Editor-in-Chief - Journal of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging

Ian Craig Lawrance

Ian Lawrance is a fulltime Gastroenterologist and a Professor in the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, Faulty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Australia. He completed his PhD entitled “Mucosal fibroblast regulation in inflammatory bowel disease” at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in 1998 and undertook a post-doctoral fellowship in the extracellular matrix changes that occur in IBD with Professor Claudio Fiocchi in the Division of Gastroenterology, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA, from 1998-2000. During that period he investigated the unique gene expression profiles of intestinal UC and CD utilising the technique of RNA hybridisation to high-density oligonucleotide microarrays (GeneChips, Affymetrix). This was the first investigation of the gene expression differences that occur between the IBD subtypes and is a seminal paper in the field (Lawrance et.al Hum Mol Gen 2001, Cited: >200). He also developed a novel murine model of chronic inflammation-induced intestinal fibrosis. This model demonstrated transmural fibrosis similar to CD with tissue gene expression and protein levels suggesting an active remodelling process and enhanced matrix deposition (Lawrance et.al Gastro 2003, Cited: 82).

On his return to Australia in 2000, he was appointed as a staff specialist Gastroenterologist at Fremantle Hospital. He was subsequently appointed as a senior lecturer to the School of Medicine and Pharmacology, UWA in 2003 and promoted to his current position in 2009. Prof. Lawrance was the Head of the department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Fremantle Hospital (2004-7), the Director of Endoscopic services at Kaleeya Hospital (2004-7) and has been the Director of the Centre for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) Fremantle Hospital from its inception in 2008.

Prof. Lawrance’s research work encompasses basic science research, clinical research and clinical trials. His basic science research focuses on the chronic inflammation-induced intestinal changes that occur in IBD and the subsequent complications of fibrosis and carcinogenesis. Investigation has been undertaken in both the human and animal models. He has, since 2001, been a principle investigator on >40, and the Australian lead on 3, international clinical trials IBD medications and served on 3 international publication committees investigating the use of novel medications in the treatment of IBD. Other clinically based research that has been or is being undertaken includes the subclassification of IBD through serological assays and toll-like receptor activity, the cancer risk of small colonic polyps, skin cancer risk in IBD patients on azathioprine, risk of sperm DNA fragmentation, nutritional problems in IBD patients, markers associated of colon cancer outcomes and the efficacy of rectal tacrolimus in resistant proctitis, which is currently under investigation by an internationally funded double-blinded placebo-controlled Australian national clinical trial. Despite no substantive WA governmental funding for basic science he has been a chief investigator on research grants totaling >$3,000,000 and also a chief investigator on a successful Australian Cancer Research Foundation equipment grant of $2,400,000.

Prof. Lawrance is a frequently requested speaker at state and national gastroenterological and specialist IBD meetings Prof. Lawrance has written numerous IBD reviews, 3 book chapters and has presented over 140 scientific abstracts at national and international meetings. He has currently published, or has accepted for publication, 50 peer reviewed papers including 1 nature, 3 nature genetics, 2 NEJM papers and 26 papers in journals with an impact factor of 4 or more. Twenty-one of these papers have been published since 2010. Collectively these papers have been cited >1300 times (Web of Knowledge).

He was a founding committee member of a physician-initiated interest group IBD Australia in 2002 and was its secretary (2005-8). Prof. Lawrance is a member of the Western Australian Drug Evaluation Panel (WADEP) and currently sits on pharmaceutical IBD drug advisory committees (Pharmatel Fresenius Kabi, Janssen-Cilag and Abbott Australasia). He reviews papers, abstracts and research grants for numerous scientific organisations, is a member of 5 editoral boards and has received numerous awards including a Raine Medical Research Foundation award, the IBD Australia Schering-Plough Travelling Fellowship and was invited to attend the AstraZenica Emerging Leaders Programme.

Prof. Lawrance is recognised as a leading Western Australia Medical expert, and one of a few specialist Physicians in Australia, in the management of IBD patients. The Centre of IBD at Fremantle Hospital is a referral centre for West Australian consultant gastroenterologists with difficult to manage IBD patients.

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