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Prof. Howard Thomas

Prof. Howard Thomas

Howard Thomas is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, Department of Hepatology and Gastroenterology at Imperial College, London, and Director of the Hepatology Biomedical Research Theme at Imperial Healthcare.


From 2000 to 2010 he was Chairman of the Government’s Advisory Group on Hepatitis and Chairman of the Hepatitis C Strategy Steering Group. He is currently joint chair of the ‘Cross Cutting Group developing the Blood Borne Viruses component of the National Liver Strategy’ and a member of the ‘Cross Cutting Group developing Infrastructure and Manpower’ of this strategy. He is Chair of NICE Hepatitis B Guidelines Development Group. He is Vice President of the British Liver Trust, a Trustee of the Hepatitis B Foundation and Caxton Trust and Chairman of the board of Trustees of the Liver Research Trust. He has been on the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and of the British Society of Gastroenterology and has been the President of the British and European Societies for the Study of the Liver. He has received the Research Medal of the British Society of Gastroenterology (1984); Humphrey Davy Rolleston Lecturership of the Royal College of Physicians (1986); Cohen Lecturership, Israel. (1988); Sheila Sherlock Research Prize, Toronto University, (1988); Hans Popper International Award for Distinction in Hepatology, Basel, (1989); Bushell Lectureship of the Australian Society of Gastroenterology (1990); Medal to Celebrate “100 years of virology” from Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and D.I.Ivanovsky Institute of Virology (1997); Fellowship of Academy of Medical Science (1999); Recognition Award of European Society of Hepatology (2010); Life Time Achievement Award of British Society of Hepatology (2010).

His PhD thesis described oral induction of tolerance to protein antigens and his subsequent research has focused on the pathogenesis and treatment of virus induced liver disease and cancer. His group conducted the first European randomised controlled trials of interferon therapy in HBV induced hepatitis and Non A, Non B hepatitis (now hepatitis C), and conducted the NHS HTA trial of combination anti-viral therapy in mild chronic hepatitis C, helping to establish this as a NICE recommended therapy. They are currently investigating the role of extra-hepatic sites of HCV infection in relapse after therapy. Most recently the group, in collaboration with MRC Mammalian Genetics Unit Harwell, are using ENU mutagenesis to identify genetic factors influencing alcoholism, alcohol (ASH) and obesity related (NASH) liver disease, and drug induced hypersensitivity.

He is Founding Editor of the Journal of Viral Hepatitis, editor of the textbook Viral Hepatitis now in its 4th edition, and has published 500 papers in the field of liver disease. He has been on the editorial boards of several journals, including Hepatology and Journal of Hepatology.