a very poor prognosis despite the medical progress. The management is mainly supportive and only a minority of patients has access to liver transplantation. Infections are a challenging complication and contributes to the mortality risk. We need better tools to diagnose infections, to support failing organs, to prioritize these patients on the waiting list and to define the timing and the characteristics of liver transplantation to achieve an adequate long-term survival.

The approach

By designing large observational study on acute decompensation of cirrhosis, we are able to define the ACLF entity and its clinical trajectories in a prospective way. In a parallel manner, we are performing a worldwide prospective study (CHANCE) to address principal issues in the field of liver transplantation for ACLF: outcomes on waiting list and after liver transplantation. Moreover, all these observational studies are associated with multiple exploratory samples (saliva, blood, DNA, liver biopsies) which are required to investigate numerous pathophysiological hypothesis by up-to-date translational platforms.

Main discoveries and innovations

  • Implication of bacterial products and pattern recognition receptors in the pathogenesis of alcohol-related liver injury
  • Molecular mechanisms of immune dysfunction observed in patients with severe liver diseases
  • Description and management of opportunistic infections in patients with severe liver diseases
  • Global prognosis of patients with cirrhosis admitted to intensive care unit
  • Clinical trajectories of patients with ACLF: liver transplantation as a salvage option and definition of potential stopping rules


HUB Hôpital Erasme, Belgium
Head of the Organ Retrieval and Transplantation Department (2022–present)

HUB Hôpital Erasme, Belgium
Clinical Director of the Liver Transplant Unit (2015–present)

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Associate Professor (2020–present)

Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium
Senior Lecturer (2015–2020)

Awards & Honors

Prize Fonds Carine Vyghen

Prize Lucien Steinberg for medical research

Prize MSD for best publication in clinical research

Rising Star Award, United European Gastroenterology (UEG)

Prize Fondation Fernand Hirsch