Liver Disease is the one chronic disorder that's increasing in frequency with a steady rise in deaths each year.

Professor Roger Williams CBE

Dr Anna Hadjihambi

Team Leader

Liver-Brain Axis Team

Anna Hadjihambi is Team Leader of Liver-Brain Axis research at the Roger Williams Institute of Hepatology, and Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Immunology and Microbial Sciences at King’s College London.

Anna is Chair of the ISHEN Translational Committee and the ISHEN Secretary elect.

Contact Dr Hadjihambi:

Twitter @AHadjihambi





Dr Hadjihambi’s translational research focuses on dissecting the molecular mechanisms linking chronic liver disease to brain dysfunction, accelerated brain ageing and neurodegenerative conditions. The main project of the group uses state-of-the-art in vivo, molecular and imaging techniques, combined with human data analysis in order to investigate the pathological mechanisms underlying the effects of NAFLD on the cerebrovascular and brain function. The aim is to obtain knowledge that will lead to the development of novel and effective neuroprotective therapies.

Schematic diagram summarising factors, contributing to the pathogenesis of NAFLD and possibly increasing the risk of development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases.


  1. “Is fatty liver disease increasing our risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions?” This project addresses the hypothesis that gut microbiome perturbations in NAFLD/NASH will induce systemic and brain inflammation lowering the threshold for developing diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
  2. Understanding the mechanisms underlying NAFLD-associated brain dysfunction and the potential of its reversibility following liver disease resolution during ageing.

Key collaborations within the Institute:

  1. Dr Vishal Patel: Development of novel non-invasive methods for the diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy
  2. Dr Antonio Riva: Bacterial translocation and brain dysfunctions in liver disease


Christos Konstantinou | Laboratory Technician
Deepika Goel | MRes Student: Biomedical and Molecular Sciences Research Masters
Matthew Siddle | Neuro-Immune Wellcome Trust PhD Programme – student on rotation

Key publications:

Hadjihambi A., Konstantinou C., Klohs J., Monsorno K., Guennec L. A., Donnelly C., et. al. 2022. Partial MCT1 invalidation protects against diet-induced non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and the associated brain dysfunction. J Hepatol; 78 (1): 180-190.

Hadjihambi A. 2021. Cerebrovascular alterations in NAFLD: Is it increasing our risk of Alzheimer’s disease?. Anal Biochem, 636: 114387.

Hadjihambi A., Pierzchala K., Cudalbu C., Simicic D., Donnelly C., Konstantinou C., et. al. 2022. Ammonia impairs brain oxygenation in an animal model of minimal hepatic encephalopathy. J Hepatol Reports; 4 (8): 100509.

Hadjihambi, A., Karagiannis, A., Theparambil, S. M., Ackland, G. L. & Gourine, A. V. 2020. The effect of general anaesthetics on brain lactate release. Eur J Pharmacol; 881:173188.

Hadjihambi A., Harrison I. F., Costas-Rodriguez M., Vanhaecke F., Arias N., Gallego-Duran R., et al. 2018. Impaired brain glymphatic flow in experimental hepatic encephalopathy. J Hepatol;70(1):40-49.

Hadjihambi, A., De Chiara, F., Hosford, P. S., Habtetion, A., Karagianis, A., Davies, H., et al. 2017. Ammonia mediates cortical hemichannel dysfunction in rodent models of chronic liver disease. Hepatology, 65, 1306-1318.



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