1st REAL Asia: Chronic Liver Disease and Liver Transplantation: the right time to make the transition from medical therapy

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March 2, 2021

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The Regional Expansion of Advanced Learning project is an initiative by the ILTS Education Committee to reach out to the regions of Southeast Asia and South Asia and its surrounding regions through education activities. Through educational events such as the REAL webinars, we will be inviting eminent speakers in the field of liver transplantation to share their experience with the liver transplant community in the Southeast Asian and South Asian region, with the hope to enhance the partnership with the local LT community to build knowledge and skills in this area.

We also hope to create communication channels for members from the region to connect with one another through the ILTS REAL program. We would love to hear from you any suggestions on the topics which might interest you in the future!



  • Introduction of the REAL Webinar (Alfred Kow Wei Chieh and Prashant Bhangui)
  • Welcome and Introduction of Patrizia Burra by Claus Niemann
  • Optimizing medical therapy in a patient with CLD: common problems yet individualized treatment (Patrizia Burra)
  • Introduction of Mohamed Rela by Bijan Eghtesad
  • Indications and contraindications for liver transplantation: how selection has evolved over the years (Mohamed Rela)
  • Q&A


Alfred Kow, Associate Professor, is a Senior Consultant at HPB and Liver Transplantation Division at the National University Hospital Singapore. His main area of interest is liver transplantation and minimally invasive HPB surgery. He has done many complex MIS HPB Surgeries, including major Lap Hepatectomies, Lap Whipples, Lap ALPPS and Lap liver donor harvesting for liver transplantation.

He is also the Assistant Dean of Education at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. He has received many teaching awards for teaching excellence. His main research areas of interest include development of surgical techniques in HPB surgery and outcome of surgical treatment for HPB malignancies and liver transplantation.

Prashant Bhangui MBBS, MS, Masters in HPB Surgery (Henri Bismuth Institute, France), is the Associate Director, Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplant Surgeon at the Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation and Regenerative Medicine, Medanta-The Medicity, Delhi NCR, India. He was a Chair of the Vanguard Committee and currently a member of the Education and Scholarship Committee and Development Committee of the ILTS. Dr. Bhangui’s areas of research include hepatocellular carcinoma, colorectal liver metastases, and living donor liver transplantation. He has several publications in key peer-reviewed International journals on these subjects and serves on the Reviewer panel of high index factor HPB Surgery and Transplant Journals.



Patrizia Burra is Full Professor of Gastroenterology and Head of the Multivisceral Transplant Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology, and Gastroenterology as well as Vice Rector on Research Training at the University of Padua, Italy. She spent three years as a research fellow at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, UK, before completing the PhD in Hepatology at the University of Padua. Her research interests are on complications of cirrhosis, alcoholic liver disease, HBV- and HCV-related liver disease, liver tumors, and liver transplantation, including compliance and quality of life. She has served as President of ELITA, Vice President of ESOT, Chair of the ILTS Education Committee, Treasurer of ILTS and ILTS President. She is President of the NGO Marina Minnaja Foundation.

Mohamed Rela is a liver transplant surgeon with over 25 years of experience in the field. He has been a consultant surgeon, and Professor of Liver surgery at King’s College Hospital, London, since 1993 and has been working in India since 2009.

He now runs the busiest liver transplantation program in South India, performing over 250 liver transplants each year.

Prof. Rela has authored over 450 peer-reviewed publications and a number of book chapters including a chapter in the latest edition of Gray’s Anatomy. The annual Master Class in Liver Disease series started by Rela in 2011 is one of the most popular academic events in South Asia, regularly attended by over one thousand delegates across the world.

He is the next President-elect of ILTS.



Claus Niemann is the current President of ILTS. He is also a Professor of Anesthesia and Surgery, Department of Anesthesia & Perioperative Care, Department of Surgery & Co-Director, Ischemic Organ Injury Lab at the University College San Francisco. His research group is interested in identifying why obese individuals are at greater risk of liver injury in the setting of trauma or surgery. He has consulted for several governments and countries looking to establish transplantation programs. Dr. Niemann has also been the Principal Investigator on several federally-funded studies, including experimental and clinical research in organ protection during transplantation.

Bijan Eghtesad, MD, is a Staff Surgeon in the Departments of General Surgery and Transplantation at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus, performing hepatobiliary surgery and liver transplantation. Dr. Eghtesad’s areas of interest include liver transplantation, hepatitis B and C, liver transplantation in HIV-positive patients, living donor liver transplantation, immunosuppression, and organ donation, recovery and preservation. Dr. Eghtesad attended medical school at Shiraz University Faculty of Medicine, Iran. After completing his internship and residency at Shiraz University, he completed a fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center/Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute in Pittsburgh, and a fellowship in transplantation at the University of Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital.


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