Our ultimate goal is to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. We aim to do this by discovering new targets for treatment, developing new treatments,
and finding better markers and predictors of disease so that we can apply therapies earlier to improve patient outcomes.
What impact will this research have?
Obesity-related diseases are the major health challenges of our generation. Obesity-driven type 2 diabetes has dramatically increased in prevalence in Australia and other Western countries in the last few decades. Alarmingly, in the last decade alone, highly populous developing countries like India and China have seen type 2 diabetes reach epidemic proportions. In fact, the WHO described the increase of type 2 diabetes in China as “explosive”, where 114 million people have type 2 diabetes and 500 million people (almost 50% of all adults) have prediabetes.
There is an urgent global need for better ways to detect and treat type 2 diabetes. One of the cornerstones of treatment of type 2 diabetes is early intervention. Our discovery of a new molecule that independently predicts diabetes 12 years before diagnosis has huge clinical potential to facilitate intervention well before overt onset of diabetes and its attendant complications such as cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, by detailing the entire pathway controlling levels of this molecule, we can now determine if this pathway can treat type 2 diabetes.