Associate Professor Nina Tirnitz-Parker
- Vascular and metabolic disorders
A liver stem cell and cancer researcher and her primary research goal is at the top of many peoples’ wish lists – finding a way to improve the lives of patients with chronic liver disease and cancer.
As head of CHIRI’s Liver Disease and Regeneration Laboratory, Nina leads a ‘super-team’ of emerging early and mid-career researchers, providing insight into how unhealthy livers often caused by poor lifestyle habits or viral infections become cancerous.
In 2018, Nina was awarded a National Health and Medical Research Council Project Grant of $997,485 (2019-2022), as the lead of an international collaboration. This research project currently investigates a signalling pathway that may provide hope as a novel therapeutic strategy to prevent chronic liver disease progression to cancer.
In partnership with the Lions Cancer Institute, Nina established the Lions-Lotus PhD scholarship scheme, which will be dedicated to cutting-edge research for the prevention and treatment of liver cancer at CHIRI.
After some years of service on the Australian Liver Association Executive Committee, Nina was recently elected as Executive Director on the Board of the Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA) and currently also serves as the Chair of the National GESA Research and Grants Committee (2019-2021).
As a passionate advocate for liver cancer research and women leaders in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths and Medicine), Nina was also selected for the fourth cohort of Homeward Bound – a 12-month leadership program which culminated in the largest ever all-female expedition to Antarctica in late 2019.
Research interests – progenitor cells; stem cells; cancer stem cells; cytokine and chemokine signalling; liver fibrosis; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; hepatocellular carcinoma; cholangiocarcinoma; tissue engineering; regenerative medicine.