Our People

Elizabeth Powell

Professor | Clinical Director

Clinician Researcher Strategy

+61 7 3845 3022



Professor Elizabeth Powell, a Hepatologist and Senior Staff Specialist, Department of Gastroenterology, Princess Alexandra Hospital, is the Clinical Director at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. She is also Director of the network Centre for Liver Disease Research and Professor, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland. She leads a productive research program in chronic liver disease, bridging clinical research and basic science, and mentoring the career development of emerging researchers and clinicians. She has held three 5-year NHMRC Practitioner Fellowships, and a Queensland Health Clinical Research Fellowship. Her seminal work includes shaping two new paradigms in hepatology research: the importance of metabolic risk factors in the progression of chronic liver disease and proposing altered hepatic regeneration and the ductular reaction as a potential driver of hepatic fibrosis. Over the last 5 years she has led research of emerging themes in hepatology research, examining the role of injury-stratifying biomarkers and pathways of care for metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) and chronic liver disease. A significant contribution has been to foster a multidisciplinary, collaborative approach to the field, involving hepatopathology together with molecular and clinical hepatology research.


  • Clinical Director, QIMR Berghofer
  • Senior Staff Specialist in Hepatology, Princess Alexandra Hospital
  • Professor, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland
  • Director, network Centre for Liver Disease Research, The University of Queensland


2012 -: Professor, School of Medicine, The University of Queensland

2010 -: Hepatologist, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Princess Alexandra Hospital

2008 -: Eminent Staff Specialist status, Queensland Health

1994-2010: Director of Clinical Training, Princess Alexandra Hospital

1992-1994: Menzies Postdoctoral Scholar, Nuffield Department of Surgery, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford


ORCID NUMBER 0000-0001-5008-8061

Scopus ID 7102407844


  • Metabolic risk factors in the development and progression of chronic liver disease
  • Relationship between inflammation, liver fibrosis and repair
  • Biomarkers for risk-stratification of chronic liver disease
  • Strategies to improve pathways of care for people with chronic liver disease


  • Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is increasingly prevalent and is a leading cause of chronic liver disease in Australia. It occurs in association with cardiometabolic risk factors (particularly obesity and type 2 diabetes) and affects 1-in-4 adults, 1-in-2 people with type 2 diabetes and more than 1 in 10 children. (See Powell EE et al for clinical overview of MASLD)
  • MASLD is a spectrum, ranging from fatty liver (steatosis) without significant inflammation, to metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH), in which fatty liver is associated with liver cell injury and inflammation, with or without liver scarring (fibrosis). People with progressive liver scarring are at risk of developing cirrhosis with its risks of liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma, a deadly and rapidly increasing form of cancer. (See Johnson AL et al: First Australian study showing MASLD risk stratification in non‐hepatology settings can identify subset of patients at risk of liver‐related complications) 
  • Type 2 diabetes is an important driver of MASLD progression and is associated with a greater than two-fold increase in the risk of developing advanced liver scarring, cirrhosis-related complications, and liver disease mortality. In Australia, nearly 10% of people with type 2 diabetes and MASLD develop liver-related complications within 10 years and hepatocellular carcinoma is the most rapidly rising cause of cancer death. (See O’Beirne J et al
  • There are no approved pharmacotherapies that reduce progression of MASLD to liver scarring and cirrhosis. There is an urgent need for new treatment approaches for MASLD/MASH and associated sequelae. (See Yang YM et al)


  • Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Fellow, Royal College of Physicians, London
  • Fellow, American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • Member, Executive of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver
  • Past member, Executive, Australian Liver Association
  • Past member, Clinical Research Committee of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
  • Past member, Editorial Board, Hepatology


  • Promoting the translational relevance of research
    • Example: Co-presentations from QIMRB researchers with clinical departments at Medical Grand Rounds 
  • Enhancing and coordinating health-related connections and collaborations
  • Negotiating strategies for tailored career pathways to nurture development of both clinical and research skills
  • Coordinating mentorship and networking for clinician researchers
  • Development of a structured framework to support career development of clinician researchers
  • Targeted recruitment of clinician researchers for conjoint appointments with QH entities
  • Support for PhD and Masters Students


  • Access to cutting-edge resources and world-renowned scientists
  • Clear point-of-contact for information regarding appropriate resources and support 
  • Collaborative grant opportunities involving clinicians and QIMR Berghofer researchers