UCL Division of Medicine


Liver and Pancreaticobiliary Cancer

Professor Stephen Pereira and Dr Pilar Acedo jointly lead the Pereira/Acedo Group. We investigate pancreaticobiliary diseases, with a focus on early detection and novel therapeutic strategies. Our group’s research activities span both basic/translational and clinical studies.

Our work 

Our mission at the Pereira/Acedo Group (@PereiraAcedoLab) is to lead the way in advancing the understanding and management of liver, pancreatic, and biliary diseases.

With a strong emphasis on clinical excellence and translational research, we are dedicated to unravelling the complexities of these challenging conditions, seeking minimally invasive early detection biomarkers, and developing novel therapeutic strategies to improve patient outcomes.

As a major education site, we are committed to nurturing the next generation of medical professionals, providing comprehensive training.

Collaborating with esteemed institutions globally, we aim to create a dynamic, multicultural research hub that fosters innovative solutions and translates scientific discoveries into tangible improvements in patient care.

Translational research

This research focuses on the discovery and validation of early detection biomarkers and the evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies to improve the outcome of patients with pancreaticobiliary diseases (e.g. cholangiocarcinoma and pancreatic cancer).

Our work includes:

  • Biomarker discovery and validation for early diagnosis 
  • Biomarkers as surrogate markers for treatment response 
  • Serum, tissue and urine biobank collection 
  • Nanoparticles as diagnostic tools and drug delivery systems
  • 3D disease models (e.g. scaffolds, organoids) 
  • Light-based and minimally-invasive therapies
  • Imaging studies
  • Spatial Transcriptomics

Liver cancer progress map

Clinical activities

A. Clinical trials 

Our clinical trials are based on testing Novel Therapies such as endoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation or irreversible electroporation (IRE).

B. Clinical Studies

ADEPTS – Accelerated Diagnosis in neuroEndocrine and Pancreatic TumourS

In this study, doctors and researchers want to look at blood, urine and tissue samples from people who have symptoms similar to those with:

  • pancreatic cancer
  • neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) of the pancreas
  • bile duct cancer 

In most cases, such symptoms are caused by many other benign conditions. But it is important to make sure that those that are due to cancer are diagnosed early. We hope the results of this study will help them develop new tests to diagnose pancreatic cancer and NETs of the pancreas at an early stage.

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The Pilar/Acedo Group 

Prof Stephen Pereira portrait

Prof. Stephen Pereira

Dr Pilar Acedo portrait

Dr Maria Del Pilar Acedo Nuñez

Iulia Munteanu portrait

Iulia Munteanu

Yang Yuchen portrait

Yang Yuchen

 Hibba tul Hayee portrait

Syeda Hibba tul Hayee

Maria Rosado Rodriguez portrait

Maria Rosado Rodríguez

Rosanne Roys portrait

Rosanne Roys

Dr Alexander Ney portrait

Dr Alexander Ney

Kyra Fraser portrait

Kyra Fraser

Andrés García Sampedro portrait

Andres Garcia Sampedro

Dr Zainab Rai portrait

Dr Zainab Rai

Dr Daniel Osei-Bordom portrait

Dr Daniel-Clement Osei-Bordom

Basic silhouette in a circle, in light grey

Ismahan Mahamed


Current master's and visiting students

  • Nurul Sarifah
  • Samiihah Ollee
  • Carolina San Pedro Liberal
  • Elif Ceyda Çelik
  • Paula Gomez Mendez
  • Eva Perez Barciela
  • Andres Gordo Ortiz
  • Maria Reviejo Diaz

