Diabetes and Cardio-Metabolic Conditions

Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Associate Professor John Furler j.furler@unimelb.edu.au +61 3 8344 4747 View page

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


NHMRC Project Grant: General Practice Optimising Structured Monitoring To Improve Clinical outcomes in Type 2 Diabetes: GP-OSMOTIC T2D

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)

Shepherd Foundation Grant: Chronic kidney disease prevalence and management in people with type 2 diabetes in Australian general practice

NHMRC TRIP Fellowship 2017-18 Personalised care for type 2 diabetes in primary care: Empowering patients and clinicians to Treat to Target

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.

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.

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

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

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. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j783

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) https://doi.org/10.4018/IJEPR.2017040101

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. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-017-0531-0

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.

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.https://doi.org/10.1186/s12939-016-0351-7

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. Australian Family Physician 2016;45(8): 82-586.

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.

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2015.12.011

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. https://doi.org/10.1111/dme.12979