Awkward conversations: understanding how exosomes from fatty liver cause metabolic dysfunction

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Matthew Watt Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Paula Miotto

Summary Our innovative research program seeks to identify how defects of lipid metabolism and inter-tissue communication cause obesity-related disorders, including type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We use this information to discover novel targets that can be transitioned to clinical therapeutics. Our research themes are: 1. Understanding how insulin resistance develops in obesity. 2. Understanding how proteins that are secreted by NAFLD / non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) liver affect metabolism and contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. 3. Regulation of lipid metabolism: identifying novel proteins that control lipid metabolism and how they are altered in metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes, cancer).

Project Details

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes are common co-morbidities, suggesting there may be communication between these two conditions. Exosomes are small vesicles that contain a variety of proteins, miRNAs, and lipids that can be delivered to peripheral cell types and alter recipient cell function.  We have preliminary evidence showing that exosomes secreted by fatty liver differ from healthy control mice, suggesting that changes in exosome secretion might drive metabolic dysfunction in NAFLD. 

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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