Diabetes and Cardio-Metabolic Conditions

Research Overview

Our research group is focused on addressing a global health problem. Across the world over a billion people have diabetes and up to 15% of national health budgets are spent on diabetes, risk-factors and cardiovascular complications. Our research aims to reach a deep understanding of this complex problem to develop innovative primary care-led solutions that will improve health outcomes.

Our multidisciplinary research group is based within the Department of General Practice at the University of Melbourne, which is known nationally and internationally for innovation in primary care research. Our research puts the patient experience at the heart of understanding how primary health care teams, practices and the health system can optimise care and outcomes for people with diabetes and cardiometabolic disease or risk factors.

A number of themes run through our research. These include

  • Innovative models of care in primary care and the use of new digital technologies;
  • Optimising  outcomes and pathways to care for high-risk groups in the community including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and socioeconomically disadvantaged groups;
  • Care for diabetes and cardiometabolic conditions in an ageing population;
  • Addressing co-morbidity in particular co-morbid mental health problems
  • The use of large routinely collected and linked clinical data sets to  develop interventions to improve care and outcomes

Our team works with our national and international collaborators to conduct rigorous, multi-method, inter-disciplinary research.  We have strong links with General Practices across Victoria, Primary Health Networks, Primary Care Partnerships, RACGP, APNA and Community Health Centres. Our work is funded through competitive grants including NHMRC, beyondblue, Diabetes Australia Research Trust, tenders and other non-competitive grants.

Research opportunities are available to potential PhD and Masters students.


Associate Professor John Furler
Dr Phyllis Lau, Director, Cultural Respect Encompassing Simulation Training (CREST), Research Higher Degrees Coordinator
Dr Jo-Anne Manski-Nankervis, Diabetes Research Fellow
Louise Ginnivan, Credentialled Diabetes Educator
Katie De La Rue, Research Officer and Study Co-ordinator
Mrs Kylie Crisp, Project Coordinator/Research Support Officer
Rebecca Hannam, Research Assistant
Emily Knights Research Assistant
Lee-Anne Manski, Administrative Support
Irene Blackberry, Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Professor Doris Young
Mark Kennedy, Honorary Clinical Associate Professor
Ralph Audehm, Honorary Clinical Associate Professor
Dr Malcolm Clark, Honorary research group member
Dr Christine Walker, Honorary Research Group Member
Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Honorary Professorial Fellow
Associate Professor David O'Neal (Honorary)
Professor James Best (Honorary)
Professor Jane Speight (Honorary)
Mei Lyn Tan, GP Registrar
Timothy Wittick, GP Registrar
Chance Pistoll, GP Registrar
Tshepo Rasekaba, PhD student
Jason Chiang, PhD candidate


Australian Institute for Primary Care & Ageing, College of Science, Health and Engineering, La Trobe University
Chronic Illness Alliance
Leicester Diabetes Centre, University of Leicester
Department of Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital
Lee Kong Chian Medical School, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
School of Psychology, Deakin University
Australian Centre for Behavioural Research in Diabetes
Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow
College of Health & Biomedicine, Victoria University


  1. NHMRC Project Grant: General Practice Optimising Structured Monitoring To Improve Clinical outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes: GP-OSMOTIC T2D
  2. NHMRC Project Grant: Effectiveness of an Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Cultural Respect Program in general practice – Bridging the gap between Thinking and Doing: A whole-of-practice approach (WoTWoD)
  3. Shepherd Foundation Grant: Chronic kidney disease prevalence and management in people with type 2 diabetes in Australian general practice
  4. NHMRC TRIP Fellowship 2017-18 Personalised care for type 2 diabetes in primary care: Empowering patients and clinicians to Treat to Target
  5. Melbourne Networked Society Institute Personalised care for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D): An integrated shared decision making tool embedded in the electronic medical record in general practice.
  6. RACGP-DARP Foundation Personalised care for people with type 2 diabetes: An integrated shared decision making tool embedded in the electronic medical record in general practice.
  7. RACGP Family Medical Care Education and Research Grant Multimorbidity and glycaemia in people with type 2 diabetes attending Australian general practice: a cross-sectional study utilising data from NPS MedicineInsight
  8. Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd (TGL)/RACGP Research Grant Understanding antibiotic prescribing and use of guidelines in general practice – the GP National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (GP NAPS) pilot study

Research Publications

1.            Furler J, O’Neal D, Speight J, Manski-Nankervis J-A, Gorelik A, Holmes-Truscott E, et al. Supporting insulin initiation in type 2 diabetes in primary care: results of the Stepping Up pragmatic cluster randomised controlled clinical trial. BMJ. 2017;356.

2.            Bishop, I. Eagleson, S. Pettit, C. Rajabifard, A. Badland, H. Day, J. Furler, J. Kalantari, M. Sturup, S. White, M. (2017) Using an Online Data Portal and Prototype Analysis Tools in an Investigation of Spatial Livability Planning International Journal of E-Planning Research 6 (2)

3.            Ruano, A. L., Shadmi, E. Furler, J. Rao, K. San Sebastian, M. Villar Uribe, M, Shi, L  (2017). "Looking forward to the next 15 years: innovation and new pathways for research in health equity." International Journal for Equity in Health 16(1): 35.

4.            Rasekaba TM, Lim K, Blackberry I, Gray K, Furler J. Telemedicine for Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (TeleGDM): A Mixed-Method Study Protocol of Effects of a Web-Based GDM Support System on Health Service Utilization, Maternal and Fetal Outcomes, Costs, and User Experience. JMIR Res Protoc. 2016;5(3):e163.

5.            Richard L, Furler J, Densley K, Haggerty J, Russell G, Levesque JF, et al. Equity of access to primary healthcare for vulnerable populations: the IMPACT international online survey of innovations. International Journal for Equity in Health. 2016;15.

6.            Furler, John; Rudock, Gareth; Manski-Nankervis, Jo-Anne; Blackberry, Irene and Kennedy, Mark. Identifying Risk for Diabetes in Adolescence (IRDA): A pilot study in general practice [online]. Australian Family Physician, Vol. 45, No. 8, Aug 2016: 582-586.

7.            Liaw ST, Wade V, Lau P, Hasan I, Furler J. Safe and effective cultural mentorship in general practice. Australian Family Physician. 2016;45(6):431-6.

8.            Holmes-Truscott E, Blackberry I, O'Neal DN, Furler JS, Speight J. Willingness to initiate insulin among adults with type 2 diabetes in Australian primary care: Results from the Stepping Up Study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice. 2016;114:126-35.

9.            Manski-Nankervis J, Yates CJ, Blackberry I, Furler J, Ginnivan L, Cohen N, et al. Impact of insulin initiation on glycaemic variability and glucose profiles in a primary healthcare Type 2 diabetes cohort: analysis of continuous glucose monitoring data from the INITIATION study. Diabetic Medicine. 2016;33(6):803-11.