Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease


Researchers across Sydney Medical School are working on the interconnected problems associated with obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The approaches are multi-pronged and unite expertise in basic, clinical, public health and health policy research.

Some researchers are working on new and innovative approaches to improve the management of heart attacks, the immunopathology of atherosclerosis and inherited risk factors for heart disease. Others are working to improve the diagnosis and treatment of people with cardiovascular disease through the identification of new gene abnormalities, investigating how biological signals communicate between and within cells, and understanding how genes and their mutations cause disease.

Another significant group is working to reduce the individual and societal impact of obesity and lifestyle-related chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. This approach focuses on important underlying factors, including obesity, inappropriate nutrition and physical inactivity.

Some of the research questions currently being investigated are:


When does obesity start and how can we reverse it?

Is running good for your heart?

Is there more to vascular disease than high cholesterol?

Are the risk factors for stroke the same as those for coronary artery disease?

Are there new therapies for vascular disease that can be used when heart attack and stroke occur?

Theme Leader

Professor Louise Baur

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Latest news

Australia Day Honours 2012
Dr Ian Darnton-Hill has been conferred as an Officer (AO) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, and Professor Dennis Yue has been conferred as a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia. (more)


Queen's Birthday honours for the University of Sydney
Congratulations to Professor Jennie Brand-Miller. Professor Brand-Miller received the Member of the Order of Australia for service to education in the field of human nutrition as a researcher and academic, and as a supporter of people with a hearing impairment.

Professor Gamble takes out National Heart Foundation Award
Professor Jennifer Gamble, University of Sydney Wenkart Chair of Endothelium and head of Vascular Biology at the Centenary Institute, has received the 2011 National Heart Foundation Ross Hohnen Award for her work on the surprising, positive changes ageing has on special blood vessel cells known as endothelial cells.

The Award recognises Professor Gamble's Ageing and the Vascular System research as the year's top grant-in-aid project to receive funding from the Heart Foundation's highly competitive research program. Professor Gamble and her team have been investigating what happens to blood vessels with age and how this contributes to the development of heart disease. In particular, they have been studying endothelial cells, which make up the thin inside lining of the blood vessel wall. (more)


NHMRC honours Professor Chris Semsarian in 10 of the Best Research Projects for 2010
Professor Chris Semsarian, Head of Molecular Cardiology at the Centenary Institute and University of Sydney, is one of 10 researchers that have been honoured in a new publication to highlight the life-saving work conducted by Australia's top researchers.

Professor Semsarian has been profiled for his work into the most common genetic heart disorder - hypertrophic cardiomyopathy - that has lead to new strategies to improve diagnosis and prevent sudden death in young patients with this often fatal condition. (more)

Australia Day honours for the University of Sydney
Congratulations to Professor Margaret McGill. Professor McGill received the honour of Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for service to community health in the field of diabetes management and education, particularly in support of children and adolescents, and to the establishment of medical education programs in Australia and overseas.

Congratulations to Professor Ben Freedman. Professor Freedman received the honour of Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia for service to medicine as a clinician, educator and researcher. (more)