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Meet the East Melbourne Gastroenterology team

About East Melbourne Gastroenterology

Our gastroenterologists Dr William Connell, Dr John Ding and Dr Emily Wright are experienced gastroenterologists who all hold public appointments within the department of gastroenterology at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.Our dedicated team of doctors hold post-graduate qualifications in gastroenterology and pride themselves on their ability to provide high quality and comprehensive care for their patients. We welcome patients with and without private insurance. Our doctors all maintain and active interests in medical research and have access to clinical trials for new drug therapies for liver and bowel diseases.

Dr William Connell


Dr Bill Connell is a Melbourne Gastroenterologist who specialises in disorders of the digestive tract. He is an experienced endoscopist in gastroscopy and colonoscopy, and certified with the Gastroenterology Society of Australia.

His main area of expertise is in the management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). He has been Director of the IBD Multidisciplinary Service at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne since 1998, and a past national chairman of the Australian Inflammatory Bowel Disease Association. He continues to oversee IBD research at St Vincent's, and is a passionate advocate for individuals with the condition.

Dr John Ding


John Ding is a Melbourne based gastroenterologist. Having completed his post-graduate research at one of the world’s leading centres in IBD care, St Mark’s Hospital, London, he now divides his time between private practice and a senior medical specialist appointment at St Vincent’s Hospital where he is a part of the gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease units.

Currently the holder of a prestigious international grant awarded by the European Crohn’s and Colitis Organisation (ECCO), John’s extensive work in the field of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has led to his appointment onto the ECCO committee as the first non-European member, and is regularly invited to speak at international and national conferences. He is also the founding member of the Young Australian Crohn’s and Colitis Network. His PhD research investigating the personalization of medical therapy for patients with IBD using microbiome and metabolic profiling has led to numerous publications and been cited internationally.

John has an interest in luminal gastroenterology (IBD and irritable bowel syndrome) and engages and leads on research projects in these areas through International consortium (GETAID), St Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne. He additionally holds the position of head of the IBD Clinical trials Unit at St Vincent’s Hospital and lead for the National Bowel Cancer Program. His other interests include bowel cancer screening, coeliac disease, irritable bowel syndrome and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease among others.

John offers endoscopy services at St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Jolimont Endoscopy, where open access endoscopy is also available as well as weekly endoscopy lists at St Vincent’s Public Hospital and Werribee Mercy Hospital. John works from a patient-centered approach and enjoys working collaboratively with GPs and other health professionals to ensure cohesive treatment. He can also converse in Mandarin.

Dr Emily Wright


Emily Wright is a gastroenterologist and NHMRC post-graduate scholar. Emily combines private practice with a public appointment at St Vincent’s Public Hospital where she is part of the gastroenterology and inflammatory bowel disease units. Emily has a special interest in luminal gastroenterology (inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome) and is part of ongoing research projects in these areas.

Emily completed her undergraduate medical degree at Monash University. She went on to complete internal medicine and specialist gastroenterology training at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. Emily was awarded an NHMRC post-graduate scholarship for the completion of a fellowship in inflammatory bowel disease at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne and has undergone further training in inflammatory bowel disease in Calgary, Canada. Emily has a PhD examining the clinical and microbiological features of Crohn’s disease which was completed through the University of Melbourne. Her research into the monitoring and management of Crohn’s disease and the gut microbiome has been presented at national and international conferences and has been published widely. Emily is a member of IBD-Australia and IBD-Melbourne and a committee member for the charitable foundation The Gutsy Group which helps raise funds for research into the cause and cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Emily performs weekly endoscopy lists at St Vincent’s Public and Private Hospitals and is able to admit patients for inpatient care if required at both hospitals. Emily is committed to improving the health outcomes of patients and providing holistic medical care with compassion.

Denise Bitar

Clinic Manager

Denise is East Melbourne Gastroenterology’s experienced and highly skilled clinic manager. Denise’s excellent communication skills, empathy and attention to detail help provide smooth and seamless care for our patients.

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