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Centenary Institute - Liver Cancer Research

Liver Injury and Cancer Program

Our work is devoted to understanding pathways at the cellular and molecular levels that drive liver injury and cancer. These pathways may then be identified as targets to modulate these processes or be used for diagnosis and staging of liver disease and cancer.

Liver diseases are caused by chronic inflammation. They are driven by many factors including viruses, autoimmune processes, genetic diseases and toxins such as alcohol.

We initially used human liver samples to screen for molecules that we up regulated. Since then we have taken some of these molecules and manipulated them in experimental models. This has allowed us to test whether these molecules actually play a role in causing liver injury.


According to The Australian Liver Association, liver disease now affects over six million Australians and has an annual cost burden of
$50.7 billion.

Liver disease is responsible for one quarter of all – organ transplants and if left untreated, results in liver cancer – our fastest growing form of cancer in Australia.

The increasing prevalence of all forms of liver disease, but in particular fatty liver disease with concurrent diabetes, is a huge burden. Our research stems from test tubes, to animal models, human models and clinical trials.

Professor Geoff McCaughan, Head of Program

Phone: +61 2 9565 6125
Email: g.mccaughan@centenary.org.au

Upon completion of his postdoctoral training at the University of Oxford in 1986 as a CJ Martin Fellow, Geoff returned to Sydney where he developed the basic research program for the AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital of which he is now the Director. He is Head of the Liver Injury & Cancer Program at the Centenary Institute, which covers Molecular Hepatology; Liver Cell Biology and; Alcoholic Liver Disease.

Geoff’s current research interests include the immunopathogenesis of human chronic liver disease, liver autoimmunity, liver transplant tolerance and molecular analysis of hepatitis C virus. His clinical research interests include treatment of hepatitis B and C, management of hepatocellular cancer and long term outcomes of liver transplantation.

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Alcoholic Liver Disease

The Alcoholic Liver Disease research program includes studies on genetics of alcoholic cirrhosis and molecular mechanisms underlying liver disease. By identifying biomarkers for alcohol use and liver injury, we utilise transcriptomics, lipid and miRNA profiling to find treatment targets and pathways.

Alcoholic liver disease has the highest mortality amongst all alcohol related disorders and needs further research. There is no effective treatment for this debilitating hidden epidemic. The overall goal of this research is to understand the mechanisms of how alcohol injures the liver and identify potential genetic/non-genetic bio-markers for therapy and diagnosis. Dr Seth’s research program addresses the following clinical and fundamental issues for better understanding of this disease leading to improved patient care.

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For access to all Publications via Pub Med.