Pereira / Acedo group picture in lab coats

Pereira / Acedo group picture

Selected publications

  1. Beyer F, Rice S, Pereira S, et al. (2023) Clinical and Cost Effectiveness of Endoscopic Bipolar Radiofrequency Ablation for the Treatment of Malignancy Biliary Obstruction: A Systematic Review. Health Technol Assess. 27 (7): 1-118.
  2. Papaefthymiou A, Johnson G, Pereira S et al. (2023) Performance and Safety of EUS Ablation Techniques for Pancreatic Cystic Lesions: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Cancers (Basels). 15(9):2627. 
  3. Nené N, Ney A, Pereira S, et al. (2023) Serum Biomarker-Based Early Detection of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas with Ensemble Learning. Nature. Communications Medicine. 3(10).
  4. Al-Akkad W, Acedo P, Ney A, Pereira S, et al. (2022) Tissue-Specific Human Extracellular Matrix Scaffolds Promote Pancreatic Tumour Progression and Chemotherapy Resistance. Cells. 11(22), 3652.
  5. Machicado J, Napoleon B, Pereira S, et al. (2022) Accuracy and Agreement of a Large Panel of Endosonographers for Endomicroscopy-Guided Virtual Biopsy of Pancreatic Cystic Lesions. Pancreatology. 22(7):994-1002. 
  6. Ney A, Garcia-Sampedro A, Acedo P, Pereira S, et al. (2021) Biliary Structures and Cholangiocarcinoma - Untangling a Diagnostic Conundrum. Front Oncol. 11:699401. 
  7. Marin J, Prete MG, Acedo P, et al. (2021) Correction: Current and Novel Therapeutic Opportunities for Systemic Therapy in Biliary Cancer. Br J Cancer. 125(6):904. 
  8. Garcia-Sampedro A, Acedo P & Pereira S. (2021) Established and Emerging Biomarkers for Prediction, Early Detection, and Prognostication of Cholangiocarcinoma. Springer.
  1. Gonzalez-Valdivieso J, Garcia-Sampedro A, Pereira S, Acedo P, et al. (2021) Smart Nanoparticles as Advanced Anti-Akt Kinase Delivery Systems for Pancreatic Cancer Therapy. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 13(47): 55790-55805.
  2. Garcia-Sampedro A, Ney A, Mahamed IAcedo P, et al. (2021) The State-of-the-Art of Phase II/III Clinical Trials for Targeted Pancreatic Cancer Therapies. J Clin Med. 10(4):566.
  3. Skuja V, Nakov R, Acedo P, et al. (2020) How to start a Young GI Section in Your Country: A Cookbook. United European Gastroenterology Journal. 8(3); 355-358.
  4. Garcia-Sampedro A, Mahamed I, Acedo P, et al. (2020) Multimodal Use of the Porphyrin TMPyP: From Cancer Therapy to Antimicrobial Applications. Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines. 23(01);11-27
  5. Heinrich H, Rodriguez-lago I, Acedo P, et al. (2020) Young GI Societies in Europe: 2019 update. United European Gastroenterology Journal8(2);227-232. 
  6. Acedo P, Fernandes A & Zawacka-Pankau J. (2019) Activation of TAp73 and Inhibition of TrxR by Verteporfin for Improved Cancer Therapy in TP53 Mutant Pancreatic Tumours. Future Science OA. 5(2).
  7. Enck P, Meisner S, Acedo P, et al. (2019) Future research demands of the United European Gastroenterology (UEG) and its member societies. Sage Publications Inc. 7(6);859-863.
  8. Jiang L, Malik N, Acedo P, et al. (2019) Protoporphyrin IX is a Dual Inhibitor of p53/MDM2 and p53/MDM4 Interactions and Induces Apoptosis in B-cell Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells. Cell Death Discovery. 5;2058-7716.

Funding and partnerships 

Active Grants

  • CRUK-PCUK-EPSRC project grants supporting multidisciplinary research to develop novel diagnostics and treatments for pancreatic cancer (projects: EDPAN; EXPAND; PaNanoMRI; EPIC DIVE). 
  • EU Twinning and EPSRC grants to foster international collaborations and improve imaging of pancreatic cancer and precursor lesions. 
  • PCUK Career Development (PI: ACEDO, project: BIOPANC) and PCRF (PI: Litchfield; co-PI: Pereira) grants supporting research on novel areas of the microbiome and immunobiology of pancreatic cancer to improve early pancreatic cancer detection.  
  • CRUK Early Detection and Diagnosis Programme Award. Project title: CANDETECT (Accelerating detection of upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancers using a multi-cancer early detection platform in primary care).

Group Memberships

  • EUPancreas (Integrated European Platform for Pancreatic Cancer Research)
  • (IPSCSG) International PSC Study Group
  • UK-PSC Consortium
  • CCA-UK
  • UEG

Industry Collaborators

  • Immunovia AB – Lund, Sweden
  • Micronoma Inc – San Diego, USA
  • Olink
  • Nordic Biosciences

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The logo for the URKI Medical Research Council. A quadrilateral, with 'UKRI' over navy on the left, and two teal portions on the right.

Royal Free Charity logo


United European Gastroenterology logo

UCLH Charity logo

Pancreatic Cancer UK logo

Immunovia logo

European Cooperation in Science and Technology logo

 Cholangiocarcinoma UK logo

ammf charity logo


Related programmes

Interested in joining us?

  • Clinical and basic scientists: We welcome prospective applications from talented postdoctoral candidates and clinical trainees seeking to obtain their own funding. To discuss potential opportunities, please contact Dr Acedo (p.nunez@ucl.ac.uk) and Prof. Pereira.
  • Students: If you have a good academic record, are interested in a career in biomedical sciences or academic medicine and would like to discuss internship opportunities at the ILDH, please contact Dr Acedo (p.nunez@ucl.ac.uk).

Contact details


Division of Medicine, Institute for Liver and Digestive Health  
UCL Medical School
Upper 3rd Floor Royal Free Hospital