Research strategy

Real-world solutions - Research Strategy 2013–15

Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death, disability and reduced quality of life in Australia. Through our unique approach to collaborative research and teaching, we aim to ease the burden of these diseases.

A unique approach

Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease account for half the deaths in Australia and have become epidemics of global proportions. The Charles Perkins Centre aims to ease the burden of these diseases by transforming how we eat, work and live.

Most initiatives have treated these diseases as medical conditions, concentrating on complex biology at the levels of genes, cells and organs. By contrast, the Charles Perkins Centre brings our medical and health experts together with some of our best minds from the arts and social sciences, architecture, business, education, law, engineering and information technology.

By understanding how our biology interacts with our environment, we will be able to explain how our risk of disease is affected by our psychological, cultural, educational and economic circumstances, or external factors such as the built environment, the agricultural and food industries, technology and media.Obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease account for half the deaths in Australia and have become epidemics of global proportions. The Charles Perkins Centre aims to ease the burden of these diseases by transforming how we eat, work and live.

Most initiatives have treated these diseases as medical conditions, concentrating on complex biology at the levels of genes, cells and organs. By contrast, the Charles Perkins Centre brings our medical and health experts together with some of our best minds from the arts and social sciences, architecture, business, education, law, engineering and information technology.

By understanding how our biology interacts with our environment, we will be able to explain how our risk of disease is affected by our psychological, cultural, educational and economic circumstances, or external factors such as the built environment, the agricultural and food industries, technology and media.

Collaboration

  • challenge prevailing dogmas and look differently at difficult problems
  • generate new ideas and translate this knowledge into actions that improve the lives of all Australians.

A purpose built facility: our research and education hub

At the heart of the Charles Perkins Centre is a new state-of-the-art building designed to support collaboration and new ways of thinking.

Centre leadership

The Charles Perkins Centre is led by Academic Director, Professor Stephen Simpson. He is supported by a team of leading academics from across the university.

Research framework

Research domains

Our research will focus on four related domains:

Research themes

Several themes run as threads throughout all four domains, and offer a means of tying together the entire research network within the Charles Perkins Centre as well as linking to external research.

These themes include:

Core competencies

Supporting the work of the centre will be a set of infrastructure capabilities and advanced technologies, including:

  • bioinformatics, mathematics and modelling
  • proteomics and metabolomics
  • imaging: human, preclinical and live cell
  • microscopy
  • cytometry
  • data storage and management
  • biobanking.

The time dimension

Research at the Charles Perkins Centre will also consider the impact of time on obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This includes evolutionary time and its genomic manifestations, historical influences, cross-generational cultural and epigenetic influences, changes occurring across the life course (from birth, through infancy, childhood, adolescence, maturity and ageing), and the time course of development and progression of disease.

Project nodes

Our research domains and themes will be addressed by a network of interlinked project nodes. Project nodes involve researchers coming together across disciplines to address questions that align with our research strategy, in innovative ways.

Research governance

The Academic Director of the Charles Perkins Centre is supported by research domain, theme and project node leaders. The research domain leaders focus on domain capability and knowledge management. The theme leaders focus on the development of collaborations and networks leading to new project nodes and are responsible for translational (impact) outcomes. The project node leaders oversee the development of
node opportunities, project funding and delivering node outcomes, as well as for developing and maintaining appropriate links with other nodes.

How to collaborate

The Charles Perkins Centre welcomes new collaborators to their project nodes. If you are interested in joining a project node, please contact the us to discuss your involvement.

Dr Lise Mellor, Research and Project Officer

Amber Colhoun, Research and Project Officer

How to establish a project node

To find out more, read our Guidelines for establishing a project node and submit an Expression of Interest form .