Pauline Hall Fellowship

The 3-year Liver Foundation-Professor Pauline Hall Postdoctoral Research Fellowship is designed for medical or science graduates who have obtained a research doctorate of either a PhD or MD (or have submitted a thesis).

The Fellowship will enable the recipient to undertake full-time research into hepatobiliary disease in its broadest sense. Such study can involve clinical and/or laboratory research including pathology studies.

​Our 2021 winner, Dr Sahar Keshvari

Liver Foundation CEO Richard Wylie interviews Dr Keshvari and learns about why she chose medical research, her mentors and her research plans for this Fellowship that have the potential to have amazing impacts on patients.

Dr Keshvari is working on a number of projects that look at the role macrophages (the cells of our innate immune system) play on chronic liver diseases, including fibrosis of the liver.

Liver transplants are currently the only treatment available to patients with end-stage liver disease, but when a liver is transplanted it goes without oxygen for a period of time. When the blood supply is returned to the organ, it can cause tissue damage – called Ischemia-reperfusion injury – that can affect the transplant outcome.

Dr Keshvari is hoping she can find a way to boost the health of the donor liver so transplant patients can look forward to better outcomes.

“My team at Mater Research is examining if immune cells called macrophages, can be programmed to preserve and improve donor liver function so that the window of opportunity for transplantation is extended. We’re also looking at if these reprogrammed immune cells can reverse liver damage.”

The future of this project, if successful, is going to be a game changer for many patients, not just in Australia, but around the world. We look forward to updating you on the progress of Dr Keshvari’s research as it evolves.

Thank you to the late Professor Pauline Hall (and her surviving family) for her generosity and vision in creating this fellowship. We think she would be pleased to see a researcher of Dr Keshvari’s calibre continuing her legacy in this way.

Dr Kate Irvine, the first ever recipient of our Pauline Hall Fellowship shares what she is doing now.

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