DPhil, Nuffield Department of Medicine
Project: Understanding the hepatic immune environment that may contribute to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in advanced liver disease
Rory studied a BSc in Physiology at Cardiff University before progressing to undergraduate medical training also in Cardiff.
He is a specialist trainee in Gastroenterology and Hepatology with particular interests in cancer and autoimmunity.
Primary liver cancer is a growing problem. It is estimated to cause over 800,000 deaths a year worldwide. Although curative treatments for liver cancer already exist, they can only be used when the disease is diagnosed early. Even in resource rich countries with focused liver cancer surveillance up to 70% of liver cancers are incurable at the time of diagnosis. In common with several other types of cancer the immune system has been established as an important factor that can influence treatment response and survival in liver cancer patients.
Rory’s research explores the wider role of the immune system within the liver, and in particular, how it relates to the development of liver cancer. Through a better understanding of liver – immune system interaction he hopes to find new ways of diagnosing liver cancer early and ultimately help more patients to receive curative treatment.
Oxford has world class research facilities and provides fantastic opportunities to draw on the advice and expertise talented researchers both within and outside the field of cancer research. Early cancer detection is an emerging and exciting field within cancer research and his project fits in well with his clinical interests.