Our People

Grant Ramm

Professor | Coordinator of the Cell & Molecular Biology Department | Senior Principal Research Fellow | Group Leader

Hepatic Fibrosis

+61 7 3362 0177

grant.ramm@qimrberghofer.edu.au

CAREER HISTORY

Professor Grant Ramm is a graduate of the University of Queensland with BSc (Hons) and PhD.  He is Head of the Hepatic Fibrosis Laboratory and Coordinator of the Cell and Molecular Biology Department and is a Senior Principal Research Fellow at QIMR Berghofer.

His research at QIMR Berghofer has included investigation into the molecular, cellular and histopathological events involved in initiating hepatic fibrosis (liver scarring) in chronic liver disease associated with both hereditary haemochromatosis in adults and Cystic Fibrosis in children. Mechanistic evaluation of these cellular events will aid in identifying patients at risk of serious liver disease complications (including cirrhosis and liver cancer) and lead to the development of new biomarkers as well as novel therapeutic interventions to treat chronic liver disease.

 

CURRENT APPOINTMENTS

2020-current: President, Organising Committee for World Congress of Iron metabolism – BioIron 2022

2020–current: Senior Principal Research Fellow (SPRF)

2016–current: Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Renal and Hepatic Disorders

2013–current: Member, Research Advisory Committee of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH)

2012–current: Coordinator, Cell and Molecular Biology Department

2012–current: Professor, School of Medicine, (Faculty of Health Sciences), The University of Queensland

2005–current: Member, Board of Management of the Liver Foundation

1996–current: Group Leader of the Hepatic Fibrosis laboratory

 

 

PREVIOUS APPOINTMENTS

2015: NHMRC Assigners Academy Member (Development Grants)

2014–2016: NHMRC Assigners Academy Member (Project Grants)

2014: NHMRC Program Grant Review Panel (PGRP) Member for review of NHMRC Program Grants for 2016

2013: NHMRC GRP Panel 3E (Endocrinology, Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Nutrition, Obesity) Member for review of NHMRC research project grants

2012: NHMRC GRP Panel 6E (Endocrinology, Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Nutrition, Obesity) Member for review of NHMRC Research Project grants

2011: Visiting Professor, Chinese Academy of Science (CAS), National Center for Nanoscience and Technology of China

2011–2014: Steering Committee Member, Asian-Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) 2014 Conference Steering Committee

2010–2011: Member, Local Organising Committee for inaugural international LiverDownUnder conference (FASEB-affiliated meeting)

 

ORCID NUMBER

0000-0001-7058-6201

RESEARCHER ID

G-2669-2013

 

CURRENT AREA OF RESEARCH

Professor Ramm’s research interests are in both the mechanism, and clinical translation, of research into chronic liver disease, particularly hereditary haemochromatosis (most common genetically inherited disease in caucasians), paediatric CF-associated liver disease (most common lethal inherited disease) and more recently in liver cancer (now the 2nd most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide). His expertise lies in the cellular and molecular biology of hepatic fibrogenesis )liver scarring), i.e., understanding disease mechanisms and pathways, and applying this knowledge to the early detection, monitoring progression, predicting outcome and therapeutic potential of my research discoveries. Professor Ramm’s specific cells of interest are the resident liver myofibroblast precursors, the hepatic stellate cell, and their interaction with liver stem cells in driving inflammation, fibrogenesis, liver regeneration and ultimately in fibrosis, cirrhosis and the development of liver cancer.

 

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

  • Identification of dysregulated expression of the hormone hepcidin by mutated HFE protein in hereditary haemochromatosis demonstrating that the site of defect casuign this disease is in the liver (published in The Lancet in 2003; cited >700 times)
  • Demonstrated that tissue derived H-Ferritin (FTH) is a proinflammatory mediator of hepatic stellate cell activation and fibrosis via PKC-zeta/NFkB signalling (published in Hepatology in 2009; cited >180 times),
  • Demonstrated that hepatic fibrosis is reversible with venesection therapy in Haemochromatosis (published in Int. Med. [now JAMA Int Med] in 2006; cited >200 times)
  • Identified that an increased hydrophobic and decreased hydrophilic bile acid profile causes liver disease in children with Cystic Fibrosis (published in Hepatology in 2004), and that this induces,
    • Chemokines and hepatic stellate cell activation driving hepatic fibrosis (published in Am J Pathol in 2002, and in Hepatology in 2009), and
    • Liver stem cell differentiation into reactive biliary cells that drives hepatic stellate cell chemotaxis (published in Am J Pathol in 2017), resulting in
    • serum biomarkers (published in J Hepatol in 2004, and Hepatology in, 2015), including
    • novel circulating microRNAs (published in Hepatology in 2018), that
    • regulate expression of collagen that forms fibrosis, which can be manipulated for anti-fibrotic therapy (published in Scientific Reports in 2019)
  • Completion of 2 clinical trials in liver biopsy-validated paediatric CF demonstrating clinical utility of non-invasive imaging to detect liver disease/stage fibrosis using transient (published in Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol in 2019) and sheer-wave (published in J Cyst Fibr in 2019) elastography

 

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS 

  • The Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)
  • The American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (AASLD)
  • International Society for Hepatic Sinusoid research (ISHSR)
  • International BioIron Society (IBIS)
  • National Association of Research Fellows (NARF)

 

AWARDS RECOGNITION

2020: Promoted to Senior Principal Research Fellow at QIMR Berghofer 

2019: Long service award by QIMR Berghofer

2014: Promoted to NHMRC Senior Research Fellow (Level B)

2014: Promoted to Principal Research Fellow at QIMR Berghofer

2014: Awarded Fellowship of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease (FAASLD) for “Significant contributions to the science and practise of hepatobiliary diseases”

2012: Promoted to Professor, School of Medicine (Faculty of Health Sciences), The University of Queensland.

2012: Appointed Head of Department – Cell and Molecular Biology, QIMR.

 

EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND

1993: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – The University of Queensland (Medicine).

1982: Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc (Hons)) – The University of Queensland (Biochemistry).

1981: Bachelor of Science (BSc) – Double Major in Biochemistry and Microbiology – The University of Queensland