Gastroenterology & Hepatology

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A/Prof Mark Danta heads the Gastrointestinal, Liver and Microbiome Research Unit at the Centre of Applied Medical Research at St Vincent’s Hospital. The unit’s research focuses on collaborative clinical translational research of the gastrointestinal immune system, microbiome, cirrhosis and its complications, hepatocellular cancer and non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis. Dr Simon Ghaly focuses on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The unit has funding from National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC), NSW Cancer Council, UNSW, St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation and the Curran Foundation. The unit has ongoing research collaborations with the Kirby Institute, Garvan Institute, UNSW, Charles Perkins Institute and UTS. We also run a number of Pharma trials exploring novel therapies in liver disease, liver cancer and IBD. Currently, there are two PhD students and four ILP/honours students based with the unit.

 

Our Projects:

  1. Determining factors associated with bone loss in a prospective cohort of patient with inflammatory bowel disease. This a longitudinal study in collaboration with Prof. Jacqueline Center from the Garvan Institute looking at clinical and biochemical determinants of bone loss in IBD patients with the goal of developing an IBD specific risk calculator. The project has received funding from the St. Vincent’s clinic foundation and has ethical approval.

  2. Characterising the faecal microbiome in a cohort of inflammatory bowel disease patients and healthy controls, with a focus on metabolic factors and their effect on disease course, treatment response and microbiome. This project is part of the Sydney AIM-study collaboration.

  3. Metabolic Monitoring of the Microbiome in Gastrointestinal disease (3M-G) study: Diseases of the gut such as IBD and liver disease are influenced by unhealthy microbiomes. Monitoring the body’s pattern of blood glucose levels after eating has the potential to provide important data on the complex interaction between the microbiome and the body in disease. Identifying healthy glucose patterns to specific foods, personalised diet interventions could be developed to treat these diseases– a form of precision medicine.

  4. The ADAM study will characterise the microbiome in anal dysplasia in a prospective high-risk cohort. This is a clinical collaboration with unique genetic study running in parallel.

  5. Thromboelastography is a functional measure of clotting. The RoTiLD study will compare thromboelastography using ROTEM to standard clotting bleeding tests with the aim to determine whether ROTEM is a better method of predicting and mitigating bleeding risk in cirrhotic patients undergoing invasive procedures.

  6. Sodium Glucose Co-transporter (SGLT2) inhibitors have therapeutic potential in liver disease. This study aims at determining the safety of Empagliflozin in varying degrees of liver function. This will then inform a larger novel randomised study of SGLT2 inhibitors in cirrhosis and portal hypertension.

 

Contact us:

A/Prof Mark Danta [ https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/associate-professor-mark-danta ]

Dr Simon Ghaly [ https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-simon-ghaly ]