Introduction:

The BLTG (British Liver Transplant Group) was launched in 2014 to represent the professional interests of liver transplantation in the UK and promote strategic and academic development.

The BLTG will foster close relationships with BTS (British Transplant Society) and LICAGE (Liver Intensive Care Group of Europe) and will build on the role of the UK and Ireland Annual Meeting by delivering structure and authority to the group.

BLTG Transplant Meetings

The annual BLTG meeting usually integrates the meetings previously organised by each individual transplant centre but will extend to the many individuals working outwith liver transplant centres with an interest in liver transplantation. The meeting offers a platform for those operating in or with a strong interest in the field of liver transplantation. The BLTG Transplant meeting usually links to the BASL Annual Meeting and is aligned to the Liver Transplant Symposium and Williams-Calne Lecture within that programme. The winner of the Andy Burroughs Young Investigator Award will also deliver their prize lecture during the BLTG meeting.

The BLTG annual meeting takes place as part of the BASL Annual Meeting in September.  Further details are aded to the Events page of the website once announced.  


The BASL BLTG School of Transplantation offers an excellent platform for trainees with lectures delivered by carefully selected leading speakers from the UK. The School is currently paused and a date for 2022 will be announced soon. 

The Work of the BLTG

BLTG will provide a voice for UK liver transplantation bringing together all clinicians and allied personnel involved or interested in liver transplantation in the UK. By working closely with allied bodies such as the Liver Advisory Group to NHSBT, the British Transplant Society, BASL, BSG, AUGIS and LICAGE, BLTG will provide the professional view on aspects of planning and delivering liver service for the UK, including liver transplantation. There will also be a strong emphasis on education and training and setting out the future needs of UK Liver services / transplantation.

The BLTG Committee

BLTG Chair Dr Varuna Aluvihare, Kings College Hospital, London
BLTG Past Chair Professor Derek Manas, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
BLTG Secretary Dr Andrew Holt, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
Conference and Education Lead Dr Jess Dyson, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Transplant Hepatology representative Dr Steven Masson, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Transplant Surgery Representative Professor Brian Davidson, Royal Free Hospital, London
Pathology representative Professor Desley Neil, University Hospitals, Birmingham
Pharmacy representative Claire Bullen, Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge
BSG representative Dr Mhairi Donnelly, Consultant Hepatologist, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
Transplant Co-ordinator  
Nursing Representative Katie Ramos, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Paediatric representative Dr Eirini Kyrana, Clinical Senior Lecturer & Honorary Consultant in Paediatric Hepatology, Kings College Hospital, London
Patient Representative John Crookenden, PSC Support
Patient Representative Sarah Barker
BASL representative (Treasurer) Dr James Ferguson, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
BTS Representative Miss Anya Adair, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh
Substance misuse specialists (SMSLT) representative Ian Webzell, Kings College Hospital, London
Interventional Radiology representative Dr Jai Patel, Leeds Teaching Hospital
Anaesthetic Representative Dr Suehana Rahman, Royal Free Hospital, London
ITU Representative
Dr Brian Hogan, Kings College Hospital, London
Research Strategy Lead Dr Matt Armstrong, University Hospitals Birmingham
Dietician Representative Lynsey Spillman, Cambridge University Trust
Physiotherapy Representative Suzanne Lester, Royal Belfast Hospital
Physiotherapy Representative Felicity Williams, University Hospitals Birmingham

Dr Varuna Aluvihare, King’s College Hospital, London
Dr Aluvihare is Transplant Hepatology and Governance Lead at the Institute of Liver Studies, King’s College Hospital, and Chair of the British Liver Transplant Group. He qualified at the Royal Free Hospital and completed his professional training at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge. He undertook MRC funded Training (PhD) and Clinician Scientist fellowships in Immunology/Molecular Biology at the world renowned MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge. He was awarded a 5-year HEFCE Senior Lecturer Fellowship and an ROTRF grant in transplantation research at King’s College Hospital. He is a member of the UK Liver Transplant Advisory Group, Hepatology representative on the National Multivisceral Transplantation Review Group, Transplant Hepatology representative on the British Transplant Society Council and a member of the Editorial Board for Liver Transplantation.

