Associate Professor Miriam Levy is a Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist, and Head of Department at Liverpool Hospital, now the largest teaching hospital in Sydney, Australia. Miriam is a conjoint Associate Professor at University of NSW and Western Sydney University, Member of the Clinical Trials Network for Australian Liver Association and NSW Representative, Australian Liver Association Chapter of Gastroenterology Society of Australia.
Her research has addressed clinical questions in viral hepatitis and liver disease and includes work presented in 60 peer reviewed publications; focus recently on Viral Hepatitis which has significant morbidity and mortality in the community around Liverpool hospital due to the extraordinarily high local prevalence. Innovations of care in patient education material including the popular YouTube video hit “Understanding Hepatitis B” has been received in Australia and overseas with successful evaluations underpinning efficacy. Research into management of hepatitis B in pregnancy to prevent transmission as well as to optimise care post-partum has contributed novel strategies and changed practice. Her interest in de-monopolising specialist knowledge to facilitate primary care of patients is ongoing with exploration of new models of care including “Project ECHO” a group video conferencing tool between specialist hubs and primary care practitioners. Examination of utility and efficacy of screening for hepatitis in the emergency department is her current focus. Liver cancer is emerging as a major health challenge for patients in our community and the clinical service at Liverpool is now a multidisciplinary centre of excellence and emerging as a busy clinical trial site for HCC. ”
MBBS (UNSW), FRACP, PhD
Society Memberships & Professional Activities:
FRACP, Gastroenterological Society (GESA)
Specific Research Keywords:
Fibroscan, Hepatocellular cancer, Haemangioma, Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C, Mother to child transmission of infection
I have been able to support the research over the years with a combination of Pharma sponsored investigator initiated Grants for specific projects, New South Wales Ministry of Health and EC Australia support for the Emergency Department screening pilot SEARCH research.
The Viral Hepatitis Research Group has a number of key areas of active clinical research. My group has already published unique Australian data on the rates of mother to child transmission of hepatitis b infection and currently investigating the role of anti viral therapy to prevent transmission of hepatitis B in this setting. The natural history of women with Hepatitis B infection remains to be defined, as much of the international literature on natural history does not reflect the course of the disease in women, which tends to be less severe. We are researching clinical characteristics that can facilitate clinical outcome prediction . These might serve to influence therapeutic decisions at an early phase and disease.
Patients with viral hepatitis and cirrhosis have significant risk of hepatocellular cancer which has a poor prognosis without treatment. There are many therapeutic modalities depending on the stage of liver disease and stage of tumour. I am interested in the management of advanced hepatocellular cancer with recent research emphasis on the analysis of unmet supportive care needs.
More recently I have investigated the role of screening those and risk for viral hepatitis within an emergency department presentation in an automated fashion. The goal is to maximise the opportunity during and engagement with the health service. We have a number of Grants supporting pilots designed to model and iteratively improve testing algorithms in this setting. the research incorporates cost analysis work, patient on health care worker and acceptance of screening research and further pilots of the (screening emergency admissions at risk of chronic hepatitis) that is SEARCH 1, 2 and 3-extension program.
Broad Research Areas:
Gastrointestinal Diseases, Infectious Diseases, Health Promotion, Clinical Research