Skip to 0 minutes and 5 secondsI'm Dr. Trish Lalor, a research scientist here in Birmingham. And you're also going to hear from Doctor Zania Stamataki and other scientists, and our fellow clinicians and pathologists based here in Birmingham. We're all interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to liver disease. So that hopefully we can design new treatments that can be used for patients here, but also patients internationally. And you're going to hear about some of these treatments as the course progresses. One of our major goals is to teach you why the liver is important. We will do this in our first week.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsThe importance of the liver was recognised in ancient history, with the Greeks and other civilizations acknowledging the liver as one of the most important of organs. They also believed the liver was the centre for desire and the seed of love. Analysis of the liver of animals was often performed for divination or fortune-telling purposes and Chinese medical philosophy suggests that the liver is responsible for the flow of energy. You certainly cannot live without your liver, which performs over 500 essential functions to keep you healthy. We will learn more about these later in the week. We also want to teach you about liver disease.

Skip to 1 minute and 15 secondsThe UK government has highlighted the treatment of liver disease as a priority and global rates of liver disease are dramatically increasing, too. We will explain more about this in Weeks 2 and 3. We have divided our course up into three weeks worth of material, which you could study at your own pace. We will use videos like this, to teach you about the human liver. And we will supplement the video with text documents, where you can read more details. We have also added web links in our documents and our Resources section, so that those of you who wish to extend your knowledge have some good pointers to reliable sources of information.

Skip to 1 minute and 52 secondsIn Week 1 of our course-- we'll call it the foundation week, if you like-- and we're going to teach you about the liver, where it is, how it functions, what it's made of, to build on in the later weeks as the course develops. In Week 2, we're going to bring in some of our colleagues who actually treat liver disease in Birmingham. And we're going to talk more about specific liver diseases. So what are the signs of the liver diseases? Who gets them? What are the kind of symptoms that you would expect to see?

Skip to 2 minutes and 16 secondsAnd then, this week, we're going to bring up an important term, which is fibrosis, which is common to many liver diseases, and is one of the most difficult areas to treat. We'll talk a little bit about liver treatment in Week 2 but most of this will be covered in Week 3, where we'll talk about some of the generic treatments which are used worldwide to treat liver disease. But we'll try and focus a bit more on what's new and what's innovative in Birmingham, so what the future is for the treatment of liver disease.

Skip to 2 minutes and 42 secondsAlso, importantly, at the end of this week, we're going to talk about what you can do, as an individual, to actually look after your liver and protect your liver health.

Welcome to the course

Welcome to the ‘Liver Disease: Looking after Your Liver’ course!

In this video your lead educators, Dr Patricia Lalor and Dr Zania Stamataki, introduce themselves and briefly explain what you will be covering in your next three weeks with us.

Please feel free to ‘follow’ any member of our course team by clicking on their name below. That way you will be able to see their comments throughout the course.

Your course team

Lead educators:
Dr. Patricia Lalor
Dr Zania Stamataki

Course developer:
Andy Wright

Prove what you’ve learned with a certificate

If you want a record of your course, you can buy a Certificate of Achievement from FutureLearn.

Certificate of Achievement

The Certificate of Achievement is a great way to prove what you have learned on the course and as evidence of your Continuing Professional Development. This is a personalised certificate and transcript, detailing the syllabus and learning outcomes from the course. It comes as a printed certificate as well as a digital version which you can add to your LinkedIn profile. To qualify, you must have marked at least 90% of the steps in the course complete, have attempted all test questions and achieved a 70% or above score across all tests in the course.

There is also the option to purchase a personalised Statement of Participation, to celebrate taking part. To be eligible for the Statement of Participation, you must mark at least 50% of the steps on the course as complete. This also comes in a printed and digital format and you can add it to your LinkedIn profile.

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This video is from the free online course:

Liver Disease: Looking after Your Liver

University of Birmingham