Professor Derek Manas, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
Professor Manas is a Consultant HPB and Transplant Surgeon, Newcastle upon Tyne. He is a Professor of Transplantation Surgery and Director of the Institute of Transplantation at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne. Professor Manas trained in Cape Town, Johns Hopkins and Paris. He is President Elect of the British Transplant Society and Chair of the Transplant Surgeons Chapter. His interests cover the Management of HCC, Surgical Management of Hilar Cholangiocarcinama, Ablative therapies for Liver and Pancreas Tumours and the use of Marginal organs for Transplantation.

Dr Andrew Holt, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham / University of Birmingham
Dr Holt is a Consultant Physician and Transplant Hepatologist based at the Liver Unit in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham and a Senior Researcher at the University of Birmingham.  Andrew moved to the Birmingham Liver Transplant Unit in 2002 and was the Clinical Service Lead until 2018. His particular interests are in addiction-related liver disease and transplantation and he leads the multidisciplinary High Intensity Clinic for complex disease management. His research interests are predominantly based around the management of decompensated liver disease and he holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham for his work studying stromal immune interactions within the liver.  

Dr Jess Dyson, Consultant Hepatologist, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
Dr Dyson is an NHS consultant hepatologist in Newcastle with sub-specialty interests in autoimmune liver disease and liver transplantation. She leads the clinical service in Newcastle for patients with autoimmune liver disease and runs the regional service for second-line therapies in primary biliary cholangitis. She is also an honorary senior lecturer at Newcastle University undertaking clinical research with a particular focus on autoimmune liver disease, risk stratification and identification of biomarkers. She is principal investigator for the UK national study for patients with autoimmune hepatitis (UK-AIH) that focuses on improving therapy for patients. She is a member of the BASL SIG for autoimmune liver disease. She completed her PhD in 2019 investigating potential environmental risk factors related to autoimmune liver disease.

Dr Steven Masson, Consultant in Hepatology and Liver Transplantation, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Dr Masson is a Consultant Hepatologist at the regional Liver and Transplant Unit at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle and Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University.  His clinical and research interests are focused around alcohol-related liver disease, haemochromatosis and liver transplantation.  He is the Hepatology speciality group lead for the North East and Cumbria LCRN.  He is the consultant lead for the alcohol liaison team at the Newcastle Hospitals.  He graduated from Edinburgh University and subsequently trained in hepatology and liver transplantation in Edinburgh, Newcastle and London.

Professor Brian Davidson, Royal Free Hospital, London
Professor Davidson is a consultant surgeon with a major interest in HPB surgery and liver transplant. He is UK editor of the Cochrane HPB group for evidence based healthcare and director of the UCL MSc in evidence based medicine. He works closely with patient groups on research advances in the HPB field and leads a research programme involving evidence based healthcare, organ preservation and tissue engineering, image guided surgery and novel approaches to the treatment of HPB cancers.

Professor Desley Neil, Consultant Histopathologist, University Hospitals Birmingham
Professor Neil first qualified from the University of Queensland in 1984.  She has worked at the Liver Unit at University Hospitals Birmingham since 1994 and became a consultant in 2003.  Her area of professional interest is transplantation pathology, particularly preservation reperfusion injuries.

Dr Mhairi Donnelly, Freeman Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne
Dr Donnelly qualified from the University of Edinburgh in 2008, and joined the team in Newcastle as a consultant liver specialist working in 2020. She trained in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, undertaking subspecialty hepatology training in the Scottish Liver Transplant Unit. Dr Donnelly is an NHS hepatologist, with an interest in acute liver injury and acute liver failure, liver transplantation and palliative care in liver disease. She is an active member of the BASL Special Interest Groups for acute liver failure and end of life and her research interests include acute liver failure and liver transplantation.

Katie Ramos, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth
Katie qualified at St Georges Hospital/Kingston University. Shortly after she developed her interest in Hepatology Nursing when she moved to the Liver Intensive Care, Kings College Hospital. Following several years of experience she became a junior sister as well as being a member of the liver retrieval team. Following this she became a liver recipient transplant coordinator at Kings, focussing on pre transplant and waiting list management. In 2009 she took up her current post as Liver transplant coordinator at the South West Liver Unit, University Hospitals Plymouth. Here she has cemented her experience and knowledge in all aspects of care of liver transplants patients and manages their care throughout the transplant journey; seeing patients from the point of referral for assessment through to long term follow-up. Her role has evolved through this time taking on more extended roles including non-medical prescribing and is currently undertaking her masters in advanced clinical practice. Katie co-leads on transition for the unit and is an integral part of the south west liver nurse group focussing on providing education to ward nurses as well as supporting patient inclusion via social media and advocating peer support.

