Dr Charmaine Tam

PhD
Dr Charmaine Tam

Telephone 02 9515 5183

Website Room 394, D06 - Blackburn Building

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Biographical details

Charmaine Tam is passionate about understanding and tackling the physiological mechanisms behind obesity and its metabolic complications. Her research is focused on understanding the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes and spans preclinical models in mice to clinical studies in children and adults.

Charmaine Tam completed her PhD at The Children's Hopsital at Westmead on adipose tissue biology in children under the direction of Professor Louise Baur and Professor Karine Clement (Les Cordeliers, INSERM, Paris). Next, she completed her postdoc at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana under the direction of Professor Eric Ravussin, a world expert with over 30 years in energy balance and obesity. Whilst at the Pennington, Charmaine developed expertise in a range of clinical techniques for examining obesity and diabetes in humans including hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle biopsies and methods of measuring energy expenditure (metabolic cart and whole room calorimetry). In July 2012, Charmaine joined the University of Sydney. She has since embarked on innovative translational projects on obesity and diabetes and continues to have an active role in the development of the clinical research facility at the Charles Perkins Centre.

Research interests

In Australia, 3 out of 4 adults are overweight or obese, and 1.7 billion individuals are obese
worldwide. Alarmingly, obesity is highly associated with the development of metabolic complications including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. In order to address the obesity epidemic, we need to investigate the physiological mechanisms leading to obesity and its metabolic complications and provide effective, low-risk treatments for weight loss.

Charmaine Tam’s research investigates the physiological mechanisms leading to obesity and its metabolic complications and spans preclinical mouse models, to humans to epidemiological data-sets. By performing interventions resulting in weight gain (overfeeding studies) and weight loss (diet, exercise and weight loss surgery), my research investigates the associated changes in whole-body, adipose tissue and skeletal muscle physiology associated with obesity and diabetes.

Research interests include:

  1. Inflammation and extracellular matrix remodeling in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle- with collaborators at the Department of Endocrinology, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
  2. Exploring physiological mechanisms behind weight loss surgery- with collaborators at The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital

Current projects

  • Investigating the potential risks versus benefits of weight loss surgery. Weight loss (bariatric) surgery results in a spectacular 30-40% weight loss and resolution of type 2 diabetes in up to 80% of cases after one year. Despite such impressive outcomes, the potential risks of such procedures on parameters such as body composition and bone health are unknown. This project would involve learning how to run a clinical research study, interactions with patients, performing body composition scans, serum assays in the laboratory and data analysis.

  • Examining the role of inflammation and matrix remodelling in fat tissue and skeletal muscle in the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Obesity is now recognised as a state of chronic low-grade inflammation in the adipose tissue and potentially skeletal muscle. This project would involve learning a range of molecular biology techniques for analysing adipose tissue and skeletal muscle in mouse models of obesity and diabetes.

Selected grants

2013

  • The University of Sydney Core Facility for Human Body Composition Assessment; Salis (nee Sainsbury) A, Caterson I, Brand-Miller J, Simpson S, Tam C, Johnson N, Grunstein R; DVC Research/Equipment Grant.

2012

  • Explorations of protein leverage in humans; Tam C; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Early Career Fellowships (ECF).

