Professor David Clark


Royal Brisbane Clinical Unit
Faculty of Medicine


Professor David A Clark

Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, and University of Queensland, Australia

Prof Clark is a visiting colorectal surgeon at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. He qualified from the University of QLD in 1991, trained in surgery in Brisbane, and undertook colorectal fellowships in the United Kingdom. He was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons at Edinburgh in January 2002.

He is a Professor for the University of QLD and runs a busy clinical practice at the St Vincent's Private Hospital Northside. He has a strong interest in inflammatory bowel disease and the IBD Unit at the RBWH has an active academic program. Prof Clark has presented internationally in the field of IBD and minimally invasive colorectal surgery.

The colorectal unit based at the RBWH has a commitment to education and runs a regular laparoscopic colorectal training course and now supports 3 colorectal fellows and a research co-ordinator. He is a board member of the ANZ Training Board in Colorectal Surgery (ANZTBCRS) and the recent convenor for the Society and Section scientific meetings.

Prof Clark heads the Brisbane Colorectal Reseacrh Unit (CRU) and completed a PhD at the University of Sydney in June 2022. He concurrently supervised 4 PhD candidates through UQ. He is widely published in the fields of minimally invasive surgery and inflammaory bowel disease.

Brisbane is renowned for minimally invasive colorectal surgery and training and teaching are a passion.

Research Interests

  • Surgery for Acute Severe Ulcerative Colitis
    Refining the minimally invasive technique for these acutely unwell patients and optimizing the ultimate restorative procedure.
  • Minimally invasive colorectal surgery
    Regular masterclasses showcasing advances in minimally invasive approaches to colorectal surgery.
  • Early Surgery for Ileal Crohn's Disease
    Surgery as a therapeutic option vs trial of multiple medical therapies.
  • Modified Kono S anastomosis after ileocolic resection for Crohn's disease
    An RCT out of the RBWH and recruiting 2023.
  • Colorectal cancer organoids for predicting response to chemotherapy
    QIMR research project to collect specimens and enhance the pipeline to grow and test organoids in a clinically actionable timeframe.

Research Impacts

Professor Clark's publications in the field of drain fluid biomarkers of anastomotic leak have seen the uptake of the research methodology in numerous centres around the world. Indeed the measurement of drain fluid amylase is an inexpensive and readily availble test that should be the standard of care in the peri-operative period of ileal pouch surgery when a diverting ileostomy is not incorporated. Further development of novel drain fluid biomarkers are under investigation to support the post-operative care in the setting of rectal cancer surgery.

Research in the field of organoids has the potential to translate to precision medicine in a clinically actionable timeframe.

Publications from the colorectal sub-committee in colorectal cancer through the Queensland Cancer Control and Analysis Team (QCCAT) are produced to report on multiple aspects of service delivery and quality throughout Queensland with the goal of enhancing patient outcomes throughout the state.


  • Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
  • Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Member, Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand, Colorectal Surgical Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Board Member, Australia and New Zealand Training Board in Colorectal Surgery, Australia and New Zealand Training Board in Colorectal Surgery
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Medical Science, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.