Australian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Microbiome Study

Australian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Microbiome Study

The microbiome and links to IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), comprising the 2 main forms – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is a global disease challenge. It affects approximately 1 in 250 Australians, with over 80,000 Australians currently living with IBD. IBD arises from a dysregulated immune response to alterations in the gut microbiota in susceptible individuals. Sufferers can endure numerous attacks or ‘flares’ followed by periods of relative remission; however, the disease trigger remains elusive.

Being able to identify people at risk of IBD prior to symptoms, preventing symptom progression, and being able to define how patients are likely to respond to treatment, plays to the heart of IBD healthcare, namely, to improve patient health.

Who are The Sydney+ IBD Research consortium

The Sydney+ IBD Research consortium was initiated in 2018 to bring together clinicians and researchers to improve IBD patient care. The consortium is an active collaboration comprising early, mid and advanced-career clinicians/scientists with complementary strengths. The first aim of the network was to develop the infrastructure to ensure a unified approach to patient recruitment/sample collection – an issue which hampers many multi-centre studies.

What is The Australian IBD Microbiome (AIM) Study

The Australian IBD Microbiome (AIM) Study is the inaugural study of the consortia and commenced recruitment in June 2019. The AIM study is a longitudinal cohort study with clinical data, patient-reported outcomes data, and biological samples collected from participants over a 24-month period.

The project will deliver:

  • Microbial changes associated with onset of IBD symptoms
  • Identification of Australian IBD microbial signatures to allow targeted intervention
  • Generation of novel predictive models of direct translational utility to the clinic.
Study commencement date:    

June 2019

Scheduled end date:

February 2025

Study Lead:    

Professor Georgina Hold

Lead recruiting site:    

St George Hospital, Kogarah, NSW 2017

Current recruiting area:

New South Wales

St Vincent’s Hospital
Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Liverpool Hospital
Concord Hospital
Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick
Sydney Children’s Hospital, Westmead
Wollongong Hospital
Blacktown Hospital
Sutherland Hospital
Canberra Hospital
Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Adelaide

The AIM study receives or has received funds and or support from the following organisations:

Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)

GESA logo

Crohn’s Colitis Australia (CCA)

CCA logo

St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation (SSMRF)

SSMRF logo

Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility.
Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, UNSW

BMSF logo
Professor Georgina Hold

Professor Georgina Hold

AIM Study Lead
Professor of Gut Health, Microbiome Research Centre, St George and Sutherland Clinical, School, UNSW Sydney

Ph: 91131855

Dr Betty Nan Wu

Dr Betty Nan Wu

AIM Study PhD student (CCA funded)
Recruitment Lead – St George Hospital
Gastroenterologist, Miranda Gastroenterology, Sutherland Hospital

Ph: 95240229

Daniel Avi Lemberg

Associate Professor Daniel Avi Lemberg

Lead Clinician – Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick)
Head of Department, Paediatric Gastroenterology Senior Staff Specialist, Sydney Children's Hospital

Ph: 91914959

Gabrielle Wark

Dr Gabrielle Wark

Clinician – St Vincent’s Hospital
PhD Candidate, St Vincent's Clinical School, UNSW


Michael Grimm

Professor Michael Grimm

Lead Clinician – St George Hospital
Professor of Medicine, Clinical Associate Dean, St George and Sutherland Clinical School, UNSW

Ph: 91131855

Golo Ahlenstiel

Professor Golo Ahlenstiel

Clinician – Blacktown Hospital
Chair of Medicine, Blacktown Clinical School, Western Sydney University

Ph: 9851 6073

Sudarshan Paramsothy

Dr Sudarshan Paramsothy

Clinician – Concord Hospital
Staff Specialist Gastoenterologist and Hepatologist, Concord Repatriation General Hospital

Ph: 97676111

Dorit Samocha-Bonet

Dr Dorit Samocha-Bonet

Nutritionist – Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Group Leader, Clinical Insulin Resistance, Diabetes Division, Garvan Institute of Medical Research and St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW


Astrid-Jane Williams

Dr Astrid-Jane Williams

Clinician – Liverpool Hospital
Staff Specialist Gastroenterologist, Liverpool Hospital


Crispin Corte

Dr Crispin Corte

Lead Clinician – Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Head of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney

Ph: 95158578

Simon Ghaly

Dr Simon Ghaly

Lead Clinician – St Vincent’s Hospital
Head of Inflammatory Bowel Disease service, Department of Gastroenterology, St. Vincent's hospital, Sydney

Ph: 02 8382 6622

Valerie Wasinger

Dr Valerie Wasinger

Senior Research Scientist, Bioanalytical Mass Spectrometry Facility, Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre, UNSW
Translational Biomarker Specialist, UNSW

Ph: +61 2 9385 1678

Steven Leach

Dr Steven Leach

Study Lead/ Microbiome Scientist – Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick)
Research Fellow, School of Women's and Children's Health, UNSW Medicine

Ph: 938201883

Catherine Burke

Dr Catherine Burke

Microbiome Scientist – University of Technology, Sydney
Lecturer, School of Life Sciences, University of Technology Sydney


Claire O'Brien

Dr Claire O'Brien

Microbiome Scientist – University of Wollongong
NHMRC Peter Doherty Research Fellow, ANU Medical School

Ph: 02 6244 4023

Viraj Kariyawasam

Dr Viraj Kariyawasam

Lead Clinician – Blacktown Hospital
Clinical Lead, IBD Service, Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital

Ph: 02 8670 0086

Craig Haifer

Dr Craig Haifer

Clinician – St Vincent’s Hospital
Gastroenterologist, Visiting Medical Officer, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney

Ph: 283810061

Rupert Leong

Professor Rupert Leong

Lead Clinician – Concord Hospital
Senior Staff Specialist gastroenterologist, Director of Endoscopy and Head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Services at Concord Hospital.

 Susan Connor

Associate Professor Susan Connor

Lead Clinician – Liverpool Hospital
Head IBD Service, Liverpool Hospital

Ph: 61287384085

Thomas Lee

Clinical Associate Professor Thomas Lee

Lead Clinician – Wollongong Hospital
Senior Staff Specialist, IBD, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District

Ph: 02 4222 5180

Paris Tavakoli

Dr Paris Tavakoli

Recruitment Lead – St Vincent’s Hospital
Research Associate- IBD service, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, St Vincent Hospital, Sydney

Ph: 04242 52436

Kelly Lambert

Dr Kelly Lambert

Nutritionist – University of Wollongong
Academic Program Director Nutrition and Dietetics, School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, University of Wollongong NSW


Ramesh Paramsothy

Dr Ramesh Paramsothy

Clinician - Blacktown Hospital




Dr Nerissa Bowcock

Microbiome Scientist – Sydney Children’s Hospital (Randwick)
Research Assistant, School of Women's and Children's Health, UNSW Medicine




Amanda Shapiro

Dr Amanda Shapiro 

Recruitment lead and Microbiome scientist - SCH Randwick


Research participants needed


We are seeking research participants to learn about the changes in the human microbiota in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If we can determine how to prevent or treat disease, then we have the potential to positively change health outcomes for many future generations. Find out more by clicking on the link below.