Liver expert recognised in Queen’s Birthday Honours

Leading clinician Professor Dave Jones has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his outstanding contribution to medicine.

Professor Jones, an honorary consultant who specialises in liver medicine at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital, and an academic at Newcastle University’s Institute of Cellular Medicine, has received an OBE for his services to liver medicine and clinical academic training.

Renowned for delivering the best outcomes for patients with liver problems, particularly Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) for which he has over 25 years clinical experience, Professor Jones has helped develop new drugs and treatment.

Professor Dave Jones

As well as Principle Investigator for the UK-PBC Research Consortium, Professor Jones leads the internationally renowned autoimmune liver disease clinical service in the North East, hosted by the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Professor Jones said: “I am delighted, and very pleasantly surprised, to be awarded an OBE for my work in liver medicine and in academic training. 

“My whole career has been focused on improving the lives of patients with the liver disease Primary Biliary Cholangitis and in helping the next generation of medical researchers. It is nice to know your efforts are seen and appreciated.  

“Everything has been done as part of teams and I acknowledge the support and contribution of my colleagues at Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the National Institute for Health Research.

“I also acknowledge the support and passion of the patients with liver disease and, in particular, LIVErNORTH and the PBC Foundation who do so much good work." 

Mr Andy Welch, Medical Director for the Newcastle Hospitals said: “Dave is a highly respected clinician and a prolific academic, who thoroughly deserves such recognition.

“He has contributed enormously to the national and international reputations of Newcastle Hospitals and Newcastle University, but most of all to the patients that we serve. I am delighted that he has been awarded this honour and on behalf of Newcastle Hospitals send him our heartiest congratulations.” 

Revolutionising patient care

The UK-PBC MRC Stratified Medicine programme, which Professor Jones leads, has revolutionised thinking in the disease, defining the unmet need, developing the clinical tools needed to quantify risk and identifying the patient groups who need enhanced therapy in PBC. 

He has led the evaluation, approval and implementation programmes for the first stratified therapy in PBC, obeticholic acid, which is now available across the NHS.  

Professor Jones is the coordinator for the RARE-LIVER European Reference Network, which was set up to support the development of clinical delivery programmes for rare liver disease across Europe. 

Training the experts of the future

In addition to his clinical and research work, Professor Jones has a long interest in training and is the NIHR Dean for Faculty Trainees. 

He has played a key role in the development of new integrated academic pathways which will help develop the next generation of researchers in the area of stratified medicine and its underpinning technologies.

Professor Jones is the lead for the Liver Disease theme with the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre; a partnership between the Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Newcastle University.

Within this theme, the NIHR Newcastle BRC supports research to enhance our understanding of causes, therapies and potential cures of several liver conditions.

Dr Lisa Cotterill, Director of the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre, said: “Professor Jones has played a critical role in creating the next generation of health researchers by ensuring that our training programmes are of the highest quality and championing secure career pathways for healthcare professionals who choose to engage in research.

“This OBE is a much-deserved testament to his many achievements.”

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