Associate Professor Jessica Howell

Senior Research Fellow


I am a consultant gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital and The Royal Melbourne Hospital, with a research interest in liver cancer and viral hepatitis. I completed my PhD exploring the role of the innate immune system in hepatitis C disease post liver transplantation. I received an NHMRC Sidney Sax Early Career Research Fellowship for post-doctoral studies at Imperial College London (Department of Hepatology), where I worked with a team on public health projects targeting reduction of HBV-related liver disease and liver cancer in Sub-saharan Africa and exploring genetic mutation analysis of circulating free tumour DNA in liver cancer in collaboration with Cologne University (Germany). I am currently working on further projects exploring genetics of liver cancer and the epidemiology of liver disease and liver cancer under the mentorship of Professor Margaret Hellard. I am involved in hepatology training and public health projects in Fiji.


  • CR Roper Senior research fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
  • Adjunct senior research fellow, Epidemiology and Disease Prevention, Monash University
  • Post doctoral fellow, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
  • Honorary post doctoral fellow, Imperial College London, UK
  • Masters student, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc Epi, Post Grad Dip Public Health)


  • Gastroenterologist and hepatologist, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Committee member of the Australian Liver Association (ALA), Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) and Gastroenterological Society of Australia (GESA)


  • MBBS (Hons)
  • PhD (Medicine)
  • FRACP - Gastroenterology


  • 2022 Inaugural Tony Burgess Medal. VCCC Alliance
  • 2013 NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship Bushell/ GESA Post Doctoral Research Scholarship
  • 2012 RACP CRB Bushell Scholarship Astra-Zeneca/ GESA Grant-In-Aid Scholarship Young Investigator Bursary, European Association for the Study of the Liver.
  • 2011 GESA Frenesius Kabi Travel Bursary
  • 2009 GESA (Gastroenterology Society of Australia) Clinical Research Scholarship (PhD)
  • 1998 National Heart Foundation Summer Scholarship
  • 1999 Anti-Cancer Council Summer Research Scholarship
  • 2002 MBBS with First Class Honours Deans Honour’s List Jamieson Prize for best student in Clinical Medicine; Tom Keen Prize for best student in Chemical Pathology
  • 2001 Deans Honour’s List
  • 2000 Deans Honour’s List
  • 1998 Deans Honour’s List Novartis Prize for best student in Behavioural Science

Projects (11)

Current (9)

  • Barriers to hepatocellular carcinoma screening uptake in Victoria

  • Cancer information compared to Hepatitis B information to INcreAse hepatitis B testing in Melbourne’s Chinese community (CHINA-B study)

  • EC Partnership: Eliminate Hepatitis C Partnership

  • Hepatitis B Modelling

  • Identifying the barriers to hepatitis B clinical management: the perspectives of people with hepatitis B.

  • Identifying the structural enablers to the clinical management of people with hepatitis B in general practice: a qualitative investigation

  • Modelling for evidence-based national hepatitis B testing plans

  • The elimination of hepatitis C as a global public health threat

  • The QuickStart Study

Past (1)

  • Hepatitis B infection in Australian prisons

Publications (78)

2023 (2)

2022 (21)

2021 (7)

2020 (14)

2019 (11)

2018 (1)

2017 (6)

2016 (1)

2015 (2)

2014 (4)

2013 (6)

2012 (1)

2011 (1)

2009 (1)

News Articles (10)

2022 (1)

2021 (1)

2020 (2)

2019 (2)

2018 (3)

2016 (1)