Professor Gordon Howarth is a Cancer Council Australia Senior Research Fellow and leads the University of Adelaide’s Digestive Health Research Group. He is also an Affiliate Associate Professor in the Gastroenterology Department of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Professor Howarth’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which newly-identified bioactive agents act in the intestine. These bioactive agents include probiotics, probiotic-sourced bioactives, prebiotics, synbiotics and bioactive extracts of plant, animal and marine origin. Dr Howarth has developed a wide range of animal models of gastrointestinal disease over a 20-year period. These include models of gastric ulceration, NSAID-enteropathy, chemotherapy-induced mucositis, radiation enteritis, the inflammatory bowel diseases Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and colon cancer. He has utilized these models to demonstrate therapeutic applications for a number of growth factors (eg IGF-I, the subject of Professor Howarth’s PhD studies) and bioactive formulations including a whey-derived growth factor extract that is currently undergoing clinical trial for the treatment of oral mucositis. Although Professor Howarth has been an Affiliate title-holder in the University for many years, he joined the University of Adelaide as an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Agricultural and Animal Science in early 2006. Professor Howarth is supported by a Senior Research Fellowship from the Cancer Council of Australia.
Professor Howarth is the coordinator for the Laboratory Animal Science course that was introduced in the B Sc (Animal Science) program in 2007. Professor Howarth is a work experience student coordinator at the University and at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. He also supervises groups of 3rd year Physiology students in research projects annually. Professor Howarth has five PhD students, one M Phil student and four Honours students in his laboratory.