About


Dr Purnima Bhat is a gastroenterologist and physician-scientist.

She studied medicine at the University of Queensland, before moving to Melbourne where she obtained her specialist qualifications. She trained at the Austin Hospital in the Department of  Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation with a special interest in liver disease. Dr Bhat then went on to  study hepatitis B virus transmission at the MacFarlane Burnet Institue, Melbourne, and obtained her doctorate in this field. She was awarded her PhD from the University of Melbourne in 2007.

Dr Bhat moved back to Queensland where she developed a private practice in gastroenterology and hepatology as well as working at the Princess Alexandra Hospital Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department. She continued her research, undertaking postdoctoral studies in pancreatic physiology and multi-photon imaging with Prof. Peter Thorn at the University of Queensland. She then joined Prof Ian Frazer’s laboratory at the Diamantina Institute where she investigated immune mechanisms involved in developing immunotherapy for cancer using imaging and transplantation techniques in mouse models.

In 2014, Dr Bhat was recruited to the Australian National University, where she currently studies immune system involvement in colorectal cancer, with a view to developing novel therapies. She spent several months in the mucosal immunology and gastroenterology department at Imperial College London studying immune cells in the colon. Dr Bhat works in the Hannan Laboratory and ANUMS, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. She has a private practice in Canberra, at Canberra Gastroenterology, Deakin, as well as seeing patients in Sydney, at Sydney Gastroenterology. She is an Honorary Staff Specialist at the Canberra Hospital Gastroenterology and Hepatology department.

Dr Bhat is asked to present at national and international conferences and meetings. She has published numerous top-ranking research papers in her field and she has been awarded research prizes, scholarships and grants of over $750,000 to date. She has ongoing collaborations with  St Mark’s Hospital and Imperial College London in the UK, as well as national collaborations with the University of Queensland, UNSW, and University of Melbourne.

Dr Bhat is a mucosal immunologist and her interests include development of novel immune therapies for colorectal cancer, the role of the mucosal immune system in liver disease, and immune therapies for inflammatory bowel disease. Her clinical interests include colorectal cancer screening, treatment of immune-related bowel conditions, and liver disease. She sees complex medical patients with multi-system disease within her practice. She performs several endoscopic procedures including gastroscopy and colonoscopy, chromocolonoscopy for bowel cancer screening, treatment of polyps, strictures, and ablation of bleeding vessels.

Copyright © Purnima Bhat