Diabetes Australia awards major research grants on 100-year anniversary of insulin discovery

Research into new treatments for diabetes and new ways to prevent the serious complications of diabetes are being supported in 19 diabetes research projects funded by the Diabetes Australia Research Program in Victoria.

The successful grant recipients were announced at a special online presentation hosted by Diabetes Victoria tonight.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson was hopeful that this $1.1 million of new diabetes research funding will contribute to improved treatment and management options for the 1.8 million Australians with diabetes.

“This year we mark the 100-year anniversary since the discovery of insulin and look forward to the next discovery that transforms the lives of people with diabetes,” Professor Johnson said.

“Diabetes research has improved the quality of life of people living with all types of diabetes and we hope the research announced today can lead to more breakthroughs.

“This includes important projects like the University of Melbourne’s Dr Magdalene Montgomery’s research into a potential new treatment for diabetes,” Professor Johnson said.

“Dr Montgomery has identified a protein released by the liver which could lead to a new treatment in a long-lasting form of the protein which could be delivered as a once-weekly injection.”

Professor Johnson said the researchers have each been awarded up to $60,000 each to support their studies.

“Dr Frank Ma will be looking at a potential new treatment for people with diabetes who have undergone kidney transplants and heart surgery,” he said.

“Professor Rebecca Ritchie and her team have identified potential new treatments for diabetes-related heart disease and now they hope to establish whether they are more effective in men or women.

“Another interesting study is Dr Matthew Snelson’s research into the effectiveness of resistant starch, found in foods like whole grains and legumes, in slowing the progression of diabetes-related kidney disease.”

Professor Johnson said these research grants support and develop outstanding research in Australia into many different aspects of diabetes including prevention, management and hopefully a cure.

The successful researchers are based at Victoria’s leading research institutes including Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Monash University, Deakin University, University of Melbourne, La Trobe University, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

People can help the Diabetes Australia Research Program fund more vital diabetes research by joining the Cure Club, our regular tax deductible giving program. Find out how to join the Cure Club here.

Full list of recipients

Dr Matthew SnelsonMonash UniversityUsing dietary therapy to slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease

Professor Tim


The Royal Melbourne HospitalMetabolic Priming and Reprogramming of the Glomerulus in Diabetic Kidney Disease


Michelle Keske

Deakin UniversityOral glucose tolerance test causes acute skeletal muscle microvascular insulin resistance in healthy people: determining the gut-derived factors that underpin microvascular impairments
Dr Christel


Deakin UniversityDetermining the next decade of difference in diabetes: psychosocial and behavioural research priority setting for and by those affected by diabetes

Professor Greg


Monash UniversityUse of an early urine biomarker to identify individuals who can best benefit from ASK1 inhibitor therapy during diabetes




St Vincent’s Institute of Medical ResearchBio-engineering a vascular platform for surgical reconstruction of diabetic wounds



Monash UniversityUnderstanding the sex-specific benefits of glucose-lowering therapies in the diabetic heart

Sharon Ricardo

Monash UniversityUsing an injectable hydrogel for the sustained therapeutic release of bioinspired cell-free secretome to alleviate diabetic kidney damage
Dr Sarah PriceUniversity of MelbourneUsing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) to explore glucose as a mediator of adverse pregnancy outcomes in women with obesity
Dr Darnel


Monash UniversityElucidating the transcriptomic profile of impaired glucose metabolism in diabetic female hearts
Dr Maria JelinicLa Trobe UniversityTo ‘B’ or not to ‘B’? Sex differences and the role of B cells in obesity-related kidney disease
Dr Magdalene


University of MelbourneHexosaminidase A (HEXA) – a new therapeutic target for glycaemic control
Dr Man LeeBaker Heart and Diabetes InstituteInducing apoptosis in platelets reduces atherosclerosis in mice with diabetes
Dr Adam RoseMonash UniversityTowards precision amino acid restriction as a therapy for type 2 diabetes
Dr Frank MaMonash UniversityOvercoming Vulnerability and Improving Outcomes of Acute Kidney Injury in Diabetic Patients
Dr Chris ShawDeakin UniversityFasting hyperinsulinemia remodels adipose tissue metabolism to drive obesity and insulin resistance
Dr Abdul

Waheed Khan

Monash UniversityRole of EZH2 in atherosusceptible vascular endothelium in diabetes associated atherosclerosis
Dr Stacey


University of MelbourneCutting the fat: targeting HSD17ß11 to regulate lipid metabolism and glycemic control
Dr John KarasUniversity of MelbourneLow Cost Insulin Therapeutics

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