Blood Test


The Liver Foundation makes grant opportunities available for research projects & PhD fellowships. Research into the causes of liver disease, and how to better diagnose and treat them is fundamental to combating the rising burden of liver disease in Australia.


Research Grants – to support collaborative liver research projects delivered by Australian investigators.


Fellowships – to enable Australian doctors to obtain further training in the study of liver diseases at internationally recognised centres.


Scholarships – to encourage independent investigators to pursue five-year programs of liver research at Australian universities.

Summer Student Scholarships – supporting undergraduate students to undertake summer research projects with senior investigators.

Studentships – to enable academically superior students to undertake full-time studies in Australian universities under the sponsorship of experienced liver research scientists.



Example and cost of various Research Projects


Development of a non-invasive serological test for fibrosis and cirrhosis in a variety of liver diseases including cystic fibrosis liver disease, extrahepatic biliary atresia and haemochromatosis.


Aim: Decrease the requirement for a liver biopsy.

Staff required: Post-doctoral research scientist.

Funding required: $300,000 over 3 years.


Development of a diagnostic serological test for extrahepatic biliary atresia.


Aim: The diagnosis of children with this disease very early following birth, allowing earlier intervention for successful surgical treatment, obviating the requirement to proceed to liver transplantation.


Staff required: a post-doctoral research scientist.

Funding required: $270,000 over 3 years.

Identification of genes which predispose children with cystic fibrosis to develop serious liver disease.


Aim: Allow earlier identification of potential for serious liver complications later in life, and thus facilitate earlier treatment.

Staff required: A PhD scholar and a research assistant.

Funding required: $315,000 over 3 years.

The role of the liver-derived protein hepcidin in the regulation of body iron metabolism.

Aim: Understand how hepcidin responds to changes in body iron, which is critical knowledge for the development of improved diagnostic strategies and therapies for haemochromatosis and related iron storage diseases.


Funding required: $761,000 over 3 years.

A Study of the Effectiveness of Regular Surveillance for Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) in Patients with Haemochromatosis and Cirrhosis .


Aim: Determine whether regular surveillance by ultrasonography and a-foetoprotein measurements improves outcome for patients with HCC in haemochromatosis; Define the optimal surveillance interval and determine its cost-effectiveness.

Funding required: $195,000 over 3 years.


How does fatty liver cause fibrosis?

Apart from optimizing body weight, there is no established treatment for fatty liver disease. Understanding how fat leads to liver injury will allow the development of specific protective strategies for fatty liver disease.

Staff required: Senior Research Fellow, Research Assistant.

Funding required: $420,000 over 3 years.