Dr Eirini Kyrana, Leeds Teaching Hospital
Dr Kyrana is a Consultant in Paediatric Hepatology at the Children's Liver Unit at the Leeds Children's Hospital and Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Leeds. Her training in hepatology has been at King's College Hospital and in gastroenterology and nutrition at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She looks after children with acute and chronic liver disease, as well as with end stage liver disease before and after liver transplantation. She has a strong interest in nutritional issues, metabolism and body composition of children with chronic liver disease and has an MDRes with King's College London looking at body composition and metabolic profiles of children with end stage liver disease.

Miss Anya Adair, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh 
Miss Adair is a Consultant Transplant and Hepatopancreaticobiliary (HPB) Surgeon at the Royal Infirmary Edinburgh and Honory Senior Lecturer for the University of Edinburgh. She is Clinical lead for the Scottish HPB Cancer Network. She is the elected Liver transplant representative on BTS council and is a member of the Liver Advisory Core Group of NHSBT as surgical representative.
Miss Adair is HPB module lead for the Edinburgh School of Surgery (ESSQ) ChM surgical eLearning course and sits on the Editorial board of HPB Journal.v She is member of the Less Survivable cancer task force and British Liver Trust Clinical Advisory and works with the IHPBA supporting outreach projects in Sri Lanka and Nepal

Ian Webzell, King's College Hospital London
Ian is an Alcohol and Substance Misuse Clinical Nurse Specialist and has been at King’s College Hospital since 2007. He works with patients who have liver disease and alcohol or drug problems. He provides patients with psychological and emotional support, as well as clinical treatment.

Dr Jai Patel, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT)
Dr Patel was appointed as consultant in vascular and interventional radiology at LTHT in 1999. Together with other colleagues in the department he provides a comprehensive specialist vascular radiology service in a wide range of minimally invasive interventions. His main area of interest and expertise is in liver intervention, specifically in trans-arterial therapies for the treatment of liver tumours and interventional radiological management of portal hypertension (cirrhotic, non-cirrhotic and Budd-Chiari syndrome). His practice includes intervention in both adult and paediatric liver patients. He was previously Lead Clinician for vascular radiology at LTHT for 5 years and remains the lead interventionalist for the liver service in Leeds. Previous committee work has included Education Committee Chairman and Secretary of the British Society of Interventional Radiology. He also has an interest in the use of new medical devices and technologies in patient management, and is currently a committee member of the NICE Medical Technologies Advisory Committee.

Dr Suehana Rahman, Royal Free Hospital, London
Dr Rahman MBBS BSc (Hons) FRCA, is a Consultant Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplant Anaesthetist at the Royal Free Hospital, London. During her transplant fellowship she undertook research in cirrhotic cardiomyopathy and acute kidney injury after transplantation. She is an active member of the Royal Free Perioperative Research Group and current anaesthetic representative for the British Liver Transplant Group.  

Dr Brian Hogan, Kings College, London
Dr Hogan qualified from University College London Medical School in 2004. He completed Specialist Training in Critical Care Medicine and Hepatology at King's College Hospital, The Royal Free Hospital and Guy's and St Thomas' Hospitals before joining King's as a Consultant in 2018. Whilst training he completed research at The Royal Free Hospital and University College London investigating novel methods of assessing portal hypertension in patients with severe liver disease.  Dr Hogan works as a Consultant in both Critical Care Medicine and Hepatology.

Dr Matt Armstrong, University Hospital, Birmingham
Dr Armstrong is a consultant in Liver and Transplant Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Birmingham and Honorary Lecturer at the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Birmingham, UK. His main research interests include non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), lipotoxicity/obesity, cardiovascular risk, prehabilitation and physical frailty/sarcopenia in patients before and liver transplantation. He is a named author on more than 80 publications in his area of specialization and was awarded Dame Sheila Sherlock Award in 2016 for his bench-to-bedside research of GLP-1 in NAFLD. He currently co-runs the liver transplant waiting list clinic and evolving prehabilitation services in Birmingham.

Felicity Williams, University Hospitals, Birmingham
Felicity is a Senior Liver Physiotherapist and NIHR Clinical Research Fellow at University Hospitals Birmingham and University of Birmingham. She is in her final year of completing her PhD on the assessment of sarcopenia in end-stage liver disease. Further research interests include prehabilitation, rehabilitation and physical activity in patients awaiting liver transplantation.