Centre for Inflammation Research

Professor Jonathan Fallowfield

Jonathan Fallowfield's research interests span basic science and translational/clinical studies in hepatology. Key topics include mechanisms of liver fibrogenesis and fibrosis regression; portal hypertension and hepatorenal syndrome; biomarkers (particularly imaging); and discovery/development of novel therapies for liver fibrosis, NASH and portal hypertension. Engagement with industry is a high priority theme.

Professor Jonathan Fallowfield

Senior Clinical Fellow; Honorary Consultant Hepatologist

  • Centre for Inflammation Research

Contact details

Group Members

  • Maria Ramos (MRC DTP in Precision Medicine)
  • Cecile Minder (PhD student)
  • Dr Philip Dunne (MD - co-supervisor)
  • Dr Francesca Moroni (MD - co-supervisor)

Background

Jonathan Fallowfield is a clinician scientist performing translational liver research, taking clinical problems across the scientific-clinical interface, identifying solutions and applying new ideas in patients. Engagement with Industry is a high priority theme.

Research Overview

I am Personal Chair of Translational Liver Research at the University of Edinburgh and Honorary Consultant Hepatologist at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.  During medical training in Southampton, I undertook an intercalated BSc focused on mechanisms of liver inflammation and a PhD investigating the reversibility of liver fibrosis as an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow.  I relocated to Edinburgh in 2008 as an Academy of Medical Sciences/Health Foundation Clinician Scientist Fellow determined to tackle the major unmet clinical need in hepatology for robust non-invasive biomarkers and effective treatments for patients with chronic liver disease.  In 2014, I was awarded an NHS Research Scotland/Universities Senior Clinical Fellowship.  My research interests span basic science and translational/clinical studies in hepatology.  Key topics include mechanisms of liver fibrogenesis and fibrosis regression; portal hypertension and acute kidney injury; biomarkers (particularly imaging); and discovery/development of novel therapies for liver fibrosis, NASH and portal hypertension.

Track record in translation/commercialisation:

I have a successful track-record in translating scientific advances from bench-to-bedside and collaborating with Industry. A key exemplar is providing preclinical proof-of-concept for human-2 relaxin as an antifibrotic and vasoactive treatment in cirrhosis (Fallowfield et al, Hepatology 2014), then leading a Novartis sponsored Phase II randomized trial of serelaxin in human cirrhosis (NCT01640964; Snowdon et al, PLoS Med 2017) and an investigator-initiated Phase II trial of serelaxin in portal hypertension: 'Serelaxin To Lower Portal Pressure in Patients with Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension (STOPP)' (NCT02669875; Gifford et al, Trials 2020). In 2014 I was awarded a prestigious GSK Discovery Partnership with Academia (DPAc) to discover a small-molecule agonist of the relaxin receptor (McBride et al, Sci Rep 2017). Collaborative work spanning two decades has definitively established macrophages as key players in the progression and regression of liver fibrosis (Fallowfield et al, J Immunol 2007; Ramachandran et al, PNAS 2012; Ramachandran et al, Nature 2019), leading to a Phase I/II cell therapy trial for which I am a co-I: 'Autologous Macrophage Therapy for Liver Cirrhosis (MATCH)' (ISRCTN 10368050; Moroni et al, Nat Med 2019). I have a strong interest in developing innovative biomarkers in liver disease including breathomics (Sinha et al JHep Reports 2020) and multiparametric liver MRI - co-PI for two Innovate UK grants totalling ~£2.3M: ‘LiverMultiscanTM with MRI – replacing liver biopsy’ (Eddowes et al, Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2018) and 'HepaT1ca: Quantifying Liver Health in Surgical Candidates for Liver Malignancies' (NCT03213314; Mole et al, BMC Cancer 2018). Currently I am clinical lead for a £1.7M Innovate UK precision medicine project: ‘SteatoSITE: An Integrated Gene-To-Patient Data Commons for NAFLD Research'. I am interested in the potential therapeutic effects of coffee as an intervention in liver disease (Poole et al, BMJ 2017) and also lead preclinical drug development studies for novel liver disease therapeutics in collaboration with BioPharma partners.

Honours and Awards

  • Intercalated BSc (1st Class) 1996
  • Bachelor of Medicine (with Honours and Distinction in Clinical Medicine) 1997
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (London) 2000
  • MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship 2003-2006
  • Academy of Medical Sciences/Health Foundation Clinician Scientist Fellowship 2008-2013
  • NRS/ Scottish Senior Clinical Fellowship 2014-

  • Membership of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland

Alumni

  • Dr Fiona Gifford (MD student)
  • Madara Brice (BSc Biomedical Sciences Honours student)
  • Dr Anna Hoy (Postdoctoral scientist)
  • Dr Natasha McDonald (Clinical Research Fellow)
  • Dr Joanne Morling (PhD student)
  • Dr Victoria Snowdon (PhD student)
  • Dr Neil Lachlan (Clinical Research Fellow)
  • Li Xin (MSc student)

Other Responsibilities

My clinical activity includes outpatient general hepatology (clinics, hepato-pancreato-biliary MDT).  I also take an active role in teaching of preclinical and clinical trainees.

Sources of Funding

More information on funding at Jonathan Fallowfield's Research Explorer profile.