Selected publications

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Journals

  • St-Onge, M., Shechter, A., Shlisky, J., Tam, C., Gao, S., Ravussin, E. (2014). Fasting plasma adropin concentrations correlate with fat consumption in human females. Obesity, 22(4), 1056-1063. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Frost, E., Xie, W., Rood, J., Ravussin, E., Redman, L. (2014). No Effect of Caloric Restriction on Salivary Cortisol Levels in Overweight Men and Women. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 63(2), 194-198. [More Information]
  • Samocha-Bonet, D., Tam, C., Campbell, L., Heilbronn, L. (2014). Raised circulating fetuin-a after 28-day overfeeding in healthy humans. Diabetes Care, 37(1), e15-e16. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Covington, J., Bajpeyi, S., Tchoukalova, Y., Burke, D., Zingaretti, C., Cinti, S., Johannsen, D., Ravussin, E. (2014). Weight Gain Reveals Dramatic Increases in Skeletal Muscle Extracellular Matrix Remodelling. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 99(5), 1749-1757. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Covington, J., Ravussin, E. (2013). Response to Low Macrophage Content in Diabetic and Aging Human Skeletal Muscle. Obesity, 21(1), 4-5. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Ravussin, E. (2013). Response to to Comment on: Tam et al. Defining Insulin Resistance from Hyperinsulinemic-Euglycemic Clamps 2012;35:1605-1610. Diabetes Care, 36, e11-e11. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Tordjman, J., Divoux, A., Baur, L., Clement, K. (2012). Adipose Tissue Remodeling in Children: The Link between Collagen Deposition and Age-Related Adipocyte Growth. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 97(4), 1320-1327. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Lecoultre, V., Ravussin, E. (2012). Brown Adipose Tissue: Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Targets. Circulation, 125(22), 2782-2791. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Xie, W., Johnson, W., Cefalu, W., Redman, L., Ravussin, E. (2012). Defining Insulin Resistance From Hyperinsulinemic-Euglycemic Clamps. Diabetes Care, 35, 1605-1610. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Ravussin, E. (2012). Energy balance: An overview with emphasis on children. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 58(1), 154-158. [More Information]
  • Lecoultre, V., Tam, C. (2012). Increased Adipose Tissue Oxygen Tension in Obese Compared With Lean Men Is Accompanied by Insulin Resistance Impaired Adipose Tissue Capillarization, and Inflammation. Circulation, 125: e315(1), 67-76. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Covington, J., Ravussin, E., Redman, L. (2012). Little evidence of systemic and adipose tissue inflammation in overweight individuals. Frontiers in Genetics, 3(APR), Article 58. [More Information]
  • Butler, A., Tam, C., Stanhope, K., Wolfe, B., Ali, M., O'Keeffe, M., St-Onge, M., Ravussin, E., Havel, P. (2012). Low Circulating Adropin Concentrations with Obesity and Aging Correlate with Risk Factors for Metabolic Disease and Increase after Gastric Bypass Surgery in Humans. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 97(10), 3783-3791. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Sparks, L., Johannsen, D., Covington, J., Church, T., Ravussin, E. (2012). Low Macrophage Accumulation in Skeletal Muscle of Obese Type 2 Diabetics and Elderly Subjects. Obesity, 20(7), 1530-1533. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Heilbronn, L., Henegar, C., Wong, M., Cowell, C., Cowley, M., Kaplan, W., Clement, K., Baur, L. (2011). An early inflammatory gene profile in visceral adipose tissue in children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 6(2-2), e360-e363. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Berthoud, H., Bueter, M., Chakravarty, M., Geliebter, A., Hajnal, A., Holst, J., Kaplan, L., Pories, W., Raybould, H., et al (2011). Bariatric surgery: do the mechanisms hold the key for novel therapies. Obesity Reviews, 12(11), 984-994. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Lecoultre, V., Ravussin, E. (2011). Novel strategy for the use of leptin for obesity therapy. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 11(12), 1677-1685. [More Information]
  • Samocha-Bonet, D., Campbell, L., Viardot, A., Freund, J., Tam, C., Greenfield, J., Heilbronn, L. (2010). A family history of type 2 diabetes increases risk factors associated with overfeeding. Diabetologia: clinical and experimental diabetes and metabolism, 53(8), 1700-1708. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Garnett, S., Cowell, C., Heilbronn, L., Lee, J., Wong, M., Baur, L. (2010). IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 levels in healthy weight and overweight children. Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 73(2), 128-134. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Clement, K., Baur, L., Tordjman, J. (2010). Obesity and low-grade inflammation: a pediatric perspective. Obesity Reviews, 11(2), 118-126. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Viardot, A., Clement, K., Tordjman, J., Tonks, K., Greenfield, J., Campbell, L., Samocha-Bonet, D., Heilbronn, L. (2010). Short-term overfeeding induces insulin resistance without altering adipose tissue macrophages. Diabetes, 59(9), 2164-2170. [More Information]
  • Waters, K., Mast, B., Vella, S., de la Eva, R., O'Brien, L., Bailey, S., Tam, C., Wong, M., Baur, L. (2007). Structural equation modeling of sleep apnea, inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction in children. Journal of Sleep Research, 16(4), 388-395. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Wong, M., Tam, K., Aouad, L., Waters, K. (2007). The effect of acute intermittent hypercapnic hypoxia treatment on IL-6, TNF-alpha, and CRP levels in piglets. Sleep, 30(6), 723-727. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Wong, M., McBain, R., Bailey, S., Waters, K. (2006). Inflammatory measures in children with obstructive sleep apnoea. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 42(5), 277-282. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., de Zegher, F., Garnett, S., Baur, L., Cowell, C. (2006). Opposing Influences of Prenatal and Postnatal Growth on the Timing of Menarche. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 91(11), 4369-4373. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Garnett, S., Cowell, C., Campbell, K., Cabrera, G., Baur, L. (2006). Soft drink consumption and excess weight gain in Australian school students: results from the Nepean study. International Journal of Obesity, 30(7), 1091-1093. [More Information]

