Hepatic Fibrosis

Professor Grant Ramm

Group Leader

The Hepatic Fibrosis Laboratory investigates the cellular and molecular mechanisms of scar tissue formation in the liver. This leads to fibrosis and cirrhosis in adult liver diseases such as haemochromatosis and in children in diseases such as cystic fibrosis and biliary atresia. If left untreated chronic liver disease can lead to liver cancer.


  • Development of microRNAs as anti-fibrotic agents to treat organ fibrosis
  • Characterisation of anti-inflammatory molecules and signalling pathways to treat liver inflammation, fibrogenesis and cirrhosis.
  • Non-invasive biomarkers of liver disease and fibrosis in haemochromatosis
  • Elastographic assessment of liver stiffness (fibrosis) in children with CF liver disease
  • Molecular and cellular basis of hepatic stellate cell activation in fibrogenesis associated with chronic liver disease
  • Serum microRNAs to detect and monitor disease progression in liver disease sequelae including cirrhosis and liver cancer.


  • Carolina Soekmadji, Senior Research Officer
  • Michael Pearen, Research Officer
  • Berit Genz, Research Officer
  • Don Lim, Research Officer
  • Diem Hoang-Le, Research Assistant
  • Louise Ramm, Research Assistant
  • Dr Manuel Fernandez-Rojo, Visiting Scientist
  • Daniel Wallace, Affiliate
  • Richard Skoien, Affiliate
  • Professor Nathan Subramaniam, Affiliate
  • Andrew Kassianos, Affiliate
  • Brianna Pollock, Student


Internal Collaborations


External Collaborations


  • Associate Professor Peter Lewindon, Queensland Children’s Hospital
  • Professor Darrell Crawford, Greenslopes Hospital and University of Queensland
  • Professor John Olynyk, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia
  • A/Professor Janina Tirnitz-Parker, Curtain University, Western Australia
  • Professor Gary Jeffrey, University of Western Australia and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Dr Martin Delatycki, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Dr Richard Skoien, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Brisbane
  • Professor Nathan Subramaniam, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
  • A/Professor Sumaira Husnain, Translational Research Institute, Brisbane


  • Professor Paulo Arosio, University of Brescia, Italy
  • Professor Christine McLaren & Professor Gordon McLaren, University of California (Irvine)
  • Dr Daniel Leung, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas
  • Professor Carla Colombo, University of Milan, Italy
  • Professor Edouard Bardou-Jacquet, University of Rennes, France
  • A/Professor Dirk Schmidt-Arras, University of Kiel, Germany
  • Dr Amanda Abou-Fadel, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, The Bronx, New York

We gratefully acknowledge the support from the following agencies

  • National Health and Medical Research Council
  • National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)


Anti-inflammatory small molecule inhibitor development to control liver inflammation associated with hepatic fibrosis in chronic liver disease

Projects can be adapted to suit Honours, PhD or clinical students. Inflammation is integral in driving early liver scarring (fibrogenesis). The association between hepatic inflammation and circulating ferritin levels in chronic liver disease is well known. However, rather than simply acting as a marker of inflammation, our research has demonstrated that the H-subunit of Ferritin […]

Find Out More

MicroRNAs as ant-fibrotic agents to treat liver scarring, fibrosis and cirrhosis in chronic liver disease

Projects can be adapted to suit Honours, PhD or clinical students. Virtually all biological processes in eukaryotic cells are regulated by microRNAs that control protein-coding gene expression. Our laboratory has identified a number of different microRNAs that regulate the expression of collagen in liver disease and that can be manipulated to control liver scarring or […]

Find Out More

Assessing the role of extracellular vesicles in the progression and development of drug resistance in prostate cancer

This project can be adapted for PhD study, MPhil or Masters study The development and progression of prostate cancer are controlled by the androgen receptor (AR), a ligand-regulated transcription factor. Current therapy for advanced prostate cancer has focused on the inhibition or disruption of the AR signalling axis. Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) is focused on […]

Find Out More