In recognition of his expertise and groundbreaking work in the field of primary biliary cirrhosis and gene therapy of liver diseases, the European Society of Radiology has invited Professor Jesús Prieto to deliver the opening lecture at ECR 2013.
Jesús Prieto is professor of medicine and director of the department of hepatology and gene therapy at the Centre for Applied Medical Research at the University of Navarra, Spain. He also serves as a consultant internist at the University of Navarra Clinic.
An expert in the field of hepatology, Prof. Prieto is considered to be a pioneer of gene therapy in Europe. His research has focused mainly on understanding the underlying mechanisms of liver disease and on the development of new therapies for acute and chronic liver damage. He is credited with contributing to the unravelling of the pathogenesis of primary biliary cirrhosis, where he showed that a defect in bicarbonate transport induces both bile duct injury and immune dysfunction.
Through his research, Prof. Prieto has analysed the role of IGF-I deficiency in the progression of liver cirrhosis and has produced clinical and experimental data to show that IGF-I replacement therapy can induce regression of liver fibrosis and a reduction of portal pressure, along with a significant improvement in liver function. In addition, he has identified cardiotrophin-1 as a molecule with potent hepatoprotective properties, making it a natural defence against apoptosis and a potential therapy for patients with acute, severe liver damage.
A member of many national and international societies dedicated to the study of the liver, Prof. Prieto has served as president of the Spanish Association for the Study of the Liver and on the Scientific Committee of the European Association for the Study of the Liver. He was made Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Porto (Portugal) and the University Austral of Buenos Aires (Argentina).
Prof. Prieto has authored more than 300 articles, which have appeared in many prestigious peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cell Metabolism, PNAS, Gastroenterology, Journal of Clinical Oncology and many others.