2014

  • St-Onge, M., Shechter, A., Shlisky, J., Tam, C., Gao, S., Ravussin, E. (2014). Fasting plasma adropin concentrations correlate with fat consumption in human females. Obesity, 22(4), 1056-1063. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Frost, E., Xie, W., Rood, J., Ravussin, E., Redman, L. (2014). No Effect of Caloric Restriction on Salivary Cortisol Levels in Overweight Men and Women. Metabolism: clinical and experimental, 63(2), 194-198. [More Information]
  • Samocha-Bonet, D., Tam, C., Campbell, L., Heilbronn, L. (2014). Raised circulating fetuin-a after 28-day overfeeding in healthy humans. Diabetes Care, 37(1), e15-e16. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Covington, J., Bajpeyi, S., Tchoukalova, Y., Burke, D., Zingaretti, C., Cinti, S., Johannsen, D., Ravussin, E. (2014). Weight Gain Reveals Dramatic Increases in Skeletal Muscle Extracellular Matrix Remodelling. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 99(5), 1749-1757. [More Information]

2013

  • Tam, C., Covington, J., Ravussin, E. (2013). Response to Low Macrophage Content in Diabetic and Aging Human Skeletal Muscle. Obesity, 21(1), 4-5. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Ravussin, E. (2013). Response to to Comment on: Tam et al. Defining Insulin Resistance from Hyperinsulinemic-Euglycemic Clamps 2012;35:1605-1610. Diabetes Care, 36, e11-e11. [More Information]

2012

  • Tam, C., Tordjman, J., Divoux, A., Baur, L., Clement, K. (2012). Adipose Tissue Remodeling in Children: The Link between Collagen Deposition and Age-Related Adipocyte Growth. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 97(4), 1320-1327. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Lecoultre, V., Ravussin, E. (2012). Brown Adipose Tissue: Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutic Targets. Circulation, 125(22), 2782-2791. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Xie, W., Johnson, W., Cefalu, W., Redman, L., Ravussin, E. (2012). Defining Insulin Resistance From Hyperinsulinemic-Euglycemic Clamps. Diabetes Care, 35, 1605-1610. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Ravussin, E. (2012). Energy balance: An overview with emphasis on children. Pediatric Blood and Cancer, 58(1), 154-158. [More Information]
  • Lecoultre, V., Tam, C. (2012). Increased Adipose Tissue Oxygen Tension in Obese Compared With Lean Men Is Accompanied by Insulin Resistance Impaired Adipose Tissue Capillarization, and Inflammation. Circulation, 125: e315(1), 67-76. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Covington, J., Ravussin, E., Redman, L. (2012). Little evidence of systemic and adipose tissue inflammation in overweight individuals. Frontiers in Genetics, 3(APR), Article 58. [More Information]
  • Butler, A., Tam, C., Stanhope, K., Wolfe, B., Ali, M., O'Keeffe, M., St-Onge, M., Ravussin, E., Havel, P. (2012). Low Circulating Adropin Concentrations with Obesity and Aging Correlate with Risk Factors for Metabolic Disease and Increase after Gastric Bypass Surgery in Humans. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 97(10), 3783-3791. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Sparks, L., Johannsen, D., Covington, J., Church, T., Ravussin, E. (2012). Low Macrophage Accumulation in Skeletal Muscle of Obese Type 2 Diabetics and Elderly Subjects. Obesity, 20(7), 1530-1533. [More Information]

