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Academic biography

A/Prof Mark Danta is a Clinical Academic Gastroenterologist and Associate Professor of Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, UNSW.

Through his post-graduate career in Sydney and London he has developed a broad skill set that has allowed him to collaborate, particularly in the translation from clinical medicine to the bench and vice versa. This has included: clinical medicine, laboratory-based virology and immunology research, qualitative methods and epidemiology.

His major focus has been HCV transmission, which has combined clinical and molecular epidemiology to characterise HCV transmission, particularly in the HIV infected population. He developed an interest in viral hepatitis during his research for his Master of Public Health, University of Sydney 2002. This led to a publication exploring fibrosis progression in HCV published in the Medical Journal of Australia, which had significant local impact. He completed his doctoral thesis on HCV transmission at the University of London in 2006. This was a combination of multifaceted work that led to a number of important publications in the area. It culminated in an international collaboration defining the transmission of HCV in HIV populations. These cited publications provided important data which have guided clinical recommendations such as the European AIDS Network (NEAT) and the British HIV Association guidelines (BHIVA). He consolidated this area as the principal investigator on a successful NHMRC project grant (568850) funded study, to explore HCV transmission in high-risk populations in Australia.

With the dramatic changing landscape of viral hepatitis therapies, his collaborative research evolved to include a clinical translational study of the gastrointestinal immune system and the study of cirrhosis and non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis. He was a key member of the PINT study, exploring viral reservoirs in HIV infection in chronic and acute infection. He was the clinical interface for the development of the gastrointestinal protocols and performed all the clinical gastroenterology work. In collaboration with other researchers, he successfully obtained significant research funding, including Cancer Institute of NSW (CIB), NHMRC funding (CIB), UNSW Major Equipment grant (CIA), and ARC linkage grant (Associate Investigator). Most important of these is the development of research in vivo confocal endomicroscopy (CE) of the gastrointestinal tract and work in hepatocellular carcinoma. He now runs the Gastrointestinal, Liver and Microbiome Research at the St Vincent’s Applied Medical Research Centre, St Vincent’s Hospital.

He has been on the editorial board of Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics since 2013 and regularly reviews manuscripts for a range of the highest impact peer-reviewed publications in his field, including Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2009-, Clinical Infectious Diseases 2010-, European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2009-, Journal of Hepatology 2017-, Gastroenterology 2009-, GUT 2004-, Hepatology 2010-, Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2009-.

He has reviewed grants for Faculty of Medicine, UNSW; Australian Research Council; Swiss National Science Foundation; Alberta Innovative Health Solution.

Publications and awards

In total, he has 54 papers and three book chapters with an H-index is 19. His citations are in excess of 2276, with 12 papers having more than 50 citations. He has received a number of awards including the inaugural St Vincent’s Clinical School Research Award 2011 and publication award 2014, 2016-18, Young Investigator Award, Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) 2006, University College London Peter Samuel Fellowships 2005 & 2006, Special Trustee Fellowship Royal Free and University College London 2004-5, Fellowship of Pathological Society of Great Britain 2003, British Association for the Study of Liver Travel Award 2003 and 2005, Best Oral Presentation British HIV Association 2004 and 2005.

Research funding

In total, he has obtained over $2 million in grant money, including both category 1 and category 2 funding. The majority of these are as CIA or CIB. As outlined, many of these projects are ongoing. In addition to the previous NHMRC grant, he currently has one NHMRC project grant (1066243) and a large Cancer NSW grant (1125702). He has also received substantial and varied funding from Cancer Institute NSW, UNSW, St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation, Curran Foundation, and the Australian Centre for HIV and Hepatitis Virology Research.

Teaching, mentoring and responsibilities

As Postgraduate Co-ordinator for St Vincent’s Clinical School and a member of the Higher Degree Committee since 2007. He is involved at all levels of teaching including undergraduate UNSW and postgraduate medical education. He has supervised PhD and Honours students at UNSW. Currently, he has three PhD student and one honours student. He is an examiner for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians (RACP).

Published papers:

Journal articles

Invited presentations:

  • 2009 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • 2009- Gastroenterology
  • 2009- Parasitology
  • 2008- Haemophilia
  • 2007- European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Drugs 2004-2006 Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 2006- International Journal of Parasitology
  • 2006 Physician Research Network, New York: Acute HCV in HIV co-infection
  • 2005 BHIVA, London: HCV- A phylogenetic approach to a new epidemic
  • 2005 Sheila Sherlock Hepatology Update, London
  • 2004 UEGW, Prague: The use of erythropoeitin in HCV (Contra)
  • 2004 Exeter: Management of HCV/HIV Co-infection
  • 2003 Sheila Sherlock Hepatology Update, London
  • 2004 Journal Reviewer GUT
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