Dr Kia completed his North West England MRC Clinical Research Fellowship in September 2014 and successfully defended his PhD thesis entitled “Novel approaches using human induced pluripotent stem cells and microRNAs in the development of relevant human hepatocyte models for drug-induced liver injury” in January 2015.
During his Fellowship, his research was focussed on improving cell-based liver models for the study of DILI, by exploiting recent advances in stem cell research and molecular genomics, to enable better understanding of the mechanisms of DILI which continue to cause patient morbidity and mortality, and result in the loss of promising new therapies at a late stage in drug development. Amongst the main outcomes from his research in collaboration with other clinical, academic and biopharmaceutical partners, include the generation of novel liver-derived human induced pluripotent stem cell lines, previously uncharacterised microRNA profiles of human primary hepatocytes and the development of a novel microRNA-based in vitro biomarker of drug-induced hepatocyte toxicity, most of which has been published or presented in international conferences.
Following completion of the Fellowship, he commenced his role as a Subspecialty Hepatology Registrar based at the Mersey tertiary referral centre, Royal Liverpool University Hospital and the liver transplant centre of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. Whilst pursuing his clinical hepatology commitments, he continues to be involved with ongoing research related to DILI and liver regeneration and hope to exploit further his many links with various UK and Europe-based collaborators forged during his Fellowship to improve translation of clinical and basic research of liver diseases towards better outcomes for patients.
dr Kia is extremely grateful to the North West England MRC Fellowship Scheme for the huge opportunities afforded, and particularly for its unparalleled access to quality research network and infrastructure.