2011

  • Tam, C., Heilbronn, L., Henegar, C., Wong, M., Cowell, C., Cowley, M., Kaplan, W., Clement, K., Baur, L. (2011). An early inflammatory gene profile in visceral adipose tissue in children. International Journal of Pediatric Obesity, 6(2-2), e360-e363. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Berthoud, H., Bueter, M., Chakravarty, M., Geliebter, A., Hajnal, A., Holst, J., Kaplan, L., Pories, W., Raybould, H., et al (2011). Bariatric surgery: do the mechanisms hold the key for novel therapies. Obesity Reviews, 12(11), 984-994. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Lecoultre, V., Ravussin, E. (2011). Novel strategy for the use of leptin for obesity therapy. Expert Opinion on Biological Therapy, 11(12), 1677-1685. [More Information]

2010

  • Samocha-Bonet, D., Campbell, L., Viardot, A., Freund, J., Tam, C., Greenfield, J., Heilbronn, L. (2010). A family history of type 2 diabetes increases risk factors associated with overfeeding. Diabetologia: clinical and experimental diabetes and metabolism, 53(8), 1700-1708. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Garnett, S., Cowell, C., Heilbronn, L., Lee, J., Wong, M., Baur, L. (2010). IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10 levels in healthy weight and overweight children. Hormone Research in Paediatrics, 73(2), 128-134. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Clement, K., Baur, L., Tordjman, J. (2010). Obesity and low-grade inflammation: a pediatric perspective. Obesity Reviews, 11(2), 118-126. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Viardot, A., Clement, K., Tordjman, J., Tonks, K., Greenfield, J., Campbell, L., Samocha-Bonet, D., Heilbronn, L. (2010). Short-term overfeeding induces insulin resistance without altering adipose tissue macrophages. Diabetes, 59(9), 2164-2170. [More Information]

2007

  • Waters, K., Mast, B., Vella, S., de la Eva, R., O'Brien, L., Bailey, S., Tam, C., Wong, M., Baur, L. (2007). Structural equation modeling of sleep apnea, inflammation, and metabolic dysfunction in children. Journal of Sleep Research, 16(4), 388-395. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Wong, M., Tam, K., Aouad, L., Waters, K. (2007). The effect of acute intermittent hypercapnic hypoxia treatment on IL-6, TNF-alpha, and CRP levels in piglets. Sleep, 30(6), 723-727. [More Information]

2006

  • Tam, C., Wong, M., McBain, R., Bailey, S., Waters, K. (2006). Inflammatory measures in children with obstructive sleep apnoea. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 42(5), 277-282. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., de Zegher, F., Garnett, S., Baur, L., Cowell, C. (2006). Opposing Influences of Prenatal and Postnatal Growth on the Timing of Menarche. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 91(11), 4369-4373. [More Information]
  • Tam, C., Garnett, S., Cowell, C., Campbell, K., Cabrera, G., Baur, L. (2006). Soft drink consumption and excess weight gain in Australian school students: results from the Nepean study. International Journal of Obesity, 30(7), 1091-1093. [More Information]

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