Our People

Patricia Valery

Professor | Group Leader

Cancer & Chronic Disease

+61 7 3362 0376




Professor Valery is a Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader of the Cancer and Chronic Disease Research Group at the QIMR Berghofer. In her career she has made significant contributions in key areas: cancer epidemiology, chronic disease (e.g. cirrhosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, bronchiectasis), and Indigenous health research.

Professor Valery finished her PhD in 2002, after completing her medical degree (1987) and paediatric training (1990). She has 20 years of experience in the field of Indigenous health, patterns of care, patient reported outcomes and survival outcomes research. She has successfully conducted several population-based studies in the fields of cancer and respiratory disease in Indigenous Australians, and was the Epidemiologist of the team and led three RCTs for Indigenous Australians. Half of her research career relates to Indigenous Health.

More recently, Professor Valery is leading the research on the epidemiology of chronic liver disease and on unmet needs of people diagnosed with cirrhosis with the development and validation of the only specific health needs assessment tool for cirrhosis.



2020-current: Group Leader, Cancer and Chronic Disease Research Group, QIMR Berghofer

2020-current: Honorary Professor, School of Medicine, Southside Clinical School, University of Queensland



2015-2020: Team Head, Cancer and Chronic Disease Research Group, QIMR Berghofer 

2015-2019: NHMRC Career Development Fellow 

2013-2019: Honorary Assoc. Professor, School of Medicine, Southside Clinical School, University of Queensland 

2011-2015: Australian Research Council Future Fellow 

2011-2015: Senior Research Fellow, Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University 

2009-2011: Senior Research Officer, Queensland Institute of Medical Research 

2009-2011: Adjunct Lecturer, University of Queensland 

2005-2008: NHMRC Public Health Training Fellow, Queensland Institute of Medical Research 

1999-2004: Research Officer (part-time), Queensland Institute of Medical Research









As a medical epidemiologist, Professor Valery uses research to work on improving clinical and patient oriented healthcare.  For example, she is conducting research to improve the outcomes of patients with advanced chronic liver disease (cirrhosis and liver cancer). Most people aren’t aware that they have liver disease. By the time liver symptoms develop, liver damage is often advanced, sometimes irreversibly.  Her research is finding ways to improve early detection of liver disease and, for patients with the later stages (cirrhosis), and her work will find better ways to treat patients that will ultimately prevent hospital admissions and reduce mortality due to cirrhosis.  Professor Valery is working closely with liver specialists, namely Professor Elizabeth Powell (Princess Alexandra Hospital), Dr Paul Clark (Mater Hospital), Dr Tony Rahman (The Prince Charles Hospital), Dr Richard Skoien (Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital), Professor James O’Beirne (Sunshine University Hospital), and Professor Alan Wigg (Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide) to achieve better outcomes for patients with chronic liver disease and liver cancer.



  • Cirrhosis is the advanced-stage of a range of chronic liver diseases (e.g. alcohol-related liver disease, chronic hepatitis B and C, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), and is the major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality in Australia. We reported increasing hospitalisation rates for cirrhosis in Queensland during 2007-2016, and the rate of cirrhosis hospitalisation was 3.4-times higher for Indigenous vs. other patients
  • aimed at understanding why hospitalisation for cirrhosis is more frequent for Indigenous people in the state of Queensland, we assessed differences in presentation and patient outcomes between Indigenous and non- Indigenous Australians hospitalised for cirrhosis. For many Indigenous patients the referral source was an emergency presentation, and fewer had a one-day admissions compared to other Australians with cirrhosis. Our data suggest that many Indigenous Australians may not be receiving a coordinated model of care for cirrhosis
  • during 2008–2016, 10 254 individual patients were admitted to hospital in Queensland with cirrhosis-related complications. Excessive alcohol consumption was the most important factor contributing to cirrhosis, affecting half of the patient cohort, and the importance of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cryptogenic and hepatitis C virus-related cirrhosis increased during the study period. The burden of comorbidity also increased; in particular, the average proportion of patients with cirrhosis and diabetes nearly doubled between 2008–2010 and 2014–2016
  • our team is leading the research on unmet needs of people diagnosed with cirrhosis with the development and validation of the only specific health needs assessment tool for cirrhosis. Accurately assessing individual patients’ supportive care needs has potential utility in clinical practice to promote patient-centred care and for facilitating timely referrals to diverse multidisciplinary support services
  • our team conducted the first study to examine the coordination of cancer care between hospital and primary care for Indigenous Australians with cancer and reported higher rate of GP visits for cancer in remote areas, disadvantaged patients and patients with comorbidity. The reliance on primary health care services, particularly by patients in remote and disadvantaged communities, has important implications for appropriate resourcing and support for services in these locations



2019-current: The Australian National Liver Cancer Collaborative

2017-current: Member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver

2017-current: Member of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia

2015-current: Member of the Network Centre for Liver Disease Research, School of Medicine, University of Queensland

2014-2015: Cancer Australia, Gynaecological Cancer Advisory Group

2010: Present Chair of the Data Safety Monitoring Board for study entitled “D-Health: A randomised trial of vitamin D for prevention of cancer and mortality”

2009-2012: Queensland Cervical Screening Program – Quality Management Committee

2004-current: Member of the Australian Paediatric Cancer Registry Advisory Committee

2004-2011: Higher Degrees Committee, Queensland Institute of Medical Research

2003-2006: Scientific Subcommittee, Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee




  • NHMRC Career Development Fellowship level 2


  • The Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Exceptional Performance in Research was awarded to the Cancer Research Team (Patricia Valery was one of the four team members)


  • NHMRC 2010-11 Excellence Achievement Awards for Career Development – selected as the highest ranking applicant in CDA1 Population Health funding scheme
  • Australian Research Council Future Fellowship: award accepted Jan 2011
  • Offered a NHMRC Career Development Award (CDA1 Population Health): award declined Jan 2011


  • Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) – Queensland Premier’s Award for Health & Medical Research (Senior Researcher) – selected as a finalist


  • ASMR Qld Premier’s Award for Health & Medical Research (Senior Researcher) – selected as a finalist


  • Queensland Institute of Medical Research Postdoctoral Research Prize


  • NHMRC Public Health (Australia) Training Fellowship (2005-2008)



2002: PhD Epidemiology, University of Queensland

1995: MPH, Master of Public Health, University of Queensland

1990: Title of Paediatrician, Brazilian Paediatric Society (obtained by examination)

1987: MD, Faculdade de Medicina Fundação ABC, Brazil