Appointment of Juan Carlos García-Pagán, Group leader
The road is full of important questions awaiting an answer

Current research

Problem

The group's research focuses on the causes, diagnosis and treatment of portal hypertension (PHT), which is increased pressure in the vein that carries blood to the liver, the most serious complication of liver disease. The most frequent cause of PHT is cirrhosis, but there are others: Budd-Chiari syndrome, idiopathic PHT and portal thrombosis, all minority illnesses that tend to affect young patients and, if not treated properly, can reduce their survival. The group also focuses its research on basic science, to understand the cellular and molecular pathways of PHT.

Approach

The group approaches the subject to improve knowledge of PHT with molecular-cellular studies, preclinical models and clinical trials. Models that reproduce the disease and the mechanisms that regulate the liver cells are generated to see which components are responsible for the increase in PHT and the appearance of complications.

The group is a pioneer in the application of new diagnostic methods among patients with PHT. Invasive methods, such as the practising of biopsies and catheterisation, as well as non-invasive methods. In this way we can further our knowledge of the prognosis, diagnosis and treatment of the patients.

Impact

The ultimate goal of the research is to understand how PHT develops at different levels. It seeks to clarify the mechanisms responsible for its appearance in order to find new therapeutic targets that are easy to apply to clinical practice.

From a more clinical point of view, the group also focuses on improving diagnostic methods and the identification of patients at risk of complications, as well as those treatment and follow-up strategies that significantly reduce complications of the disease and increase patient survival.