Your hardworking liver

When it comes to keeping healthy, most of us aren’t giving a lot of thought to our liver. This workhorse of an organ quietly goes about it’s duties, performing around 500 functions in our body such as removing toxins and producing bile which aids in digestion fat.

Your liver plays an important role in your overall health, but it struggles to handle the excessive levels of salt and sugar many of us are consuming as part of a modern, processed diet. It is when the build-up of toxins becomes too much for this overworked organ that you become at risk of developing fatty liver disease.

The liver health crisis flying under the radar

One in four adult Australians has or will develop fatty liver disease.  It’s fair to say it is reaching epidemic proportions in this country. Making matters worse, many people won’t even be aware that they have fatty liver disease as it often presents no obvious symptoms, particularly in the early stages. If left unchecked, this disease can progress to even more significant health concerns.

Fatty liver disease is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Worse still, if fatty liver disease reaches cirrhosis, which is hardening and scarring of the liver, progression to liver cancer becomes a real possibility. (Our researchers are targeting liver cancer as well! Click here to find out more).

So what are we doing about the epidemic of fatty liver disease?

Currently the best known treatment for fatty liver disease is dramatic life-style changes. The Gallipoli Medical Research Foundation (GMRF) Liver Research Unit is working to better understand fatty liver disease so we can better treat it.

The Liver Research Unit receives 100% of its funding from GMRF donors, and this team is committed to producing results that can provide solutions for people who are suffering from an illness of the liver.

Current projects

View all projects

Fatty Liver Disease and Co-toxic Liver Injury

The obesity epidemic as well as continuing high rates of alcohol consumption ensure that many patients with liver disease have multiple causes of their liver injury. The presence of co-toxic insults exacerbates the underlying liver disease, hastens progression to end stage liver disease and increases...


Liver Transplantation Research

The dramatic increase in the incidence rate of fatty liver disease has brought about a decrease in the number of donor livers suitable for transplantation. Livers with too much fat in them tend to fail after transplant. The stats show that 10-13% of patients will die within three years of their transplant,...

Our team


The GMRF Liver Research Unit has established collaborations with a number of universities and institutes, both locally and abroad.



Prof Grant Ramm

QIMR Berghofer

Prof Michael Roberts

UQ, Diamantina Institute

Prof Leon Adams


Prof Erik Thompson


Prof Jon Fawcett


Prof Nathan Subramaniam


A/Prof Chamindie Punyadheera, QUT
Dr Prashanth Prithviraj, Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute, VIC
Dr Haolu Wang, UQDI
Dr Xiaowen Liang, UQDI
Dr Anderly C Chueh – Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC
Prof  Georgios Stathopoulos

CPC-Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Germany

A/Prof Ari Cohen

Ochsner Health, New Orleans, USA

A/Prof Jon Whitehead

Lincoln University, UK

Dr Paul Thevenot

Ochsner Health, New Orleans, USA

Prof Kees Dejong, Maastricht University, Netherlands
Dr Venkata Sasidhar Manda, Apollo Hospitals Educational & Research Foundation, India