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Research_

Personalised medicine

Customising treatment to individual needs
Understanding the needs of patients can be key to getting the right treatment. Our research around mental health, nutrition and clinical medicine will allow patients to receive personalised care.

Mental health

Vision: Determine instrumental factors for mental wellbeing in Australia to help policymakers and guide decision-making

Work: Utilising novel methods of time-series analysis on an established large dataset (HILDA, University of Melbourne), we will identify potential causal factors that lead to mental wellbeing.

Research impact: The research will help governments make informed decisions on economic, social and community programs designed to improve mental health in Australia.

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  • Mental health, government and policy

Vision: Provide independent evidence of program efficacy for policy and government decision-making.

Work: Survey family and carers of young people in the hYEPP service.

Research impact: Inform Australian Government Department of Health program funding decision.

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  • Mental health, government and policy

Nutrition and obesity

Vision: Insulin regulates the metabolism of glucose in mammalian cells, but the molecular mechanisms by which it does this are not yet fully understood. The insulin response is dynamic, so understanding its time dependence is a key part of understanding metabolism.

Work: We stimulate mouse adipocytes (fat cells) with insulin and study their responses over the course of an hour. We analyse the resulting time series and produce a multivariate model of latent factors governing the insulin response across the entire metabolome.

Research impact: Better understanding of how glucose metabolism is regulated over time can help us design interventions that maintain stability of blood sugar. This could enable new therapies for metabolic disease, especially type 2 diabetes, which affects millions of people in Australia and across the world.

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Vision: Insulin regulates the metabolism of glucose in mammalian cells, but the molecular mechanisms by which it does this are not yet fully understood. We can unfold these pathways by studying how a cell’s response to insulin changes when key elements of the pathways are inhibited or replaced.

Work: In experiments with mouse adipocytes (fat cells), we replaced the usual glucose content of the growth medium with galactose, then stimulated the cells with insulin and compared their metabolic products with glucose-fed cells.

Research impact: Better understanding of how energy and carbon metabolism pathways change with different inputs can help us design interventions to maintain stability of blood sugar. This could enable new therapies for metabolic disease, especially type 2 diabetes, which affects millions of people in Australia and across the world.

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Clinical medicine

Vision: Develop a novel method to combine MRI datasets.

Work: Building a deep learning network to translate data sets into a common space.

Research impact: Allow researchers and clinicians to combine MRI data from different sources into a single data set that can be used to train and test better models.

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