Diabetes and Obesity

Research Overview

This group is co-headed by Dr Elif Ekinci and Professor Joe Proietto.

Diabetes and obesity are an increasing burden worldwide and are major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Our research focuses on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, diabetes complications and obesity. We have access to a large cohort of patients and undertake observational as well as randomised clinical studies in patients with type 1, type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Current studies include but are not limited to:

  • Detection and management of diabetes complications in particular diabetic   kidney disease;
  • Effects of dietary salt intake in diabetes;
  • Effects of pregnancy on renal function in patients with diabetes;
  • Effects of very low calorie diets on obesity in general population, in pre-pregnancy population and in geriatric population;
  • Prevalence and outcomes of inpatients with diabetes and obesity.



  • A/Prof Sof Andrikopoulos, University of Melbourne
    Professor Jeffrey Zajac, Head of Medicine  Austin Health
    Professor Richard MacIsaac, Director of Diabetes at St. Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne
  • Dr Elisabeth Lambert, Senior Researcher, Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
  • Professor Leonid Churilov, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
    Professor Melinda Coughlan, Senior Researcher, BakerIDI Heart and Diabetes Insitute
  • Professor George Jerums, University of Melbourne


  • Sir Edward Dunlop Medical Research Foundation Grant
  • Viertel Clinical Investigatorship
  • DART (Diabetes Australia Research Trust)
  • NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) Early Career Fellowship
  • AstraZeneca Pty Ltd Project Grant

Research Publications

  1. Radcliffe NJ , Seah J, Clarke M, MacIsaac RJ, Jerums G, Ekinci EI. Clinical Predictive Factors in Diabetic Kidney Disease Progression. Journal of Diabetes Investigation, 14th March 2016.
  2. Coughlan MT, Higgins GC, Nguyen TV, Penfold S, Thallas-Bonke V, Ramm G, Van Bergen N, Henstridge DC, Sourris K, Harcourt B, Trounce I, Robb P, Laskowski A, McGee S, Genders A, Walder K, Drew B, Gregorevic P, Qian H Thomas M, Jerums G, Macisaac R, Skene A, Power D, Ekinci EI,  Wijeyeratne X, Gallo L, Herman-Edelstein M, Ryan M, Cooper M, Thorburn D, Forbes J. Deficiency in apoptosis inducing factor recapitulates chronic kidney disease via aberrant mitochondrial homeostasis.  Diabetes 2016. [Epub ahead of print].
  3. Tint AN, Hoermann R, Wong H, Ekinci E I, MacIsaac RJ, Jerums G, Zajac JD, Grossmann M. Association of sex hormone-binding globulin and free testosterone with mortality in men with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Eur J Endocrinol 2016; 174(1): 59-68.

Research Projects

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

School Research Themes


Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Dr Elif Ekinci

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Diabetes and Obesity