Contact FutureLearn for Support Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.
Online course

Liver Transplant: the Ins and Outs

Learn about the science behind having a liver transplant with this free online course from the Centre for Liver Research.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Liver Transplant: the Ins and Outs

?

Why join the course?

In this free, three-week course, we will teach you about the fascinating field of liver transplantation. We will cover the history of liver transplantation - from early experiments in the late 1960s to exciting new technological advances in organ preservation happening today.

You will find out why there is such an increasing global need for liver transplants, and look at the science behind the operation and the drugs used to prevent organ rejection. We will discuss the intriguing and unique biology of the liver, explaining how one donor organ can help two patients in need, and how some people can eventually manage without any anti-rejection medication.

Explore the major issues surrounding liver transplant

We will talk to the surgeons who perform the liver transplant operation; the clinical staff who care for the patients; the liver transplant coordinators who help to source and allocate donor organs; and patients themselves about their experiences of liver transplant.

During this course, we will explore the major issues that fascinate us:

  • How is it possible to take an organ like the liver from one person and have it survive inside another?

  • Have you ever wondered about the ethics of organ donation, and how organs should be allocated?

  • Why is there such an increasing demand for donor livers for transplantation?

  • And how can new advances increase the numbers of organs that are available for liver transplant?

Learn with experts from one of Europe’s largest liver transplant centres

You’ll learn with experts from the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham and the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital. This is one of Europe’s largest liver transplant centres, performing over 200 liver transplantations each year.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 22 secondsDR. PATRICIA LALOR: Hello, I'm Doctor Patricia Lalor, and I'm a senior lecturer at the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham.

Skip to 0 minutes and 29 secondsPROFESSOR PHIL NEWSOME: My name is Professor Phil Newsome, and I am director for the Centre for Liver Research and a consultant hepatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsDR. ZANIA STAMATAKI: My name is Dr. Zania Stamataki, and I am a Royal Society Research Fellow based in the Centre for Liver Research at the University of Birmingham.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 secondsDR. PATRICIA LALOR: Liver disease is a growing global problem, and many of you may know someone who has died from end-stage liver failure or liver cancer. Here in the UK, deaths from liver disease have increased dramatically in recent years. And it seems that we are following the trend seen in America where fatty liver conditions are the leading cause of chronic liver disease. Liver disease often doesn't present with any outward signs or symptoms until the damage is severe, at which point, the only treatment option may be having another transplant.

Skip to 1 minute and 19 secondsPROFESSOR PHIL NEWSOME: Here in Birmingham, we have one of the largest liver transplant centres in Europe and perform around 200 liver transplants per year. We also have a centre of excellence in the study of the science behind liver disease here at the University of Birmingham. We are, therefore, uniquely placed to try and teach you about the science behind liver transplantation. We will talk to the surgeons who perform the operations, the clinical staff who care for the patients, as well as the transplant coordinators who play a key role in helping source and allocate the donor organs. Finally, we'll also hear from the patients themselves and hear about their experiences with the transplant procedure.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 secondsDR. ZANIA STAMATAKI: When first conceived, the concept of liver transplantation struggled to convince liver doctors that it was going to catch on. Nowadays, liver transplantation is the only lifesaving treatment option for patients with end-stage liver disease. During this free course, we will explore the major issues that fascinate us. How is it possible to take an organ like the liver for one person and have it survive inside another? Have you ever wondered about the ethics of organ donation and how organs should be allocated? Did you know you can use a liver from one person to supply donor material for two recipients? And why is there such an increasing demand for donor livers for transplantation?

Skip to 2 minutes and 43 seconds And how can new advances increase the number of organs which are available?

Skip to 2 minutes and 47 secondsDR. PATRICIA LALOR: If you have an interest in liver disease, or transplantation surgery, or if you're interested in the biology behind organ transplantation and your immune system, sign up for our free course.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Apply new knowledge of the structure and function of the liver to understand the signs of disease.
  • Assess the major reasons for liver transplantation.
  • Compare the stages of the operation to remove a diseased liver and insert a new one.
  • Collect information about the history of liver transplantation and key transplant pioneers.
  • Apply knowledge to understand how patients are cared for after the operation.
  • Assess future alternatives to transplantation.

Who is the course for?

The course will be of interest to anyone who is captivated by human biology, transplantation, surgery or your immune system.

Who will you learn with?

Patricia Lalor

Trish Lalor is a Senior Lecturer and research scientist in the Centre for Liver Research at The University of Birmingham.

Zania Stamataki

Zania Stamataki is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow at the University of Birmingham School of Immunity and Infection.

Who developed the course?

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

What’s the difference between a free course and an upgraded course?

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $69 you'll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

Image access mobile

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

Image tests mobile

  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

Image certificate mobile

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your LinkedIn or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.

Upgrade


Still want to know more? Check out our FAQs